Chapter-a-Day Psalm 78

Bedtime_prayersWe’re not keeping this to ourselves, we’re passing it along to the next generation— God’s fame and fortune, the marvelous things he has done.  Psalm 78:4 (MSG)

I have, by no means, been a perfect parent. Nevertheless, I have diligently attempted to pass along to my daughters the things that God has done for us and in me. I have tried to be very intentional in teaching them some things. I have tried to quietly let them observe my own relationship with God in other things. Now, as my daughters arrive at the cusp of being adults, I’m blessed to see God at work in them. I’m amazed by their active faith.

A friend of mine is a youth leader in their church. He has shared his journey in this position with me, and I’ve tried to be an encouragement to him. I have watched his discouragement along the way and have been amazed. His frustration has not with the young people in the group, but with parents who have not provided any spiritual direction for foundation for their children. He often feels that the young people he works with are confused and lost, not because of outside influences, but because they have had no spiritual direction from the people who are most influential in their lives.

I believe that one of the most important aspects of being a parent, perhaps the single most important aspect, is spiritual. I’ve never taken this to mean that I must maintain saintly perfection or know everything about God. Rather, I’ve believed that my own relationship with God must be real, and my children must be able to observe that. I’ve believed that my children must learn from my frail humanity and see how God is engaged with me in the midst of my own weaknesses. I’ve desired that my children observe my own maturing process in my relationship with God, even if they can’t articulate what they’ve observed in the present moment. I’ve believed that things like prayer, spending time in God’s message, and worship are as important as learning to wash your hands before dinner.

If succeeding generations are to make a difference in this world, then I have to intentionally pass along the things of God to my children and, someday, to my grandchildren.

Creative Commons photo courtesy of Flickr and robbiew

2 thoughts on “Chapter-a-Day Psalm 78”

  1. I am proud of you, dude. I am also thankful to have you in my life…having been through stages that I have yet to cross (that means you’re old 🙂

  2. 5-8 He planted a witness in Jacob,
    set his Word firmly in Israel,
    Then commanded our parents
    to teach it to their children
    So the next generation would know,
    and all the generations to come—
    Know the truth and tell the stories
    so their children can trust in God,
    Never forget the works of God
    but keep his commands to the letter.
    Heaven forbid they should be like their parents,
    bullheaded and bad,
    A fickle and faithless bunch
    who never stayed true to God.
    It is scary to think that our kids may be like us. Bullheaded is a good word to describe me. I tend to see the world quite black and white. I’m working on that. My kids have observed me seeing the world black and white. I try not to be too opinionated in front of them because I want them to see the world through their own lens. Yet there are certain things that kids MUST learn from their parents. I don’t want Joe Blow down the street teaching my kids through a lens that doesn’t include God. So ultimately, I pray that my kids will get the important stuff and ignore my weaknesses. What are the chances?

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