Most of us want the very best for our children. From the moment they are born we try hard to raise the best children possible. We love them, feed them, hold them, comfort them, and make sure they get enough sleep. We hover over them, doing our best to shield them from every imaginable harm. When they’re happy, we’re happy. When they hurt, we hurt.
When I was pregnant with our first child I had a dream that has stuck with me all these years. I dreamed that I had two children—a boy and a girl. They were probably about four or five years old. In my dream there was a huge fire in a very large pit. I was holding onto both children, desperately trying to keep them back as they pulled with all their might towards that fire. Waking up in a sweat, I was tremendously relieved that it was just a horrible nightmare. Or was it?
This dream has haunted me over the course of my life. There’s a lesson here.
Children are a gift from the Lord. It is our God-given duty to train them up in such a way that they will accept Jesus as their own personal Saviour and go on to live their life for the Lord. As in my dream, we have to continually pull them back from the evil influences around them that can destroy their souls.
However, parents aren’t perfect. Along with trying to raise our children for the Lord we are also working to provide for them. We have work stresses, financial stresses, we chauffeur our kids to different sporting or other extra-curricular activities, housework is never ending, and a host of other things that keep us so busy that sometimes the Lord’s work gets pushed to the back burner. Maybe a missed Bible reading turns into weeks of not being in the Word. A missed church service turns into months or years of non-attendance. We can get side-tracked to the point where we don’t even realize that we’re not really living for the Lord anymore. We have become complacent.
In the meantime, our children are growing up. If we’re not careful, they’re growing up without solid biblical teaching. They are getting to the point where they need to make their own decision—will they decide to follow Christ or not? That’s a decision they have to make for themselves. We, as parents, can’t do it for them. We can only point them in the right direction.
Going back to my dream, these are the children we are desperately trying to keep from falling into the fire. God help us all to keep on track!
Until next time.