Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Like Father, Like Son

Last night at Merced, I spoke to a group of men from Valley-area churches about how Isaac copied the example of his father, Abraham. You remember Abraham's propensity to skirt the truth when questioned about the identity of his wife, Sarah (see Genesis 12.10-13 and 20.12). When Isaac reached adulthood and married Rebekah, he copied his father's protocol, claiming Rebekah wasn't his wife but his sister (see Genesis 26.1-2, 7).

Where'd he learn that little white-lie trick? From his daddy.

For the last nine years, I have been engaged in the most difficult challenge/responsibility of my life...parenting. The challenge of raising children toward maturity who love the Lord and shun evil is a challenge.

Recently, in an email exchange with a parent, I was comforted and encouraged.

Our kids love the Lord, but have different approaches and challenges. I have come to understand, I mean REALLY understand, that God has allowed us to parent some wonderful, but not perfect, children. We share and feel so much joy with their successes, and grieve terribly with their mistakes.

The ride is frightening at times. I want to know the end of the story. Will they be OK? Will our children get through these difficult years and come out the other side whole and able to help others through their experiences?

I think so, but the fact that I can't control the situation is scary. So, we hang on for the ride, pull in every resource we can, provide all of the support we know how, and pray. This may sound shocking but its honest. If I had known how difficult and scary parenting would be, I probably wouldn't have gone down that road. But, we're in it and God is getting us through it. He gave us these children because He knew we could lead them back to Him. We'll work toward that end as long as we live.

Is it just me or is that not an honest assessment of Parenting, circa 2007?

To look into the face of the scary, difficult responsibility of raising godly children...and accepting that challenge is inspiring and encouraging to me. Amidst the challenges of parenting -- notwithstanding some of the less-than-stellar examples like Abraham that rise from the pages of Scripture -- I am grateful this morning that God is my "Father." And as such, God my Father shows me by Word and deed, in his handling of me, what a perfect Father is.

Would to God that I was to my children what my Heavenly Father always is to me!