“So commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these words of mine. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, so that as long as the sky remains above the earth, you and your children may flourish in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors. (NLT)
We often hear the sentiment that children are a blessing from the Lord. Indeed they are. But in this disordered world of ours, some blessings are mixed! Our children can bring us much pleasure and much pain. They can have us bursting with pride or hanging our heads in shame. Our children are, after all, only human. Just like their parents.
Scripture reminds parents of the weighty responsibility they have in nurturing their children. Within a faith community there is the issue of passing on that faith. It involves not just formal teaching but modelling a way of life based on that faith. Teaching faith to our children goes way beyond sending them to the right school or having family devotions. Children watch what their parents do as well as listen to what they say.
Even when parents do their best, there is no guarantee children will heed them. Our children are on loan to us from God: they are not our possessions to control for life. The old saying tells us that we give our children two things: roots and wings. Foundations for life and freedom to go their own way..which may not be our way.
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