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Children and Parents

Richmond, Virginia, United States --- African American military father hugging family --- Image by © Ariel Skelley/Blend Images/Corbis

And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.” Malachi 4:6(ESV).

A friend of mine was preaching yesterday. His text was on John the Baptist. He made the connection between the verse in Luke 1:17 and the corresponding verse reference in Malachi given above. What struck me was something quite simple within this verse in Malachi.

I had never noticed before this aspect of Fatherhood. Something within said that there is a danger, where parents are too busy for their children, that it can have effects on the family and on the society both present and future. The sins of the parents will be visited on the children, a self-fulfilling prophecy for the people, with a curse as consequence for the land.

I talked to my wife about this thought and in reply, she mentioned an article in her magazine entitled something akin to: “How to be a mother in 60 minutes a day“. It raised the question in my heart “Why are we so keen to have families and yet not give them the priorities given in scripture?” Yes, we need money to live but at what a cost?

Jesus was keen to receive the small children, wants us to come to Him with the uncluttered and wholehearted faith of children. They are important to Him because they are just the same in spirit as those of us who are older, in a more capacious container. Why then is the bus-I-ness (ie. being too busy for too long) of work creating an acceptability of absenteeism that is in danger of consuming the society we hoped to grow and be a part of, where there is no space for more.

I think about my own parenthood. How has this been influenced by my history? How, in turn, am I influencing, have influenced, my children? How will this influence my children’s children?

Matthew 18:3 (ESV):- and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

PRAYER: LORD, I thank You that You do not treat us as our sins deserve because we come to You in the name of Jesus the Christ. Hallelujah!
LORD today, deliver us from this evil: being too busy for our loved ones. Thank You that You are never too busy for us. Grant that we may live a good example of what may be a right balance between worship, work and play in our lives.
LORD, You love the childlike simplicity of the Young. Heal those of us who have hurts and burdens that we carry with us which make us too busy to be able to care. Amen.


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