(Proverbs 23:26) My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.
There is an old adage, “Give him an inch, and he’ll take a mile.” I want you to take this thought and instead of pointing it at someone else, apply it to yourself. Yet not, are you “taking a mile,” but instead, are you “giving an inch”? In particular, where children are concerned.
We are the example for the younger generation, and we’ve been lax as adults, both on the whole and as parents specifically, to do and say the right things. Shame on us! If we give an inch, they don’t know better but to take a mile.
As example, I watched a television program over the weekend that takes a group of troubled teens, some as young as twelve, into the jail system and shows them what it’ll be like to be incarcerated. One boy in particular tugged at my heart. He was living with his grandmother, both parents being out of the picture, and had six sisters, all with different fathers. Now, I don’t know more of their story than that, but could not help but think, “No wonder he’s so confused.”
God loves everyone, regardless of race or gender or ethnicity. His forgiveness is for any who seek it and free of charge to whoever asks. He loves that boy as much as He loves that boy’s parents and siblings. But somewhere in his life, someone dropped the ball and didn’t provide him with the stable, godly example he needed.
Our children’s failures are our fault. If we don’t make the point of dotting all the i’s and crossing all the t’s where their lives are considered, the inch we leave will become a gulf they can’t cross. We as Christians are also to blame. We haven’t stood up for godly principles, said, “This is right, and that is wrong,” through our neglect, leaving our young ones to draw their own conclusions.
Our job, and a sign of our love, is to give, not condemnation, but discipline and correction. This is scriptural: For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth. (Pr 4:12)
Too many parents don’t want to “get onto” their son or daughter out of their own discomfort or embarrassment. But our discomfort and embarrassment will eventually become far more than we can handle. We must talk about the issues prevalent in our world and outline for our children what God says on the matter - definitively. We provide the guidelines.
Because when all is said and done, children obey their parents when they find in them who they want to become. Not as robots or replicas, but individuals with consciences created by loving hands. Tenderhearted, willing to learn, and dedicated to what mom and dad said … not because of who we are, but because of who God is in us.
Suzanne D. Williams
Suzanne Williams. Author
Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.