Monday, April 27th

Monday, April 27th

But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15

Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him. Psalms 127:3

In this whole business of being parents, what most of us really want in the end is to have children who grow up to know, love, and live for God. If you are looking for a formula that makes that happen easily, neatly, and thoroughly, it does not exist. In order for our children to be ready for adulthood and a lifetime of living for God they must be prepared by parents who completely embrace their role as parents. We must say like Joshua of old, "But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord." It cannot be just a plaque on the wall. It must be the heartbeat of our lives.

The Psalmist says that "Children are a gift front the Lord; they are a reward from him." If this is really true, then we must forsake anything (beyond our marriage relationship) that causes us to view our children as something that competes with and keeps us from what we would really like to give ourselves to. We are to be parents first and foremost for about 18 years. This means being devoted to guiding our children by teaching, training, and preparing them for a lifetime of fully knowing and living for God. We will be hard pressed to have children who are prepared in this manner if we do not give ourselves to them fully.

The pursuit of raising godly children is as hard as it gets, is very messy, and offers little certainty or finality. However, God’s presence, guidance, and comfort can be counted on completely as we stay faithful to the task.

Lord, help those who are parents to embrace their role more fully and help those who are not parents to be more supportive of those who are. At the same time, Lord, lift the weight of undue pressure some of us feel as parents. Give us a compassion for those who are overly burdened as parents. Lord, bring to our hearts, minds, and spirits a great sense of comfort and well-being that simply comes from your loving presence in our lives.

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