The following post was written by Gary Balsar. Gary is a husband, father, grandfather and Christ follower. He and his wife attend our Blount Campus, where they serve in Groups ministry and fpKIDS. He is an inventor, author and is currently the President of Lofty Vision. His blog site Thoughts of a Dreamer can be found at http://garybalsar.blogspot.com.
Submitted by Mia Hannahs, Blount campus fpKIDS Director
Zechariah 1:4 Zechariah told the people, “Do not be like your forefathers because God said, ‘Turn from your evil ways and evil practices. But they would not pay attention to me. Where are they now?’”
Giving wise counsel to our children is tough, at best. As children of our parents, we have learned habits and styles that people recognize as “family traits”. It might be a speaking style of using the same phrase to express a point.
For instance, my Mom always used the phrase, “That’ll be fine.” We learned that she was not going to go against what was suggested, but rather go along with the group decision. In her last years, we found out that she was not necessarily going along with the group, but rather said that phrase to get us from pressing her to make a decision. Then she would do as she pleased.
It was not until we were at her memorial service that we realized that was one of the “little things” she had left us. What I never realized was that our entire family has adopted that phrase. Even our granddaughters uses the “That’ll be fine” phrase.
In our lives we adopt habits and beliefs because of our parents influence. On more than one occasion, I have told my children to remember my good traits such as my continuing relationship with Christ, but to forget the times they experienced or saw in me destructive habits. Keep the good and throw away the bad.
Zechariah opens this book by telling the people of Israel to come back to the Lord and to rebuild the Temple. Their parents had turned from the Lord and decided to stop rebuilding the Temple, and as a result, became spiritually apathetic. Fifteen years later their children had an opportunity to finish the job. It was Zechariah’s task to encourage the people and give them hope. What are our children learning from us?
Each generation strives to be different from their parents. Yet when we look back on the memories of our lives, we then discover what our parents and grandparents have passed on to us.
Think about the little things your parents have passed on to you. I think you’ll find out it is more than a recipe or a photo album. Make sure you continue to teach your children that the Lord is the most important part of your life.
Do more than tell them. Show them in your prayer time at meals, study and devotional time, and in every action that we should reflect the love of the Lord for everyone, even our enemies.
It’s a tall order but our children’s future is at stake.