“I am one of Pastor Jack Hayford’s kids—his daughter in the Lord. That’s because 32 years ago, at a very low point in my life, Pastor Jack talked to me about Jesus and the life that God had for me. For the next 23 years, I attended Church On The Way where Jack was the pastor, and I grew up in the things of the Lord under his teaching. The foundations of my life were solidly established during the time I spent there.
One of those foundations was becoming the kind of parent that God wanted me to be. Because of my own dysfunctional upbringing—I was raised by a mentally ill mother who was abusive and by a father who could not control my mother’s cruelty—I didn’t have good role models for parenting when my own children were born. I knew I was not equipped to raise them. But I was able to learn everything I needed to know about that from Pastor Jack.
I learned, first of all, by example as I watched Pastor Jack and Anna raise their four wonderful children. I never saw trouble or rebellion in any of the children as they grew up to be solid and grounded in the things of God. I was even more impressed when I saw the high-quality person each one of them chose to marry. And I continue to be impressed with the great children they in turn are raising. It was clear that this was a family who knew what worked.
I also learned how to be a godly parent from Pastor Jack’s teachings on the subject. One of the most important things he taught was how to bless and speak life into a child. I came to understand that we all have the power to plant seeds, not only in the hearts of our own children, but also in any child God brings into our lives. These seeds can produce good fruit or they can produce weeds that choke out life. The things we say can live in a child’s heart for a lifetime and mold the way they think about themselves and the people around them. We can either point children toward a path of self-destruction or help them to find the destiny God has for them.
That is what this book is all about. In a culture that has lost all sense of what is best for a child, Pastor Jack boldly speaks the truth. In a society that too often devalues children or overindulges them, or uses them for self-gratification, he shows us how we can have a powerful effect for good. He shows us how to speak words that bring life and not death, blessings not curses, encouragement not discouragement. He shows us how to build up and not tear down. This book will help you leave a spiritual inheritance to your children that will serve them well for a lifetime.”
—Stormie Omartian’s Foreword to Blessing Your Children, by Jack Hayford
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