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Raising Godly Children

DougHornok family

 

Dear Precious Saints of MBC,
 
I trust you are doing well and looking forward to this coming Lord's day  
I'm writing this at my oldest son's home in Michigan. Earlier this morning, two of my sons left with their families to drive back to Oklahoma and Colorado where they live.   Everyone but me went back to bed.  Connie and I fly home tomorrow.   
Since last weekend we've been together as a family. Covid-19 changed our original plans, so we met together at my son's home. Fortunately for us his home is big enough to house all 26 of us comfortably, and there was plenty to do!  
As I write this, I realize how truly blessed Connie and I are to have children who are walking with and serving the Lord.  They all have solid marriages and healthy children who are proving to be a great joy and blessing. Even though they are grown and gone, they still occupy a major portion of our prayers - both day and night - because we love them greatly.  Sadly, that is not the experience of some. One of the saddest verses in the Bible is found in 1 Samuel 8:1: "Now, it came to pass that when Samuel was old that he made his sons judges over Israel.... But his sons did not walk in his ways; they turned aside after dishonest gain, took bribes, and perverted justice" (1 Samuel 8:1-3).
Scripture mentions very few PKs ("prophets' kids")  who turned out well.
When the toddler Samuel was growing up in the tabernacle, the sons of High Priest Eli were breaking his heart. "Now the sons of Eli were corrupt; they did not know the Lord" (1 Samuel 2:12).  Those with the stomach for this sort of thing can read for yourself what they were doing in that chapter.  "Therefore the sin of the young men was very great before the Lord, for men abhorred the offering of the Lord" (2:17).
Eli is not spared his share of the blame for their actions, for the Lord said the high priest was honoring "your sons more than Me" (2:29).
Eli's sons met an untimely death and brought great sorrow to Israel for generations.
Think of David's children, particularly Amnon, Absalom, and Solomon.  Not exactly role models. Then again, with his multiple wives and concubines, David's home life was not exactly conducive to rearing Godly offspring.
As for the Old Testament prophets, we are not given enough information on their children to make any generalizations or draw conclusions.  Same with the apostles.
However, based on the three mentioned above-the children of Eli, Samuel, and David-we might conclude:
One: There are no guarantees.  Even the finest parent can see his child become a prodigal.  If that's happened to you, stop beating yourself up!
Two: It's an uphill battle.  Being called of God to live out His directive in a fallen world is no easy task.  What's more, this world is no friend or ally to raising Godly children!  More often than not, our culture will be pushing and pulling children in a direction they ought not be going!  
Three: The occasions when the children become solid and faithful is the result of the grace of God, and - in my opinion - often most of the credit belongs to the matriarch of the family!  The older I become, the more I see my failures and shortcomings.  Any success I have is because of God's grace and mercy.   
In this fallen world, bringing children up in the fear and nurture of the Lord to become faithful disciples of Jesus Christ will not happen easily, naturally, or accidentally.  
 
This past week with my family has been a powerful reminder of God's goodness and grace.
 
See you this Sunday online!
 
In the light of His glory and grace,
 
Pastor Doug