While the pastor spoke to the fathers yesterday about the kinds of men, they should be for not only their families, but God, I reflected on our early days as parents. When I was dating my then husband, Charles, I queried him on having children. He replied, “I don’t really care. If you want children that is fine, but I’m happy with or without them.” He didn’t realize years later his very best friend would be his son.
I loved children and prayed earnestly for my own from the time I was a pre-teen, babysitting for countless families. I was caring for children until days before my marriage at age twenty-one. I always knew if God didn’t bless me with my own biological children, I would adopt. Being a mother was utmost to me for I never had a mother in my life. I resided in the same house with her, but I learned years later, my mother brought me home from the hospital, never loving me. When she died at age eighty-nine, I never heard, “I love you.” Because of that, I desired any children God blessed me with would know for eternity they were loved.
I spent years asking God why He gave me parents that knew only to abuse, but never to love me. During a bible study on the Purpose Drive Life, the words jumped from the page,” the parents we have are the ones God chose for us.” The queries ended. I accepted they didn’t love me and never would. As Dr. Warren, the author of that book noted in his recent sermon I viewed, we have many questions to ask God when we see Him. That will be one of my first queries.
Those of us that are parents know adorable, sweet smelling, soft, cuddly, dependent babies are merely months of our children’s lives. Psychologists cite that by age four children begin their life-long independence. I know us parents may all chuckle at this because as soon as our toddlers learn the word, “no”, they begin using that toward us.
As Christian parents we have a responsibility to begin instilling in our children their independence doesn’t negate the dependence upon God. When our pastor shared yesterday, they began reading the bible to their son, the first day they brought him home from the hospital, I cried. The pastor noted they wanted their son to know about God as soon as he understood.
I thought back to the dozens of times when our children were young that I pleaded with Charles, to bring our family together in God’s love; to show them there are things in life which money and power, can’t purchase or control. Charles found this to be unimportant. When adult children stand at the graveside of their parents and say, “we didn’t have all the “things” in life we wanted, but we always had the love and prayers of our parents, that is a gift. To me that is far more valuable than leaving millions of dollars to your children. Proverbs 22:6 NKJ, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.