Future ramificatons from behind bars and in homes
Do you ever wonder if how you are raising your children makes a difference? Wonder if your efforts and your faith really matter in their behavior and actions? I admire many younger parents (including my son) who, with growing families, limited budgets, and imperfect living circumstances have their eye to the future, exhibit steadfast patience, and unselfish focus in training their children up in good behavior.
The parents I admire all include Godly and good manners instruction in their duties and it pays off big-time. These parents, without exception, train 24/7. They regard lessons in good manners as primary for teaching children about relationships and duty to fellow man. This isn’t easy. It takes constant effort. It means that often they must interrupt their activity or conversation for on-the-spot correction and instruction in a child’s behavior for specific situations. It requires extra time to teach kids how to act respectfully, what to wear when, how to eat properly, how to speak appropriately, how to pray and act politely.
And, at times this feels like an uphill battle–especially with strong-willed children who seem to have more energy (and resolve) than mom and dad whose hands are overflowing with multiple duties. The consistent parents, however, are “ploughing” in faith and hope. What they believe, what they live, and what they teach profoundly influence their family’s future direction. It does make a difference and things do get easier as children grow.
Sometimes our best efforts go astray. Our training meets resistance. Rebellion takes root. Yet, there’s still hope. I attended a Bible study friend’s funeral this week. She died much too young. Her name was Donna and one of her sons is in prison (and like the inmate’s letter shared in my previous post, her son is also a new Christian). Prison is a tough place–but not so hostile that it blocks God’s transforming power. Her boy’s “new birth” was such an answered prayer. That she lived to see his genuine transformation into Christ’s Kingdom, was a healing comfort and joy to her broken heart. Her salvation and now, her son’s, has generational ramifications.
Her son, spoke via a taped recording at her funeral. He is determined to follow Jesus. He shared how he is progressively sorting out what’s “cool and what’s not”. He recalled her efforts to rightly train him and even, when he ignored that right training, it remained planted in his soul. Now as he breaks away from the “uncool” actions and patterns of sin and death, changing them for right ways, it will affect their family’s next generation– if he remains faithful in his Christian practice and duties.
If you wonder just how much impact your faith and right training (and prayer) have for your children (and their children) read the comments from another friend and fellow teacher (thank you Corey) who lists the difference of those who follow Christ and teach their children likewise compared to those who don’t. Its quite astounding and quite encouraging. I’m thankful for the “cool” and considerate social codes passed down to us from past generations–good etiquette instruction is an easy training tool with great benefits for everyone–especially our next generation. Protocol matters!