Parents: Don’t Give Up Your Parental Responsibilities
Some time ago, on a Saturday morning, I met with a friend for a work meeting over breakfast. As usual, we got together at a pleasant little restaurant that serves traditional cuisine. We had already started our discussion when a particular scene drew my attention.
In a corner of this little country restaurant, comfortably settled in a booth, a father and his son ate breakfast together.
“Nothing out of the ordinary about that,” you would say, nothing astonishing but yet there was. Sitting across from each other, they were engaged in a passionate discussion. I couldn’t hear what they were saying, but it was easy to guess. I saw how the father leaned forward to talk with his son, who was maybe 10 or 11 years old, and how the boy listened, his eyes fixed on his father’s, drinking in his every word.
How could I know the subject of their discussion?
Because both of them were speaking with their Bibles laid out before them!
The father, in deep concentration, was explaining a passage of Scripture to his son, one of his fingers underlining the text they were discussing…What was that morning’s subject? I don’t know, but for me, that wasn’t the main point of the story.
I was so impressed by this father who took one or two hours on a Saturday morning to explain to his son, during this moment of quality time, the truths found in the Word of God!
What long-lasting influence will such moments have on the life of this young boy?
Certainly, they will be deciding factors in his development as a teenager, an adult, and also as a man, husband, and father committed to his God!
What a privilege it is to raise children, as so many couples cannot!
But it isn’t just about having children. Parents must then provide the food they need to grow and blossom as human beings, so that they can then become children of God themselves.
By food, I mean not only providing for their physical needs, but also and especially their emotional and spiritual needs. This is vitally important!
Certain people will perhaps tell me that “the spiritual education of their children is the responsibility of the Sunday school teachers,” “we don’t know how, we aren’t competent,” or worse, “we don’t have the time…”
In response, I would like to bring to mind several verses from the Word of God:
‘“Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land of which the Lord swore to your fathers to give them, like the days of the heavens above the earth.”’ Deuteronomy 11:18-21
These verses clearly state that if God gave us the joy of raising children, this also means that He trusted us with the immense responsibility of being the representation of the Father’s love for their sake!
Thank You, Lord, for the church’s work in this area, for the dedication of those who take care of our children, but their work must not, by any means, rid us of our responsibility to be our own children’s trainers!
We cannot, and must not, transfer the responsibility for this education to someone else. God will require an account of our investment in this area!
Maybe you would say to me: “how can I do this, when I see so many of my own limitations, my sins, my struggles…?”
The Lord knows of what we are made. He does not expect perfection from us! Just that we be attentive and proactive in the education of the children He has entrusted to us in His grace.
Have you made mistakes concerning them? Who hasn’t? Never hesitate to ask them for forgiveness if you acted hastily or unjustly. Your authority will never be diminished if you know how to recognize your faults before them, for good or for bad! It will teach them the value of repentance, so that they will know how to apply it in their own lives!
Let the love that you have in your marriage and for your children be a model of God’s love for them, for their sakes! What a responsibility, yes, but grace is always abundantly present to help us in this task.
Whether you are married or single, my brothers and sisters, don’t relinquish this responsibility!
Your God is with you to help you succeed. He will equip you if you ask Him.
In a day and age when the family is the target of all the enemy’s attacks, our responsibility as believers is immense: Our families represent the model God chose so that each human being can discover His love!
So remember the words of the apostle John and keep your eyes fixed on Him who gave us His promises!
“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” 3 John 1:4