‘But his sons did not follow his ways. They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice.’ (v3) 1 Samuel 8:1–5
For many parents, their greatest concern is their children’s future. Be it education, the friends they hang out with or their spiritual development, the level of angst they can create is high. If the future is in God’s hands, our children’s future will not be a significant worry.
One problem is the fear many have of the way they might be judged within their church community. I served as a church leader for 18 years and can honestly say parents are not responsible for the decisions their children take. It is so very hard as a parent to release someone you have poured your love into for 18 years into a world you never feel they are adequately prepared to navigate.
On reflection, I was once that 18-year-old. I confidently left home without a backward glance. I made it, albeit with many mistakes I’d avoid if I had my time over again.
The second anxiety is our desire to see our children safe and secure in a faith-filled friendship with God. Sadly, here we can only act as a positive influence. The practical disciplines of prayer, Bible reading and service which our children observe in our own lives offer the best advertisement for the benefits of the Christian life. These are the creative ways we try to make sense of our faith to them as they grow up, together with the ongoing prayers of our loving, often wounded hearts. Always remember, God loves prodigals!
RELATED SCRIPTURE TO CONSIDER: Prov. 1:8–19; Mal. 4; Luke 15:11–32; Eph. 6:1–4.
AN ACTION TO TAKE: Find a way to ask your children about their faith journey – out of interest and not to check up on them.
A PRAYER TO MAKE: ‘Lord, may the seeds of faith planted in the lives of our children germinate and produce a harvest. Amen.’
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