Saturday, January 24, 2009

On Character Development

I have eight kids. And God has charged me with the responsibility to see that each of them grows up in the faith, and that they learn to love Him with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength, and to love their neighbours as themselves. I am responsible for the shaping of their thinking, so that they can grow up and pass on the faith to their children.

And what disaster could come in the world if I fail in any one of these eight instances! It is a common theme in the Bible to see a man pursue godliness himself, but then be followed by children who unravel everything he knitted, because he didn’t teach and train and discipline his children well. One prostitute or one atheist or thief or adulterer, one undiscerning pop musician among them, and the pure light and strength of Jamie Soles music will be tainted in the eyes of many people. “He taught others, let him teach himself!” they would say.

Given the pitfalls and dangers which lie in my path, now ask me if I am worried about this. NO!

If we go thru any particular day and ask ourselves at the end of it what we accomplished in terms of character development today, our usual answer may range from “Not much…” down to “Nothing”. But I read a saying a couple weeks ago that stuck in my mind, and it is worth thinking about… “People overestimate what they can accomplish in a day, and underestimate what they can accomplish in a decade.”

Someone once described the development of the kingdom of God as “A series of triumphs disguised as disasters.” It may appear that we are failing, but we keep on doing what we know God wants us to do, plugging away believing in His promises, and it seems to me that God will honor this kind of faith with children who are obedient to Jesus. God wants me to honor Him, and acknowledge Him in all my ways, and over the long term He will bring about what He has promised.