Monday, July 7, 2014

Our Children's' Heritage

By Bryan McAlister

    Creating a heritage for our children is essential. As parents, many are working toward the future with the welfare of our children in mind. It is a noble act to make provision for one’s family. In fact, for those who fail to provide for their families, they are rebuked sharply by the word of God; “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (I Timothy 5:8). The word provide as used by Paul in this passage, means to “take thought beforehand.” There are more things in this world that our families, that our children need, beyond the physical things of life. Our children, to truly be blessed by what we give them, need to know how to obey the Lord.
    Solomon learned many lessons about obedience to God through the “school of hard knocks.” He knew what it was like to forsake the Lord and turn away from obediently following him (I Kings 11:4). Solomon’s father had failed in his relationships with his sons in the past, but with Solomon, he tried to instruct him and lead him in a better way (II Samuel 18:33; I Kings 2:2-3). Solomon no doubt had carried the burden of guilt and regret, and to his son, he offered urgent words of warning, “My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commands” (Proverbs 3:1). As parents, as fathers, we should be storing up a heritage and an inheritance in our families and in the lives of our children, what it means to obey the Lord.
    We can truly be distracted through looking for and seeking out problems in the Lord’s church. It can be a drain on our hearts emotionally and spiritually if all we know about the church and the brotherhood world over are problems, controversies, and conflicts among the brethren. Letting this drive our purpose and perception of the church can be dangerous. However, denying that there are problems or those who would want to change the church is equally dangerous (Acts 20:28). Responsibility to the Lord, His blood bought church, and His truth, dictate we purpose our steps to follow only His (I Peter 2:22-23). No small part of that responsibility means that we teach our children about the Savior’s sacrifice for the church, His purpose for the church, and His identity of the church.
   Will our children know how to teach others of the impact of sin and the separation it creates between man and God? Will our children learn the way out of sin is not through a recited prayer or mere verbal request for Jesus to enter our lives? Will our children teach others that salvation is found through obedient faith, including belief, repentance, confession, and water baptism? Will our children worship God in spirit and truth, and understanding, free from any intervention of man? Solomon provides the answer. I hope you know, if we keep God’s law in our hearts as parents, and instruct our children, lovingly, consistently, and conscientiously, our children can anticipate, “length of days and long life and peace” (Proverbs 3:2).

- Bryan McAlister preaches for the Centerville Church of Christ, in Centerville, TN.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website:

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