June 24, 2014

Proverbs 23:22 Listen to your father, who gave you life,
and do not despise your mother when she is old.

Generational frictions have been around since time immemorial, and they won’t go away before Christ’s return. Aristotle complained that the young people of his day were going to destroy civilization! That obviously didn’t happen, but there have indeed been many ups and downs in civilization and morality over the centuries. We are aware of Biblical instructions to parents to pass on the truths of God to their children, (Deuteronomy 6:7 and many more) but there are two sides to that, as there are to just about anything. As any parent will tell you, sometimes children just don’t listen! As Paul pointed out, the command to obey/respect your parents is “the first commandment with promise.” (Ephesians 6:2) That is something that changes in various ways over the years, but the central truth is always there. Breakdowns in society have almost always come from breakdowns in the home, and especially in the parent/child relationship. We cannot wave a hand and “fix” society, but neither are we to be apathetic. We need to stand firm for Biblical households, however politically incorrect that might be at the moment, and encourage those who are doing likewise. We, ourselves, must teach our children and respect our parents, if we hope to see improvements in society.

I was very blessed to have parents who were easy to respect, and who were intentional in teaching their children. I am likewise blessed to have children who listen to me, even when we have differing opinions. However, as a pastor I am constantly dealing with people who are suffering the fallout from broken relationships, and that calls for more wisdom that I possess in myself. I am to be patient and loving, but not fail to teach and admonish. Since I don’t have the wisdom for that, I’ve got to be consistent in seeking and following God’s wisdom for each situation. Left to myself, my best intentions can make things worse, but when I am faithfully obedient, miracles happen. Often I want to grab someone and “shake sense into them,” but that doesn’t work. Instead, I’ve got to pray and speak with the assurance that God can use even my words to accomplish His purposes, for His glory.

Father, I am surrounded by broken homes in many senses of the term. I ask You to use me in healing, so that the works of the devil may be destroyed (1 John 3:8) and people set free, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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