Wednesday, June 17, 2020
It’s not too late to make a change. Dads sometimes feel like they have wasted too many years of training their children and it’s too late to change. Human psychology tells us that the thought patterns that dictate a child’s behavior may be ingrained by the time they are four years old. Correction and change become a battle rather than a blessing. Many times we give up and stop trying.
The writer of the 78th Psalm, Asaph, gives us hope to keep investing in the lives of our children. The Psalm begins this way –
Psalm 78:1-4 Give ear, O my people, to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth! I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old, things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders that he has done.
The first principle of good child-rearing is to lay in them the foundation of being in awe of God. We do that by modeling to them that we are in awe of God’s glory, His power, and His wondrous deeds on our behalf.
The second principle of raising great kids is found in the next few verses. It is that we should teach our children to be obedient to God.
Psalm 78:5-7 He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments;
Then, in a sudden burst of reality, Asaph recognizes that the behaviors of the past were not healthy and need to be changed. The fathers were not modeling to their children a humble spirit of obedience to God. They were, in fact, being rebellious against God by doing things their own way.
Psalm 78:8 …that they should not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not steadfast, whose spirit was not faithful to God.
Principle number three is this – be the model of self-sacrifice for the sake of God’s glory and the benefit of others.
I challenge you to read the rest of this lengthy Psalm as Asaph describes the types of rebellion that will happen when these three principles are ignored. The consequences are severe. But find hope in this – God is at work to accomplish change in rebellious people. He has provided a Shepherd who loves us, forgives us, and restores us. (see the end of the Psalm)
Be the representative of the Good Shepherd to your family.