Within thirty years, today’s infants will shape this nation’s character and moral convictions. As they mature, they are going to influence both the ethics and spiritual tone of their generation. Family dynamics will undoubtedly be a major force impacting who they will be, what they believe, and how they will live.
It is imperative that we take that responsibility seriously. Every child deserves the benefit of a stable home life, a family in which children can interact and mature. The home is their primary and most effective forum for growth. Character is not so much taught as it is caught. Parents will need to be “living models” the children can emulate. Some parents want to be their children’s “best friend,” but our children don’t need a “pal,” they need a parent!
Growing up has never been easy, but it is much easier with parents who are interested and involved. Our task is complicated by the fact that the family is under fire. The demand for unrestrained freedom and a disdain for law and order highlight the stresses facing our generation. Moral issues — the transgender phenomenon, the challenge to traditional marriage, abortion, and the pervasive influence of pornography — further complicate the task.
Our children, however, are not without hope. God has given them a special gift, something we call “parents.” They are responsible to exemplify those qualities necessary to a prosperous life, such as the concept of right and wrong. If our children capture the meaning of honesty, integrity, patience and self-control, in short, character, that will come from their parents. The next generation is going to be, not what we tell them, but who we are. The parents’ legacy will be found not in their wealth, accomplishments, or sphere of influence. Their legacy will be seen in the lives of their children.
A friend of mine boasted that he was delighted he had made no attempt to influence his children regarding “religious issues.” He left that, he said, up to them. That, to me, is unconscionable. God has been removed from the classroom and the Bible has been removed from our libraries. Where will our children discover truth if not from their parents. God may not be welcome as an authority figure, but our children’s future and the fate of our society hang in the balance.
God cares, and he is available to help wherever He is welcome. I agree with John and Paula Sandford. “It is with family relationships that [God] is building character and personality. The kind of character development that happens in the soul is [God’s] primary interest and purpose (Restoring the Christian Family), Location 134). Parents, your family needs you! it is time for responsible and aggressive leadership; it’s time to stand and be counted!