Monday, June 21, 2010

We reap what we sow

Saturday, January 30, 2010

We reap what we sow

As parents, there are so many things to get right. We try so hard. We fail so often. We are inescapably human.

I was talking to a friend the other day who was grieving the loss of her children. Her grief was palpable - it filled the room. Her children were not dead. They were just dead to her. This is a godly, wonderful, wise woman. She has homeschooled her children, is active in church, has a godly husband. They have protected their children from unwholesome influences. They have vigorously guarded their children from any perceived evil. Their children grew up, grew angry, grew apart from their parents and finally, just walked away. Of course, it wasn't as painless as it sounds. Their home, once a haven, became a battlefield. The children blamed every ill in their lives on their parents, and only saw the negative aspects of their parents character. The parents, also angry and confused by their children's betrayal, struggled to understand where they had gone wrong.

Terrifying. That is the only word I can think to describe this situation. It is terrifying to all of us parents who, like my friends, are trying to raise our children well. Does this just happen? If our godly, wise, faithful friends can't forestall this tragedy in their family, is there hope for of us? I believe there is hope. I believe it comes down to one scripture. Honor your Father and your Mother. Seem a little simplistic? Let me explain. For all of the godly characteristics in my friends, they had one terrible flaw. They did not honor their parents. Both my friend and her husband came from wonderful christian homes. Their parents were godly, christian men and women. They were, however, imperfect. These imperfections were what my friends saw. Rather than being thankful for the christian heritage they had, they concentrated on the human flaws and sinful natures of their parents - and they did this in front of their children. As their children grew they heard how "Nana" had a disease because she had bitterness in her heart. They heard how "Gramps" was in sin because he still maintained a relationship with his daughter, whose child had done drugs. They stayed away from family reunions to "protect" their children from the influence of their flawed parents. And now it's their turn. Their children, having seen their parents not honor their mothers and fathers, do not honor them. They only see the flawed, sinful human nature of their parents, not the godly heritage they have. They don't see their parents through the eyes of mercy and love, but through the tainted view of criticism and judgment. These parents have reaped what they have sewn.

These people are treasures to our family - but they are human. In their quest to live godly lives, they forgot the first and great commandment - LOVE. We may not agree with our parents in all things. We may not have christian parents. We are sure to live our lives differently than our parents. That doesn't matter, we are to honor our parents. When we do not honor our parents, our children will see us. They will follow our example. When we honor and respect our parents, we will, in fact, be providing an opportunity for our children to honor and respect us. When we look past our parents sinful nature, we will be teaching our children to look past ours. When we recognize God's command to honor our parents, our children will rise up and call us blessed.

"Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee" Exodus 20:12

These are more than just words in a book. They are words to live by. They are words which will bring life to your family. We all reap what we sow.

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