The scriptures today are interesting. In 1 Kings, David
instructs his son Solomon to follow God’s ways. In 1 Chronicles, the
writer shouts, "Lord, you are exalted over all." And in Mark, Christ
sends out the disciples to preach repentance. When Jesus sends them
out, he doesn’t say, pack for the journey. Just the opposite.
He instructs them to take sandals and a walking stick. The disciples
have to trust Jesus.
As a father, I understand where David is coming from. David
understands what is important. I feel incredibly blessed to have a
wife who loves God and who works with me to pass our faith on to our children.
I recognize what a gift faith is. Even if you don’t look at the eternal
life side, a relationship with Christ adds clarity, meaning, purpose, joy
and fulfilment to the here and now. Christ simply makes life better.
When I see faith in my children my heart soars. So imagine how I feel
when I can’t impart my faith to a child. My oldest son, Andrew,
has, for quite some time now, made it quite clear that he does not believe
in God and he views believers as gullible fools. For a long time I
took the attitude that something was wrong with this kid and I was going
to fix it. To say that we have knocked heads over the subject is an
understatement. The more I presented my faith or shared about Jesus,
the more my son rejected it. It was heart breaking and maddening at
the same time.
I felt I had reached the end of my rope with this kid many times.
Our struggle over this issue is part of the reason my son moved out at the
age of 18. I felt like a failure as a father and as an ambassador for
Christ. I was certain I was the only one in the world who had to go
through this horrible situation. Ahh, but what about David? I
shared my struggles with a small group at church. It was encouraging
to know that I wasn’t alone in my struggle. It also helped me to recognize
that this struggle was between my son and God. I learned to back off
some. Last Christmas a minor miracle occurred. I had reached
a point where I didn’t even invite Andrew to church anymore. One Sunday
morning before Christmas, Andrew showed up. This was strange, but wasn’t
completely out of the ordinary because Andrew likes to eat and we always
have food. When it came time for the family to go to church, Andrew
piled into the van with us. And sat with us through church. What
an encouraging and joyful moment.
Later, I had to laugh at myself. I always seem to approach
life with the attitude that I have to fix it. I have my own plan, my
own timetable and my own methods. And I’m sure they all give God a
good laugh. My prayer today is for patience for parents of rebellious
children. God has a plan for them.
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