Sunday, February 8, 2009
I am my father's son
Continuing the principle of sowing and reaping, we dealt next with the parents of youth and how they fared in passing on the truths they had learned to their children. The result showed that about half of those young people were given next to nothing in terms of a spiritual example. For the 31% who didn't know about their parent's spiritual state as youth, the question came to mind, "How do you not know?" Could it be, that we as adults, ashamed of our past, pretend that it never happened and hope that since our kids are in church, it won't happen to them? That is a hopeful perspective, but not a very realistic one. Those young people are going to struggle with the same problems as their parents, and those in their life best equipped to teach them how to overcome those struggles, because of pride, fear of others opinion, or because they never overcame the struggles themselves, refuse to give the instruction so desparately needed. Do what I say, not what I do(or did), isn't a very effective parenting principle. I John 1:8, 10 - "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us" - both approach this line of thought. We deceive ourselves by ignoring the sin in our life, as well as ignoring the fact that our young people are not fooled by our hypocrisy. Rather than getting things right, we go on living a lie, covering instead of confessing our sin. Proverbs 28:13 shows clearly the end of this life - "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper; but he that confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy." We want our youth to prosper, yet we ignore teaching that simple thing that enables them to. In our attempt to portray the perfect parent, the only thing we accomplish is to successfully drive a wedge in the relationship. We must show them, not how to be perfect, but how to be perfecting; that is, growing, maturing. We only do that when we humbly confess our faults, and make them right. This is the example our youth need. Three of the hardest words to say in the English language are really very simple - I was wrong. What a great promise we have in I John 1:9. Forgiveness is readily available, and we hear much talk about it in modern Christianity. What we hear less of is that which must always precede forgiveness - repentance. A wonderful example of this is in Luke 15:11-32, the parable of the prodigal son. Far more important than the son , however, is the forgiveness which the father so freely and earnestly gives - after the son repents. When was the last time, we went to our Father and humbled ourselves, and repented of the wrong we had done Him, or perhaps a spouse, or even one of our children? Forgiveness and restoration are waiting - will we heed the call?