It is a thrill to have children. Their energy, laughter, craziness, and spirit bring joy to the often-tired grown-ups in their homes. They need us; we need to be needed. And yet parenting is exhausting—keeping helpless newborns alive, tending them through childhood illnesses, and teaching them how to act around other people. You will lose sleep and money helping them develop life skills.
But the worst aspect of parenting is our fear of what they might become as they get older. We parents can bear almost any strain when they are young. But if they grow up and reject our values, reject their families, and worst of all reject their Savior, our grief knows no limits.
What is your family history like? Are there young adults who are straying in the wrong direction? Does divorce stalk you? Are there children of unwed parents who have appeared? Are the generations estranged? Have your kids or grandkids been in jail?
Sometimes in spite of your best efforts and energy, in spite of making worship of God the highest and best home activity, children reject their spiritual inheritance. Samuel was a giant of a man, a courageous and hardworking prophet in terribly turbulent times. But his boys bitterly disappointed him: “When Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons as judges for Israel. But his sons did not walk in his ways. They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice” (1 Samuel 8:1,3).
We can’t believe for our children. God’s heart is breaking too.
Pastor Mark Jeske has been bringing the Word of God to viewers of Time of Grace since the program began airing in late 2001. A Milwaukee native, Pastor Jeske has served as the senior pastor at St. Marcus, a multicultural congregation on Milwaukee’s near north side since 1980. In addition, he is the author of six books and dozens of devotional booklets on various topics.
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