Being a parent is a seemingly never-ending task. Children require attention all the time. They are worth all the trouble they put a parent though, but it is a big job.
One of the most frightening things for a parent is realizing a child is lost, even for a short time. Imagine a child being gone for an entire day before being missed. This happened to Joseph and Mary in the second chapter of Luke. They had traveled to Jerusalem to observe the feast of the Passover. This was a yearly trek that was made by the Jews. After the days of the feast were fulfilled, the family started back home.
There must have been quite a large number of people in the company that were making the journey, for Joseph and Mary failed to notice that Jesus was not with them. They had gone a day’s journey when they started looking for Jesus. Looking among family members and friends, they could not find him, so they went back to Jerusalem to look for the boy. After returning to Jerusalem, it took them a while to locate the lad. Luke records that after three days, they found him in the temple, sitting with the teachers asking and answering questions. Imagine their panic as they made the journey back to Jerusalem.
Joseph and Mary were not bad parents; they just got busy and thought they knew where their son was. There is a lesson in this account: Parents need to be aware of where their children are and what they are doing.
In the world today, there are so many things that are harmful to young people. Technology is a great thing, but when it comes to children parents need to know what and with whom their young people are communicating. Social media is OK, but parents need to instruct and police how it is used. Computers are great instruments to aid in learning, but they also can be misused. The plague of pornography is an epidemic.
Young people want freedom and privacy, and to a point, that should be respected. However, parents should be able to, without warning, check searches and emails. A recent news program showed how predators can lure young people to places they really do not want to go. If the proper explanation is given to young people, most of them will understand why parents need to be protective.
Parents also need to be concerned with young people’s spiritual well-being, for they can be lost not only in the physical sense, but also in the spiritual sense. They need to be taught about God and Jesus to show them that God has a right and wrong. Moral standards of society do not follow the teachings of God. In the Galatian letter, Paul talked about the works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19). Fornication and lasciviousness are accepted by many today, but parents who are concerned about their children’s souls will teach them that such things are not acceptable to God.
Young and old people all need Jesus in their life. It is by obeying the Gospel that one gets Jesus in their lives. Mary and Joseph just lost sight of Jesus for a little time. Parents, make sure you keep sight of your young people and that they keep sight of Jesus.