I have been thinking lately — why should we be parents? Why should the Lord grant us such a hefty responsibility. Another human being, complete with his/her own mind and life and ambitions and all, given to us to nurture. To watch over and direct as they grow to be their own person. It is such a huge responsibility, the thought of what it entails is just scary.
I’m reminded of some parents I read about. After a miraculous experience that left all their neighbors and all who heard about them shocked and amazed, they were given a responsibility to pass it on to the generations after them. People needed to know just how majestic and powerful their God was.
With the clearest of instructions, they were told to
“Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the door-frames of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.” Deuteronomy 11:18-19.
That sounds easy, right? All they needed to do was make sure that they talk about them and about Him, ALL THE TIME. Paint them on their houses just in case they forgot to talk about them in the hustle and bustle of life. At least, the children would read them as they go in and out of their house.
And then, a few books later, we read,
“After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel.” Judges 2:10
Now, what happened here? A people who had been strictly instructed to teach their children every time, everywhere ended up with generation after them that did not know God and what He had done for Israel.
Methinks there was a set of parents who broke the chain; who refused to teach their children what God had done for Israel, who took it for granted that the children needed to know. There were people who refused to do their homework, and this time, it was the parents.
And see what happened.
“Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and served the Baals. They forsook the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them. They aroused the Lord’s anger because they forsook him and served Baal and the Ashtoreths.” Judges 2:12
And then things got worse,
“In his anger against Israel the Lord gave them into the hands of raiders who plundered them. He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, whom they were no longer able to resist. Whenever Israel went out to fight, the hand of the Lord was against them to defeat them, just as he had sworn to them. They were in great distress.” Judges 2:14-15
Oh, how much distress they would have been saved if only they obeyed. If only the parents who had seen it all and heard it all had been faithful with the instructions. If only they had taught their children all the things they needed to. Maybe the children would have disobeyed, anyway, but at least they would have disobeyed, though knowing. Now, what we hear is a people who did not know God nor what he had not done. Tragic.
And this season, as we await our first born, i’m reminded just how much we need to be diligent in teaching him/her about God. For that to happen, we need to make sure that our walk with God too is straight. We need to be open to learn from Him daily since there will be little people following us.
As it is, if we will get another human being only to add to hell, why should we get one? And what does God expect?
“Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth.” Malachi 2:15
And all the parents say,
SO HELP US GOD!