“O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds. So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.”
Psalm 71: 17,18
What do my kids know about God – my God?
What have I taught them?
This is a huge question for me as I have gotten older, my kids have grown up and begun to establish lives of their own.
I wish I had spent more time telling them and showing them in my own life how absolutely amazing God is. However, this is not something that we ever really stop doing. It does not stop when they reach age 18 or 21 or 50. Even to old age I will continue to tell another generation everything that I can about the God that I serve.
Too often I worry about what they think about me. Do they think that I am a wonderful father? I hope that none of them writes some sort of tell-all book about their childhood telling everyone what a terrible father I was – how so often I just didn’t get it – how I didn’t listen to them or I was unfair – how I yelled too much – how I didn’t do this or that with them enough. I don’t think that it is wrong for me to want my children to love me, and they do. They are great kids. But maybe they are great in spite of me instead of because of me.
Here is some advice for fathers and mothers. Be more concerned with whether or not your children love God than whether or not they love you. Be more concerned with their spiritual welfare than with their social welfare. Don’t be so concerned with what others say about your childrearing – remember that you will need to answer to God. Help them understand that their love for Jesus is much, much more important than their grades or sports’ skills – that going to worship is more important than a soccer match or a horse show or a swimming meet – that obeying Jesus is more important than being popular.
But, even more important, make sure that your own life reflects that Jesus Christ is Lord of all and that you are his servant. Before you are a father or mother, you are a servant of Jesus. Before you are a stock broker, mortgage banker, lawyer, teacher or pastor, you are a servant of Jesus. Let them see that for you the honor and glory of God is the most important thing of all.
Help them to see that it is not about you or them, it is about God.