On Saturday evening I stumbled upon this verse:
May our sons in their youth be like plants full grown,
our daughters like corner pillars cut for the structure of a palace. Psalm 144:12
This is what I noticed.
Our sons in their youth should be like full grown plants. In their youth, our sons should provide like a full grown plant provides food for a family. In their youth, our sons should already have a maturity and a focus to provide for their family.
Our daughters, likewise, should be strong enough to hold up the home in their youth. They should be pillars of strength, strong enough to hold true even when winds blow and the rains come. Some pillars maintain their stature after thousands of years, and this is what the writer of Psalms dreams for his daughters in their youth.
My goal as a parent is to raise my children to be responsible. As much as my selfishness aches for my children to constantly need me (and they do right now), my job as a parent is to raise them so they do not need me, so they can stand on their own in every way. I believe this is supposed to happen sooner rather than later.
My goal as a parent is to raise my children to know the LORD...now. I don't want to wait for them to acquire this knowledge on their own. I take ownership of their spiritual maturity because more than any other dream I have for my children whether it be a vast education, marital bliss, professional success, or the scientific discovery of cancer's cure, I want my children to know their creator, to bow in humble thanks at their Savior's feet.
I believe this can happen in my children's youth. I pray it can. The choice is theirs to hold the hand of Jesus or to hold the hand of the world, but as long as I have breath I will love, I will pray and I will lead them toward the Savior. I have witnessed the other option, and I plead with the Lord daily that my children avoid it.
When Christ is the goal, then the sewing of wild oats is never acceptable. It may happen, but should not be the common accepted norm among Christians. We should aim higher for our children. They are worth the effort. We will set our children on the path of success in many ways, right? We force them to get up for school. We sign them up for every athletic endeavor. We encourage them to love God and country in scouts. We aim for our kids to be good people, good athletes, good students, and good loyal patriots. Do we aim for them to be spiritually mature...in their youth.
The psalmist would suggest that in their youth children can do strong amazing things. I hope and pray that the path I set my children on leads them to become pillars and full grown plants in their youth rather than consumers and pleasure seekers expecting the world to provide all needs. I hope and pray that the path I set my children on leads them to seek God above all else because He IS the provider of all things.
Father, protect my children. Please give me the words and wisdom to train my children in your ways. I cannot do this on my own. My failures discourage me. My inadequacies silence me. Give me the strength to reveal your love to my children. Please give my children the courage to love you in their youth.