As my wife Miriam and I contemplated having children, we grappled to formulate our strategy for raising them. In my experience as a professional educator, I saw how fragile and easily broken children are. Unfortunately, children come with neither an owner’s guide or an operator’s handbook!
Several core beliefs emerged to guide us.
Foundational is the unshakeable belief that children are a gift. The Almighty made no mistake when He gave us our four children, or the two grandchildren now living with us. Each is an invaluable treasure, a gift from Heaven, specially chosen by the Almighty and perfectly suited for us, the parents (grandparents) to whom they are given! Each is a special delight and blessing; each draws out the best and the worst in us.
More than a gift, children are our inheritance bequeathed to us by our
Father that we in turn prepare for our grandchildren. Our thinking must expand beyond ‘us-four-and-no-more‘ to encompass grandchildren and even great-grandchildren. Stories our children tell of their experiences growing up become treasured memories passed down through several generations. Family is ‘multi-generational‘.
Family, not material possessions, is true wealth.
Jesus told a parable about a master who entrusted his wealth to his three servants–five ‘talents’ to one, two to another, and one to the third. A prosperous man and astute in business, his was not a haphazard distribution–he knew exactly what each servant was capable of. The amount assigned to each was just beyond his comfort level but within reach of his potential. The assignment deliberately tested each servant’s mettle.
In like manner, the Almighty assigns our children. Knowing everything about us, and about our children, and being the astute Master that He is, the Almighty believes we are precisely the mentors our children need for unique positions of influence, power and blessing that will enhance His business and His brand (the Kingdom of God displayed in righteousness, peace and joy).
We can, like the prodigal, squander our inheritance by neglect or abuse. On the other hand, we can take up the challenge like the two faithful servants in Jesus’ parable. Upon receiving their allotted ‘talents’, they invested time, energy and acumen developing what was given them. They presented their master 100% return on his endowment.
As we invest time, energy and wisdom gained through experience, our children surpass our accomplishment in life. Our Master is well-pleased with the return on His investment. As in the parable, great reward is meted to us for our faithfulness.
Adapted from HOME-SCHOOL: WHY BOTHER? (available on Amazon and Kindle)
Parables: (Matthew 25:15-30) (Luke 15:11-24)