[reprinted from December 29, 2010]
Childrenâ€™s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children. Proverbs 17:6 (NLT)
If you are a parent, older sibling that is raising a younger sibling, or mentor, pull up a chair and join me. Do your children look at you with pride? Or are most of their looks blank, horror, embarrassment, anger, hurt, disappointment? Do your children invite their friends home? Do your children complain because you never come to visit them or explain to you why your seven-day visit can only be four days because they are going out of town? Do they invite you to dinner in their home more than once a month? Do they leave their children with you?
God gives us His definite thoughts about being a parent. He shows us over and over what being a good parent is all about. I have shared before that when I did a word study on Father that it was eye-opening and healing to me. I learned so much about forgiveness and real love. I thought it was going to help me understand my own parents. And it did. But it also taught me about being a parent; finding the balance between encouraging and discipline.
Colossians 3:18-21. I included the verses on husbands and wives because we must be an example to our children in that area also. How I treat my husband will influence my daughter on how she treats her husband. Submission doesnâ€™t mean door mat or that I have no opinion. It also doesnâ€™t mean that I keep a score card! Read verse 21 slowly and several times. As parents we are not to frustrate our children with a list of rules and expectations that overwhelm them. I believe the frustration comes many times because parents ask from their children what they do not do themselves. They put on a mask of holiness but, as Jesus observed, they are â€œwhite-washed tombsâ€(Matthew 23:27).
Ephesians 6:1-4. Here Paul goes another step after the warning to â€œnot exasperateâ€ and says we should grow our children up in Godâ€™s instructions. That means we do not just tell our children what to do but we show them; lead them by our example. If I want them to love Jesus and follow His example, then they should see and know that is how I live my life.
Genesis 2:24. You might think this is a strange verse to consider but God said that a child shall leave their mother and father and become one with their spouse. Am I raising my child to leave me? Am I giving them the tools to make good choices and understand consequences of their choices when they are two so that when they are twenty they are not surprised that being rebellious and disobedient will lead them to pain and suffering?
When I did my word study, I read for months. That was over ten years ago and I havenâ€™t quit reading. I havenâ€™t quit because my heart aches for these now adults that are struggling in their marriages and in raising their own children. If childrenâ€™s children are a crown to me in my old age, my crown is pretty sad because I did not raise their parents in Godâ€™s instructions.
I do not believe it is too late to make a course correction but the correction must be by truthful example. Let us be honest with our children. â€œI was wrongâ€ is not a bad thing to say to your adult children. Let us encourage our children to study about â€œthe Fatherâ€ and learn to be a parent after His heart; desiring to live with Him forever.
Father, I Adore You by the Maranatha Singers