I sat watching my child play baseball. My day was spent there, moving from one field to another while his team played in a travel tournament. I reminisced of my childhood. My parents didn’t sign me up for sports. As a matter of fact, they didn’t take me to dance lessons or ACT prep classes either. I didn’t go to movies, and there were three channels (plus PBS) on our home TV. There was no college fund. My siblings didn’t receive these privileges either. We did consider them privileges and not entitlements. My parents lived their lives. They provided our necessities and many pleasures, which are today considered functional basics. I pondered if I had been cheated. The thought occurred to me that my parents failed me.
I sat at the field with a Joel Rosenberg book in my lap taking notes from his nonfiction “Epicenter”. I realize America’s present state is more precarious than it has ever been on multiple levels, but the state of Israel is in more dire circumstance than her. Israel’s enemies are racing in nuclear weapon development and production. They are forming alliances historians would have insisted would never occur. Israel is threatened daily by her adversaries, who claim to be America’s adversaries as well. I am studying to understand the times in which we live.
My parents were born in desperate times in America. During the depression everything was scarce. People made the most of all that they had to survive. Those who lived through these days carried the memories into their adulthood and habits of life. My parents’ families knew well what having only God meant and how to cling to Him for survival.
I was taught to fear God – one day each person will give an account of how they have lived and what they have done with the knowledge of God’s son. I attended church with my family and had an intellectual knowledge of the Word of God as it was taught. I watched my parents live responsible, respectful and law-abiding lives. I was educated and taught and allowed to think. No emphasis was ever put on my emotions or feelings. Facts were the foundation on which we lived.
As Ravi Zacharias teaches, a better Hebrew rendering of the proverb, “Train a child up in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it” is “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old it will not depart from him.” As I have encountered various world ideologies and beliefs, my mind returns to the fundamentals I learned in childhood. Life isn’t about me. God shall be feared. I will give an account of myself to God for my life and what I have done with knowledge of Jesus Christ. Those facts are far from the feelings and emotions espoused on every form of media and in the classroom. Unbelievers use ridicule and unproven theories to belittle what my parents taught me from God’s Word. However, being taught reason allows me to challenge the ridicule and opinions plastered about me. I look at the condition of the entire world and see the Bible my parents revered and believe is accurate and proven hour by hour in my lifetime. “The way” hasn’t departed from me, even when in my younger life I tried to depart from it.
Am I failing my children? Their lives are full of ballgames, pricy education, social functions and numerous frivolities – expensive clothes and technological gadgets. They are inundated with opinions and unproven theories hourly where I didn’t encounter them until I was an adult. Evil is glamorized for entertainment. Christians are considered the blight of an enlightened age. However, did the fundamentals change? Does truth change? Has God changed? If my children build a dynasty here, how long will it last? Their lifetime? Until the nuclear holocaust begins? Until the world economy collapses? Until Christ returns for His church? Will they stand at the judgment seat of God and say “my parents failed me”?
God help me, may the last question’s answer be no! Stop and consider what you are laboring to attain. All my understanding says time is short. The foundations of America are crumbling, as well as the world’s political structure. This is foretold in God’s Word. We must fill our offspring with the truth of the Word of God which proves itself at this point in time, hour by hour. Our time with our children is short regardless if what we know is coming happens in our lifetime. We get a mere 18 -22 years with them in our homes. We get even less time to form their world view. Challenge yourself not to stand before God knowing you failed them.
Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old it will not depart from him.
Burning within me,