Usually at this time of year, I write a column for parents about how to help their child have a better school year. I decided on something better. How about the parents? What are they going to learn this year? The kids need to focus on the 3 R’s: Readin’, Writin’ and Rithmatic!  So Dad, what will your report card be at the end of the semester or year?

            God is grading you. We should be evaluating ourselves on a daily basis, but it usually when we are in crisis that we crack the Book (the Bible). It is often the test, trials and tribulations where seek out some tutoring or wisdom, from the Mentor of Men, Jesus Christ. So if we were to improve in the 3 R’s, what subjects are we looking to pass in, or excel for that matter?

            Well the first R stands for “Romance!” If you are a guy reading this, you are married, in a relationship, or maybe wanting to find one. When it comes to romance, study the Love Languages or even get the book by Dr. Chapman. If you want a better marriage or relationship, affirm your partner and tell them positive things, about what they do or how they look. Also do something for them, especially those tasks they want you to do, or they don’t expect you to do. That is call service. We are called to serve and men too often serve their friends and the idols of sports (Football in 2 weeks!!!!), rather than the women in their life.

            Quality time is where we do things with our spouse that they like to do. Go shopping or watch a movie on Lifetime. Or it could be doing something as a family like going to the mountains or the beach. The other two ways to romance are buying things and physical contact. Men don’t need too much tutoring there, but if you have not gotten flowers, a card, a Starbucks drink, etc. make it a part of this school year’s routine.

            Another one is Read the Word. Spend time in God’s word every day. If you don’t have a structure, well, read a chapter in Proverbs every day. There are 31 days in the month, and 31 chapters in Proverbs. Today is the 21st of August, so you can start on Chapter 21. Add some spiritual food or nutrition to your diet every day and check out your life in June! You will grow and others around you will appreciate it. You can get a Daily Bread on line, or from many churches and that is what I feed on every morning. Every day I read the Daily Bread and a chapter from 2 Corinthians. It doesn’t take long, but it gets my heart and mind in shape to face the day.

            The last R is Remember what the Lord has done for you, and what He promises to do. When we are having a difficult time, it is easy to feel overwhelmed, self-pity or begin to lose faith. When you are in the middle of the storm, remember to keep going. Jesus is in the boat with you and will get you to the other side of the sea, lake or your joyless journey. A way to remember is begin each day with prayer and thank Him for His providence.

            We have much to be grateful for and we need to remember to come to the Throne of Grace with thanksgiving and praise. If you have financial fears, thank Him for all the things He has provided up until now. If you lack a job, remember He will never leave you nor forsake you. If your health is beating your up, both mentally and physically, take heart with the knowledge that He is the Great Physician, and someday you will have a new body and eternal health. Do pray for help for physical complaints because time and time again, in the Bibel, Jesus’s touch has healed many, so much worse off than you. (He even raises the dead!)

            Well you have your homework and I would rather you call it homejoy. This is the day the Lord has made and rejoice and be glad in it. It is not really home work, but His work that He calls us to do on a daily basis. The results are blessings and a good or great grade from the Teacher you too can have. There is also the alternative. Do none of the above, and spend more time in detention. If you look up the definition of “detention” it means to keep in prison or a similar place. If you want to be in the same place next year, well just ignore the 3 R’s and you get the 4th R… .a rerun!!