Bryan shared the following with the kids (with a few edits for their age!) the night before school started. I thought there were some great principles in what Jim shared that was worth posting it here for you all to see. It's definitely not something to read once and file away! I'd say it's a laminated keeper!:)
Soon another school year will start and regardless of your schooling choice, both parents and students will come across other children, parents, teachers and staff, who do not know Christ. For this reason, we fortify our children’s faith to defend and arm them for school-yard ministry.
As I proclaim the gospel to my children, I am working to saturate their consciences and build discernment. I use biblical passages and principles to show how God empowers and requires believers to glorify Him. As parents, my wife and I have certain principles that I want my kids to be familiar with, so that they know how to act and respond in any situation at school. This is our way of equipping them to be used by God in the world.
I’m putting these principles here in the hope that parents will take them, and teach them to their kids as well.
1. Love God more than anyone or anything.
If God loves an action, so should you. If He hates an action, so should you.
In Mark 12:30, Jesus told a Jewish scribe that the most important law is love for God: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” Teach your children to love God, and to build their lives around this first principle.
2. You are never alone.
Before God, you have no private conversations, texts, emails, notes, eye contact, study sessions, etc. This fact will either be comforting, or fearful, depending upon how you live.
The Psalmist proclaims, “O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar (Psalm 139:1–2; cf. Philippians 4:8).” Teach your children about the omniscience of God.
3. You are owned by God.
God created the world in six days. He owns the world, and he owns you. We obey him and love him because he lovingly made us, and we are his.
The first verse in the Bible relates the most important Scriptural teaching on our relationship to God: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen 1:1). Teach your children that they are God’s first and yours second.
4. You are loved by Jesus.
Christ loves you, and paid the penalty for your sin. If you are saved, rest in his love and forgiveness, knowing that he will always love you.
Paul describes God’s love in Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Teach your children about the love of God in the death of Christ.
5. Glorify God with your body.
The world is captivated by athletic accomplishments and external appearances, but beauty and strength do not equal holiness. The Holy Spirit indwells all who love Jesus, and so our bodies should be used to glorify him.
First Corinthians 6:20 says it this way: “For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” Teach your children glorify Jesus with their body.
6. Glorify God with your speech.
Everything you say, text, type or post (Facebook), must give grace. Gossip & slander are satanic. Don’t do it.
This is why Paul says, “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear (Ephesians 4:29).” Anything that does not edify others is sin. Teach your children to watch their words.
7. Glorify God by your friends.
Only allow friends to influence you who love Christ as much or more than you do. As hard as loneliness is, it is far better than sin. Make the most of your acquaintances by lovingly and humbly calling them to a love for Jesus.
First Corinthians 15:33 says, “Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.” Teach your children to pick good friends.
8. Respect authority.
Honor and obey your teachers and staff with both your actions and your attitude. This is perhaps one of the easiest ways to glorify God at school, because teachers will know which students truly honor and respect them.
While speaking to local churches, Paul reminds all believers to obey authority. Titus 3:1 says, “Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed.” Teach your children to respect authority.
9. A clear conscience is better than affirmation.
Always choose Christ likeness over the affirmation of unbelievers. Some friends, even Christian friends, may put you in a situation which bothers your conscience. Flee those situations. Refuse to do any activity simply because you lack the will to resist.
James 4:6 warns, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (cf. Philippians 2:3-4). Teach your children to be more like Jesus, and less like their friends.
10. Be an evangelist.
Proclaim and demonstrate the gospel to unbelievers, be they students or teachers.
Shock students with kindness and staff with respect.
Paul summed up the Messiah’s work in 2 Corinthians 5:21, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (cf. Romans 2:4).” Teach your children to share what Jesus has done for them.
11. Read your Bible and pray at school.
Let unbelievers be uncomfortable around you, while you are bold around them.
Colossians 3:2 says, “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth (cf. 3:17).” Teach your children to boldly follow Christ.
12. Glorify God by being disciplined.
God has numbered our days, and we use our time to glorify him. When we waste time, it is his time we are wasting. But when we strive for excellence in whatever he has placed before us, we bring honor to his name.
Colossians 3:17 explains, “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” Teach your children to honor God by their work ethic.
13. Don’t complain. Ever.
When things are going wrong, or events are taking an unexpected turn, talk about your concerns with your parents, so we can help you process and respond to disappointments, and discouragements. But don’t allow your preferences and expectations to cause you to sin by complaining against God.
Philippians 2:14 commands, “Do all things without grumbling or disputing.” Teach your children to do all things without complaint.
14. Don’t be jealous of others sin.
Other students may be allowed to do things that your parents, the Bible, or your conscience tells you are wrong. But do not be jealous of their freedom, and remember that their “freedom” is fake.
Psalm 37:7 relates, “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes (cf. Galatians 6:7-8).” Teach your children to focus on Christ not others.
15. Our love is unconditional.
You are loved unconditionally. Our home is a safe place to work through any issue on any area. We are praying for you during the school day and are eager to see you when you get home. We’ll pray and bear with you through the trials and challenges and celebrate as we see how God’s will unfolds in your life. We love you.
Isaiah 26:3 says, “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You” (cf. Romans 8:28-39). Teach your children the unconditional love of God for them.