October 23, 2010

The Happy Man

"Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate." (Psalm 127:5, KJV)

This message could be considered a belated Father's Day message, but I couldn't wait until 2011 to write about the happy man who has many children. Recent events have caused me to ponder about this matter. You could say, three little blessings arrived quite suddenly in our home and that made me stop and take in the reality of parenthood. You see, any man can sire a child. But, it takes more than a hombre to raise a child, let alone into a godly one. From where I stand as a father, the view is a long one, arcing over the next meal, bedtime stories, prayers, and scraped knees and into the eternal question: What kind of child do I want him to be? Parenthood is a lifelong state of existence because you never stop being a parent; you never stop hoping the best for them; you never give up in believing that things will be better for them; and on and on and on. It never stops. This isn't a complaint; it's a fact of life.

There's a song by Randy Travis that clearly points out what the parent, the father in particular, has to face:

"I’ll provide for him,

Walk beside of him,
I am strong enough.
'Cause it's time he knew
What a son can do
With a father's love:

He could change the world."

[from "Raise Him Up" lyrics found in "Rise and Shine" album, released: Oct 15 2002 ]

Because children are a heritage from the Lord (Ps. 127:3), they are not ours to keep. We are simply their stewards. So, if children are a gift of the Lord, what are we to do with them?

1. We are to teach them who God is. Gen. 1:1; Ps. 139:14-16
2. We are to teach them about God's Law. Deut. 6:1-9; Exo. 20:1-17
3. We are to discipline them. Prov. 22:6, 15; Eph. 6:4
4. We are to teach them about Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Jn. 1:1-4; Jn. 14:6

These are just a few Scriptures I'm quoting. There's more to be sure because God's Word is a treasure and inexaustible.

If you have children and you are not training up your kids according to God's Word, you will be called to account your time with them when you meet God, assuming you're a born again believer. If you're not, then you've got an entirely different problem; that is, you are spiritually dead and in need of salvation through Jesus Christ. Applying the principles of the Bible will not get you anywhere with God unless you are born again (John 3:3,5).

One final thought: Training up a child is NOT easy. It requires a strong commitment to God, placing faith in His awesome grace, and involves a lot of prayer, especially as they grow older and began exercising their will. There will be a lot of things you will not like in their choices, but take heart that they will have the Word of God in them. Once they become adults, they are out on their own and will have to live with the consequences of their choices. My heart goes out to those parents who have wayward adult children who have walked away from God. My only advice to you is to keep your faith and know that what is impossible for man is possible for God (Luke 18:27). Happy is the man whom the Lord blesses with children!

See here for more information: The Plan of Salvation

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