Highlights and Parental Responsibility
Deuteronomy 6:7 – “You shall teach them (God’s commands) diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”
For some reason, I listen to sports radio and the other day I was listening to the Jim Rome show. Normally I can’t handle a lot of this show but for some reason today I listened a little longer than usual and then Rome did something that he normally doesn’t do, he began to talk about his personal life. Specifically he began to talk about his son and how his son plays little league baseball. Rome said his son has worked hard to become a pretty good player, but that he isn’t known as a power hitter, in fact he bats lead off, and lead off hitters normally aren’t power hitters.
In one of the first games of the year however his son, stepped into just the right pitch and the ball soared over the center field wall. A homerun! A dead shot to center field. Rome said as he watched the ball he thought wow he really got a hold of that one, he may get extra bases out of this one. But then the ball carried over the fence, homerun. The proud father said it “truly was one of the highlights of my life.”
I thought about that a lot. It was one of the highlights of my life, he said, and I can truly see as a dad how you really do smile and celebrate your children’s accomplishments even more than you would your own. But to say it was one of the highlights of his life? It was a great moment, a proud moment, a moment to celebrate. But one of the highlights of life?
I thought about it, and it forced me to ask myself the question, “what would I say was one of the highlights of my life?” There are many to be sure, but I was reminded Sunday morning in worship of what should be a highlight for any of us as parents. We were singing the song, “Glorious Day” and a few people were raising their hands in worship and praise, when all of a sudden my 4 year old raised his hands as well. Instantly tears began to roll down my face. Not tears of sadness but tears of joy.
Isaac has struggled in many ways, he has a seizure disorder and has what is termed absence seizures. These only last between 5 and 10 seconds and in reality you don’t know that he is having them but we did an EEG and it showed that he had 4 in twenty minutes. The doctor said he couldn’t tell us for sure but that that roughly means he was having 200 a day, and that he had most likely been having them for 2 years. When you add that up, that means he has had almost 150,000 of those seizures. He is on medicine for them now and we are seeing drastic improvements in him, and for that I am extremely thankful.
He used to be afraid to go to church because of the noise level, and how sensitive his hearing is. But now he seemed to be enjoying himself, and on that day, which incidentally was the first day that my whole family has been in worship together since the birth of our new baby, Isaac raised his hands in worship and thanksgiving. Some people might say that he was just imitating what he saw, and while that may be true, it still was an extremely moving picture for me.
Children do imitate what they see don’t they? In fact they imitate what they see, what they hear, and even what they are taught. We teach our children a lot of things and we do a lot of things for them, but the number one thing must be that we show them Jesus and that we teach them about the love of God. That we teach them the Gospel and what Jesus truly did for them on the cross. That is our calling as parents, it is what we must do.
That is why we are told in the book of Deuteronomy, “teach these things to your children.” And not only that but model them when you live your life. It says model them and talk about them when you are walking, when you are sitting, when you are laying down, and when you are getting up. That pretty much encompasses everything doesn’t it? In other words make sure your children are hearing about Jesus. They need to do their school work, they need to play, they may be involved in sports, they may play video games, they may draw or color or whatever, but they MUST be taught about Jesus. Where? At church? Sure, but that isn’t the primary place, the primary place where children should learn about God and should see the love of Jesus modeled is the home. It may mean turning the TV off, it may mean stopping one of your hobbies, it may mean (dare I say it taking them out of one of their 100 extra curricular activities), but regardless of what it takes we have to find time to teach them about Jesus. We have to find time to worship together with them, and we have to find time to show them the love of God. That is our calling and our responsibility as parents. The Bible doesn’t just instruct us to do it, it instructs us to do it diligently, which means that we must make a conscious effort to do it, for the eternal good of our children.