Seeing God’s Goodness
by Drenda Keesee
When we built our dream house, we were moving out of a decrepit old farmhouse. The church wasn’t paying us a salary at the time (per our request), but our board voted that when we moved into the new house they wanted to start paying us. We gathered the family around and told them, “The church has decided to pay us a small salary. We’re going to use the money to build a swimming pool so that you know that God is good. Now every time you jump in that swimming pool, we want you to remember that God brought that pool. He paid for it because we’re serving the Lord Jesus Christ, and I want you to know that God is good and wants to give you good things. Just always give Him your heart.” Our children have enjoyed that swimming pool ever since. I want my children to experience what an awesome God we serve!
When I was homeschooling our children, and we hardly had two nickels to rub together, I always said…
“I am going to take you, kids, to Europe.” I had gone to Europe during high school, and I wanted to show it to my children. I pulled out pictures of Italy and France and showed them to them. I told them, “Someday I am going to take you there. By faith, we are going to do this.”
By God’s grace, several years later, we had the cash to pay for the trip. As a school project, I assigned each of the children a place we were going to visit. They had to map out where we were going and write papers on the places they wanted to see the most. I can still remember our seven-year-old Kirsten navigating the streets of France with her little roller backpack. I can see all of my family, in a single row, pulling their bags down the cobbled streets. We spent three weeks traveling all over Europe.
My point is your children need to see the evidence of God’s goodness in your life. Gary and I can tell story after story of God’s goodness, and our children were a part of that. They saw the evidence. They saw faith by example. When I asked Kirsten when she was younger why she served God, she told me, “Growing up, it worked all the time. We lived by God’s Word. We always prayed, we always saw God come through, and that’s how I grew up. I never expected anything else.”
“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
Mentorship is crucial. When pressure comes, people revert to doing things the way they were trained. It’s the habits and patterns you’ve established in your life. Your children will inherit your faith or your fears. Which one will it be?
Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
God is good. Once you experience the goodness of His Kingdom, why would you want to go someplace else? If we can train our children up and demonstrate that to our kids, we have succeeded. Parents, you’re the key to demonstrating God’s goodness!
Luke 6:40 says, “The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.” It’s easier to hope they’ll be above the teacher, not like their teacher. That can be a scary thought! Many children who grew up with alcoholic parents swear they will never drink alcohol, but years down the road they end up in the same place their parents were. Why is that? Because when pressure comes against us, we fall back on the way we were trained to live life. We may become the very thing we despised. We become like our teachers.
Fortunately, God sets us free from that cycle of dysfunction, and we can tap into His good and perfect system instead. We don’t have to make the same mistakes our parents did. However, that cycle can work to your benefit if you are trained on the right system and mentored with the right example. If your children are taught to rely on God when difficult circumstances come, that is going to benefit their life.
ps…Are you looking for a good church? Be sure and listen on Saturday evening or catch the 3 services on Sunday for Faith Life Church!
*Excerpt from “The New Vintage Family” by Drenda Keesee
Drenda Keesee’s contagious zeal and humorous personal experiences help make her ministry of spiritual, emotional, and relational wholeness one that will bless your life and spark a new fire in your spirit.
A wife of over 30 years and a mother of five children, Drenda has ministered at churches, seminars, and conferences, and through the mediums of television and radio, for more than 20 years.
Her books, The New Vintage Family, Better Than You Think, and She Gets It are available wherever books are sold. In these heartfelt books, Drenda shares her personal journey and the life lessons that have brought her to where she is today, as well as practical answers that all people need to live a joyful life.
Drenda and her husband Gary founded Faith Life Now, a ministry designed to spread the message of freedom in the areas of finances, faith, marriage, and family. Tune in for their weekly messages here. Faith Life Now hosts conferences worldwide and sponsors both Fixing the Money Thing, which Drenda co-hosts with her husband Gary and Drenda.
Through their own life experiences, the Keesee’s have found the principles from God’s Word to be powerful and effective. At one point, Drenda was a young, suicidal feminist with no hope of ever being “good enough” for her own standards of perfection. She never wanted the “inconvenience” of a husband or children, and she was on her own path to success. But the stress of trying to achieve perfection and perform for love left her broken and used. She had success, but it was nothing compared to the pain and loneliness it had also brought.
That’s when God got a hold of her heart. It was there—at her lowest point—that she found the One who accepted and loved her, faults and all. Since that transformation, Drenda has had a passion to reach women who find themselves where she once was.
She married Gary after attending college, and there she found herself in a personal boot camp of sorts. She says, “I cried and told God, ‘I can do anything but be a wife and mother.’” She committed to learning how to do it God’s way. Through the many years of raising their children and struggling to make ends meet, Drenda learned from their mistakes. “I didn’t know how to be a wife and mother, but God saved our marriage, taught us how to parent our children for success, showed us how to have financial success, and then the irony of all ironies, He called us to ministry.” It’s truly because of these life experiences that Drenda can now share so many insightful principles for people who are now going through the same struggles.