Christians Gathered and Sharing Theirs Lives Together

A daily devotion for April 16th

The Basics

My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity.

Proverbs 3:1-2

Every child needs to know two basic things: First, he needs to know that he is loved, accepted, and appreciated. Children need to know it first from their parents, and then gradually that love also comes from God, and that God loves them, and is desirous to build them into the kind of people which they themselves would like to be. All that we are to be doing as parents is simply reduplicating what God does with us. We are his children. And the basis on which we began with God was that of love. The glory of the conversion experience is to discover that God loves you, that he has given his Son for you. That is what makes the moment of regeneration so unforgettable — it breaks upon us that God loves us. This is the first dawning glory of our Christian lives. We realize that we are in the family of God and that we belong to him. And this, more than anything else, is what a child ought to feel in his home.

The second great basic need for instruction in the home, which parents must supply, is that children need to know that all their life long they are going to require wisdom and guidance beyond themselves. Life is too big for any of us to handle by ourselves. And we never become competent to handle life, apart from the help provided from some other source. It is obvious that this help comes primarily from parents at first. They are to provide the guidance and the wisdom. They are to help their children make decisions and to show them the basis on which decisions are to be made. But, very early, they are to begin to indicate to the child that ultimately he will leave the home, and that then he is no longer to depend upon his parents, that they are not going to make all the decisions for him all his life, but that gradually he is being fitted to go out and to depend on another source for the wisdom he needs, and that is God.

This second thing arises out of the fundamental fact about life which we must always bear in mind when we are dealing with parents or children, which is that we are fallen creatures. We don't have that perfect response which was originally intended for man toward truth and falsehood. Truth comes at us distorted and twisted. Falsehood appears to us to be true when it isn't. There are urges within us which will destroy us, if allowed to express themselves. So we have to recognize this fact and help our children understand what the Scriptures teach about how to handle failure and guilt. What people learn in many churches is simply more condemnation, and the ground for greater guilt is laid. But the Scriptures help us to understand that God has made provision for this. He understands our fallen character, and he has done something about it. And in the simple step of coming to the place of admitting that something is wrong, facing it and not running from it, not justifying it, not excusing it, there is then the possibility of accepting the forgiveness of God's grace and the restoration which enables us to go on in life fully accepted, fully loved in every way.

Father, thank you that in your relationship with me you treat me just as you want me to treat my children, and that you have made provision for my failure, so that I can take even these and lay them back into your hands, and you will use them. Amen.

Life Application

Do I show my children the love of God, and can they see his forgiving grace at work in my life?

This Daily Devotion was Inspired by one of Ray's Messages

What Every Child Should Know

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