From time to time, Lisa and I talk about what we are leaving the kids after we shuffle off this “mortal coyle.” There’s the silverware, the china, the vehicles, and the framed autographed picture of Walter Payton. We hope that there is enough money to help pay off their mortgages, or their car payments, or to help put the grandkids through college. These are the kinds of discussions that all parents have from time to time. The question is, “Are there things that we can “leave” to our children that are of far more importance?”
The writer of Proverbs said, “Train up a child in the way that he should go and he will not depart from it when he grows old.” There are things that we should pass on to our kids which are much more important. One starting point would be Aristotle’s Twelve Virtues which include: Courage, Perseverance, Honesty, Friendliness, Justice, and the list goes on. And while each of those is important there is something far more important and that is FAITH.
If one takes the time to read the Bible one discovers quickly that God sees the family as the foundation of creation. Parents have the God given responsibility of nurturing, loving, disciplining, and caring for their children. But more important than all of that is FAITH.
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life”. If we take the time, the responsibility, and the privilege of teaching our children the FAITH, that Jesus is the WAY, they will not depart from it when they are older.
Teaching the faith is not just dropping them off for Sunday School, confirmation, and VBS but it includes worshipping together as a family. It includes parents taking the time to share their faith with their children. We give our children all kinds of information, why not take the time to tell them: “Why God is important to you. How Jesus Christ has affected your life. Why faith is important to you.
In the film “The Black Panther,” the father tells his son, “A good parent will prepare his children for his death.” The father then says, “Have I been a good father?”
When they take you out to the cemetery the money you left your children, the other material things you left your children won’t mean much at all in dealing with your death. What will get them through is the FAITH. The sure and certain hope of the resurrection. These are the things which really matter. These are things which will take your children from despair to hope at your death. Have you been a good parent?