Inherited blessings and personal decisions
Deuteronomy 5: God didn’t just make this covenant with our parents; he made it also with us, with all of us who are alive right now.
Some things are generational. That is, they’re passed along from parents to their children. Some of the promises of God are like that. Such promises are made to a people, a nation. Because of that it could be said that the children inherit the promise from their parents. Some generational issues are not exactly the property of the children in the way those big promises are, but because of human nature, they almost seem to be. Parents have an influence on their children. If that influence is godly the result is very likely a positive one. On the other hand, if that influence is negative, it’s very possible that things will begin to unravel more and more with each passing generation. However, it doesn’t need to be that way. The reason is that God remains active from one age to the next. Moses tells his listeners that the relationship God had with their parents, a relationship that was broken by their disobedience, is now offered to them. They won’t say, “We’re God’s people because our parents were God’s people.” Instead, they’ll be his people because God has called them and they’ve responded to that invitation. It’s a wonderful thing when parents pass their faith along to their children. It is even better when the children actively respond making that relationship to God their very own.
Take Away: A person who had godly parents is blessed, indeed. Still, that person has the responsibility of claiming that blessing – that relationship- as their very own.
My children’s inheritance
Proverbs 20: God-loyal people, living honest lives, make it much easier for their children.
Parents have responsibilities far beyond providing food and shelter for their children. We’re to teach them how to live. In fact, we do teach them whether we want to or not. “Do as I say, not as I do” was dumb the first time it was said and it remains dumb. Kids watch their parents and the values of the parents become theirs. As the years pass grown children are surprised that they not only look more and more like their parents, but they act like them too. This learned behavior can be absolutely destructive as a person finds himself or herself treating their children in some unacceptable way that they, when they were children, promised themselves they would never do. However, there’s a positive side to this. In fact, that’s what God intended when he created us as he did. If I’m faithful to the Lord and honest in my relationships my kids are likely to adopt the same life-style. Their lives will be better lives because of that. The greatest thing I can pass on to my children is not an excellent stock portfolio; it is a rich value system.
Take Away: Ask the Lord to help you be the kind of parent who passes a solid value system on to your children.
Dare to discipline
Proverbs 13: A refusal to correct is a refusal to love.
I love being around my grandkids. There’s nothing better than spending time with these little ones. However, believe it or not, even my own precious grandchildren aren’t always perfect! I’m sure they come closer to perfect than any grandchildren who’ve ever lived, but still, there are a few little things that have to be kept in check. That’s what their dad and mom, along with maybe a little help from their grandparents, are supposed to do. Parents need to provide loving discipline to their children. I’m not trying to debate the value of a particular type of discipline here, but as I read the words “a refusal to correct is a refusal to love” I’m taken by the common sense truth being stated. Parents who love don’t just throw up their hands and let the kids do “whatever.” Loving parents step up to the plate even when they’re worn out from the day. Even then, they expend the energy to take their children in hand, insisting that they behave themselves within the limits of their capability. The disciplining part of parenting isn’t the fun part, but it’s one of the loving parts. As the wise man says, “love your children by disciplining them.”
Take Away: Children are a gift of the Lord, but that gift does come with responsibilities attached.