Sunday, June 6, 2010

A Prayer for Parents

As parents we try to impress upon  our children the importance of carefully considering the choices that they make.  Whether you emphasize the will of God, common sense, ethics, or example, Decisions 101 is an important class in a child's upbringing.  Universally, the more life-altering the decision, the more carefully it must be considered.  The role of a parent is to slowly condition children to make the correct decision, sometimes, by allowing them to make the wrong one and suffer the consequences.  Not an easy task.  It is instinctive to protect our children, to dive into harm's way that they may trot off unscathed and happy.  It is a conscious decision for a parent to allow a child to be disappointed, regretful, even hurt for the purpose of maturing them, the greater good.

Almost every day, I am struck by society's frantic attempts to reverse bad decisions.  Divorce, abortion, lawsuits, rehabilitation, even religion.  Don't misunderstand, the right counsel can put you on the path to a healthy and happy life; rehabilitation for addiction can be a godsend for those who truly wants to be helped.  The healing and renewal that takes place when we submit to the One and Only God is beyond earthly comprehension.  But, today's headline makers seem to use treatment as a way to reinvent public image or a truckling display of abject remorse, remorse for the discovery of evil deeds rather than commission of them.  Today's society can find a hundred different ways to unteach our children the very thing we struggle to teach them: There are consequences, and those consequences can be painful and permanent.

Abortion removes the consequences of careless sex.  Stem cell research removes the stigma of abortion.  A small donation to stem cell research can remove the ugliness of greed and disreputable business practices.  Raising the bar for all the Joneses of the world eliminates the concept of greed, excess and thievery when "everybody has it" or "everybody's doing it." And corporate bailouts allow those at the top to continue to raise the bar.  There is nothing that can't be undone with a pill, a signature on a piece of legislation, an appeal, a winning lottery ticket, or the right words.  Society lives in fear of regret, entrepreneurs capitalize on that fear, and countless ways are invented to release us from the guilt God gave us in order to turn us to Him.  But, as we try to teach our children, that release is but a temporary fix; sooner or later, we all face the music.  Sooner or later ALL will be called to account for the things they've done in this life -- a concept that convicts as well as comforts.

Parents, pray for your children.  Friends, pray for the parents you know.  And, whatever we are teaching our children today, let's pray our examples walk hand-in-hand with our words.
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