By David Kier
“…in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach, in order that the opponent may be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us.” Titus 2:7-8 NASB®
In my early years at college, I met a few guys from out east who had brand new fancy cars and really nice clothes and wondered why they were at a small midwestern college. At least three (I think.That was 53+ years ago) of them said what I never forgot – “The old man wanted me out of his hair, so he sent me out here.” One said his parents divorced and his dad had another woman living with him and didn’t want him around. I often wondered what happened to them once they graduated. Being from a loving Christian home, I couldn’t imagine my parents thinking like that about me. You know what I think? I think they spent many years trying to get their father’s approval.
Young people make it seem like their parents are the last place they would go for advice, but studies show parents are often the first sought out for serious advice. Children want their parents’ blessing, especially their dad’s. God entrusted parents with children to raise them up “in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (Eph 6:4)”. The first and most important role of the parent is to be a Godly example. There are many good examples of parents in God’s spoken word written for us, but one set of parents I wish we knew more about was David’s. David was loyal, a hard worker, responsible, respectful and loved the Lord. When on the run from Saul, his parents came to him. He must have grown up in a good home.
There is no greater honor on this earth than being a mom or dad, or a grandma or grandpa. Tender malleable lives are placed into our hands to love and raise up to in turn be God-fearing adults. I could tell my college friends held bitterness in their hearts toward their parents and interestingly, especially towards their “old man”. Fathers, we have the heavy charge to not provoke our children to live rebellious lives as we instead take time to instruct them in the way of the Lord. How can one love the Lord while shoving his children aside? Grandpa and grandma, sometimes our children fall into a busy time of life. It is then we must come alongside our grandchildren to love and help teach them. What a blessing children are! They are also a great responsibility we must gladly accept.
“Indeed Lord, what a blessing children are. Regardless if parents have one child or a dozen, they love all the same as the well of love never runs dry. This must be the way it is with You. There are many of us and yet You love each of us the same. That’s amazing! That’s humbling! Lord, you know my heart aches for those parents with a child that went wayward. Your heart must ache as well. Please hear our prayers for those children, young or old, who are living rebellious lives. Please answer their parents’ and grandparents’ prayers. Lord, may every one of us be forever faithful to You. This we pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.”
David Kier is an agricultural entrepreneur with expertise in livestock feed who works with Christians in several parts of Africa to develop agricultural ventures to generate community income. This ministry takes Dave to Africa several times a year. When not traveling, Dave and wife, Jan, spend time with their adult children and grandchildren.