Through the young years of our children’s lives, I would randomly quiz them, “What is the most important thing?” This simple, yet purposeful, question would prompt them to rehearse what their Dad and I were teaching them: “Yes, we know…to love Jesus with all our hearts!” This ‘pop quiz’ was intended to establish the most important decision they would ever make ~ a life plumbed in Him.
Anyone who has ever hung wallpaper knows that, before doing so, the walls must be plumbed. The center point of the wall must be determined in order that all strips of paper be hung straight. Otherwise, by the time the last strips have been hung, they would be found crooked.
Young mothers-to-be enjoy the thrill of decorating their infant’s nursery. Mom’s and Dad’s favorite wallpaper colors welcome the baby on the way. As the child grows and chooses their favorite themes, the nursery wallpaper is changed to suit their latest interest, yet with parental approval. This may well be changed a few times before teen years.
Come teen years, however, the young person may well say, “I don’t like any of your colors anymore; I want to choose my own.” Individuating is a normal process of maturing. Therefore they desire their room to reflect their own expressions. Young adulthood reveals whether or not their prior choices had been plumbed in the ways of faith.
Changes in colors, patterns, and themes may happen, but the plumb line must remain central. This portrays the centrality of Jesus Christ in the lives of our children. If the plumb line of their faith is in Him, and their hearts are yielded to His plan ~ His chosen ‘theme’ ~ the layered occurrences of their lives will be centered.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart [plumb line], and lean not on to your own understanding [personal theme choice]; in all your ways [applied choices] acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight [plumb your life].” [Proverbs 3:5-6]
Though many of our children’s lessons are taught, most of the centering themes of life are caught by the examples in the home. If parents’ wallpapers strips hang straight, the children more than likely will emulate the application.
“Point your kids in the right direction [by word and example]; when they are old, they won’t be lost.” [Proverbs 22:6] The Message