At what point in our history did children become a burden instead of a blessing? Last week I took Amy out to eat for her birthday and we sat next to a mother and daughter. The girl might have been six and during the entire conversation, not one positive word came out of the mother’s mouth. In fact, her continual griping about the little girl being too loud was much more disruptive than the fun the little girl was trying to have. At one point during the meal, the daughter was very confused and asked the mother, “what happened?” The lady quickly answered, “you happened!” Then today as I was sitting in a parking lot I listened to a father yell at a little boy, about 8, “God d*** you!” I prayed for the little boy and wondered if the father actually realized the magnitude of the phrase he used so lightly, yet hatefully.
I will be honest with you, in both those cases, I was ready to come out of my seat and let the parent have a taste of their own medicine. At the end of our meal, I approached the table beside us and told the woman that she had the most well-behaved little girl I had ever seen, she was polite, respectful, and well-mannered. The lady was speechless, but the little girl beamed, I think her name was Brianna. I didn’t get that chance with the father and his son.
Somehow children have become something that get in the way of career plans, financial stability, and having a successful life. With this shift in attitude, we still wonder why so many of the youth in our towns act in certain ways. I see kids walk by my house every day (the youngest might look 6) on their way to the park, with the only parental supervision being a cell phone, on which they are too busy texting to watch for cars. People even laugh when they hear things like, “children make a rich man poor.” I want to tell you that children make a poor man rich!
The only thing of value left on this earth when you leave it, is your children. They will be the ones that carry on in the manner in which you trained them, be good or bad. They are a blessing from God, Psalm 127:3-5, and we will be held accountable for the way in which we raise them, Matthew 18:6. I want to encourage you; the next time you begin to quip about your children, degrading them in public or tearing them down, stop. We want to be part of the solution not the problem. Everyday I pray that God makes up for my mistakes as a father and covers them up with his grace and mercy. Remember, our children live out what they are taught in word and action.