When I was growing up, like many of you, we were what I considered poor. We primarily wore hand-me-downs. At Christmas, we unwrapped one special present and then some type of new clothes – always underwear and socks.
I remember wanting to get sick because only then would I be able to drink a soda. 7UP was purchased to settle the stomach.
The general population during my father’s generation had even less to offer their children. He told me the best Christmas he can remember was when each child received an apple, an orange and a few sticks of candy. Most Christmases passed with no gift-giving at all. During the year, there were no trips to the mall and no video games to play with or purchase. I think it is only natural to want more for our children than we had, but there is a danger in spoiling them and them not seeing the value of hard work and responsibility.
I would hope what we want for our children is that they get a good education, find a good job and find the right spouse. I would hope we would want them to be responsible and have a caring family that provides for each other’s needs. In our present economy, there are concerns for what kind of world they are going to live in.
As I think about all of this, I would hope all of these earthly things would take a backseat to the spiritual side of things. I would hope parents would have as their No. 1 concern the relationship their children have with God. I would hope their salvation would be the No. 1 priority.
One way to help is to ask the Lord to help us be the examples we should be. After all, most children follow in their parents’ footsteps. We need to set the example first and foremost by making a decision to be a Christ follower, and then be an example by faithfully attending a place of worship. We need to be an example in our daily habits of prayer and Bible study, as well as giving and ministering to others.
May the Lord be our helper as we struggle to be the best parents we can be, and may we lift up in prayer continually those he has entrusted to us.