Tuesday, August 29, 2006

THERE IS NO ‘PLAN B’! part 1

These next two entries are especially designed for young mothers – those who can most profit from such exhortation. My heart goes out to those godly ladies whose children have gone off into the world. Their plight is one of the most difficult in human existence, and it is not at all my intention to increase their sorrow. Please accept my humble condolences for you during this difficult time, and recognize that for many, the battle is far from over.

Ps. 119:136 “Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they keep not Thy law.”

III John :4 “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.”

A father of several young adults recently took our family out to eat after church on Sunday night. We enjoyed a blessed time of fellowship, sharing blessings from the Lord and insights from Scripture. During the course of the evening, he began to talk with my sons, ages 18 and 16. I could tell that as he was speaking to them, hearing their aspirations to serve the Lord in full-time capacity, and noticing their fervency for the Lord, he began to get very excited. It was almost as though he had never seen a young person who truly wanted to serve God with his life. He seemed joyously surprised, and troubled at the same time. Unfortunately, two of his three children have gone out into the world, and, though one has “come back” (at least for now), the third may be already pointed that direction, though she has not graduated from school yet.

I was once asked by a missionary candidate what I “do” to “make my children turn out for God.” I thought briefly and told her very pointedly, “I think a good part of it may be because I have no Plan B. There is no other option for me.” (By the way, it’s not what we “do” that makes them turn out to serve God, it is what we are! But that’s another subject for another time.)

First of all, we must understand that if the Lord does not help us in child training, there is no Plan B – we MUST have His help! “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it…” “…for vain is the help of man.” All efforts of pointing children to God must begin with God. He is the One to give us the wisdom, guidance, patience and strength. To attempt to do God’s work without God’s help is foolish indeed. And so, having children has truly strengthened my prayer life – when I sense adverse attitudes or habits, I cry out to God on behalf of my child. Sometimes this must be accompanied by fasting. But my God is strong enough to help, and even change the situation, though many times He changes me first.

Many people seem to have a back-up plan. There is a plethora of written material on child training, from Dr. Spock to Dr. Brazelton, to Dr Phil, and none of it is the wisdom that descends from above. None of it is empowered by the Holy Spirit of God. So to try to raise a child with the world’s philosophies and practices and expect him to turn out for God is quite foolish indeed! “Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to choose the good and refuse the evil.” We simply cannot have a back-up plan of worldly advice and still raise children for the glory of God! We MUST have His help!! There is NO Plan B!

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