Shaping a New Generation - Part 1
Deborah Judge | January 9, 2020
The perpetual human chain requires love and care above and beyond what we can imagine sometimes. Even if you’re not a parent, are unable to have children or have decided for reasons of your own not to become a parent, you still owe yourself to contribute to your generation and also up and coming generations. No one is an island. We owe ourselves to one another.
All children are the heritage of the Lord, whether they are yours or not. They require instruction not only by our words, but also by our actions. The example they see in us will speak louder and more effective to them than our words ever could. A key to the instruction of children is that we must teach them while their heart is tender.
Proverbs 22:6 says: “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old, he will not depart from it.” And Deuteronomy 4:9 says “Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children—"
This instruction must include every area of life. Valuable life experiences are not only for us but they are to be passed on to help shape the new generations.
When God commanded us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, he was serious. The command to love our neighbor as we love ourselves is found many times in the Bible. Not only does he tell us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, but he repeats this over and over again; it is that important to God. It is so important to God that he made it a command. And not just one in a list of many commands. Jesus joined together the command to love your neighbor as ourselves with loving God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Nothing is higher than that level of importance.
Let’s get this right. Loving our neighbor as we our ourselves isn’t always easy. As a matter of fact, it is easier said than done. This is why God had to elevate it to the same level of importance as loving him and ourselves. He knew we would struggle with that more often than not because we have a tendency to look out for number one and become satisfied with that. As long as we are happy and our needs are met, we disengage from other human beings. Loving others takes purposeful action; we must be very intentional about it. Even if this means we deny ourselves something we need or want but we put others first. This is why this aspect of our human obligation to ourselves and others must be taught and learned at a very early age. It doesn’t come naturally.
When the Bible says that something is a command, rest assured it is not a suggestion.
Unless children are trained in the virtues of life early in their lives, they move into their adult years without a sense of responsibility. They are unable to make mature individual decisions and they are unable to effectively create an accurate worldview.
To be continued…in part 2