August 7, 2021·Mike Gentry
As a father of three boys, I know I have my work cut out for me. Both my wife and I do, but as their father, I have the responsibility to show them what it means to be a man of God; I must model integrity, humility, love and respect for a woman, and a myriad of other things. And I have to do this in a society that every day gets further away from following biblical principles. We live in a world where the things of God are often laid aside for things of the flesh. Where the integrity of man is far too often thrown aside for the pleasures of this world. Where humility and respect for others are seen as weakness. Not only is it challenging to do it within our society, but I have three very different boys, with varying personalities. So… I need to figure out how to teach each of them in a way that will make sense to them.
I am so thankful for the Bible! When I don’t know what to do, I can turn to the Word of God and glean wisdom from it. There’s a lot of help that can be found in this Book. You don’t have to search very far within its pages to glean wisdom on how to raise your children.
Psalm 78:1-7 says:
1 O my people, listen to my instructions.
Open your ears to what I am saying,
2 for I will speak to you in a parable.
I will teach you hidden lessons from our past —
3 stories we have heard and known,
stories our ancestors handed down to us.
4 We will not hide these truths from our children;
we will tell the next generation
about the glorious deeds of the Lord,
about His power and His mighty wonders.
5 For He issued His laws to Jacob;
He gave His instructions to Israel.
He commanded our ancestors
to teach them to their children,
6 so the next generation might know them —
even the children not yet born —
and they in turn will teach their own children.
7 So each generation should set its hope anew on God,
not forgetting His glorious miracles
and obeying His commands.
When I read this portion of Scripture, I fully take these words to heart. As a father, every day of my life is filled with opportunities to teach my boys how to live with a love and passion for God. I’ve had many opportunities to pass on to them stories of things that have happened in my life, that can point them to Jesus. I can share with them difficulties I’ve experienced and how God helped me deal with them and come out well on the other side of it. I’ve learned, as a parent, the importance to teach your children that we all make mistakes, and how we learn and grow from those mistakes is what matters most. I want my boys to grow up knowing they are loved by me, no matter what, and more importantly, that there is a God in heaven that loves them passionately and wants the best for their lives. He will never leave them or forsake them or disappoint them. So, every chance I get, I’m excited to tell them about the works and wonders God has done in my life. I want them to know that the God we love and serve now, is the same God who did so many miraculous signs and wonders we read about in the Bible. I’ve seen God work miracles in my lifetime, right before my eyes, and I love when I have the opportunity to share those stories with my boys. It makes God seem tangible to them… and He is! I want them to realize God can and will do those same kinds of things in their lives, as they remain in Him and allow Him to work in their lives.
We serve a God who loves us so much and wants the best for our lives. That doesn’t mean our lives will be perfect. We’ll endure hardship and suffering, but know we can stand on the promises of God. Know He will never leave or forsake us, and He’s right there with us. When you’re faced with times of trouble, remember the things God has done in your life in the PAST. Know He’s right there with you in the PRESENT. And rest in the promises of God, that He will be with you in the FUTURE.
Pastor Mike Gentry