I enjoy seeing them be like me in some ways, but then I also see that they are developing some of my negative traits as well. I have to constantly struggle with procrastination(why do today what can be put off til tomorrow, besides if Jesus comes back tonight I won’t have to do it at all), over sleeping(They wouldn’t put a snooze on the alarm if you were not supposed to use it 10 or 15 times), being easily distracted from my work(I’m sorry, I got distracted and forgot to put an example in here), a degree of OCD type characteristics (Doesn’t everyone alphabetize their M&M’s and Skittles according to color and then eat them orderly), and a temptation toward eating way too many things that are not good for me(you know chocolate covered strawberry ice cream will get your dairy, fruit, and chocolate groups in one thing, chocolate is a food group, right?). There are probably a hundred more I could list (and my OCD part really wants to do it and then rearrange them either in alphabetical order or in order from least bad to worst) but I’ll do that later(It is tough to really be good at OCD when you are a procrastinator like me). 9:45 - Sorry, where was I? Let me just read this paragraph and wait a minute, I need a snack. 9:47 - That’s better, hold on I have something else I have to do real quick, won’t take a minute. 10:31 - Ok, I’m back, told you it wouldn’t take a minute. It never does. It always takes 30 minutes or an hour and half the time I forget what I was doing before I got side-tracked. It shouldn’t surprise me that my kids have some of these same struggles.
As a father, I know that I will influence my children. Consciously, unconsciously, intentionally and unintentionally, by my presence or my absence, when I don’t think they are paying attention, when I don’t want them to be paying attention, by the things I say and do, by the things I don’t say and don’t do, in ways I expect and ways I don’t expect: I will affect their lives for the rest of their lives. I want to do everything I can to purposefully change their lives and guide them, and give them a good example to follow. I don’t want to drift aimlessly along hoping they will catch some good things. The old adage: ‘More is caught than is taught’ is not really true because we are teaching all of the things that are caught, just not deliberately.
In Luke 14:28-30 Jesus said, "For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? (29) Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, (30) Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish." Now I know he was talking about being a disciple, but the principle that applied to building a tower and to following Jesus can apply to so many situations in life. We need to apply it to child rearing. Too many times we get things out of order. Instead of ready, aim, fire we often do fire, ready, aim or some other combination. The cost is not always financial. Time, energy, pride, selfishness, dreams, etc. may all have to be sacrificially spent to build a child’s life in a way that will please the Lord. It is not necessarily hard work to raise children, but it is definitely hard work to train them up in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6) and bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). With a building project you can abandon it if it gets to be more than you can handle, and some people do the same with their marriages, families, and children. But these things are so much more important than a house or a bridge or any physical construction project. Everything built by mankind from the beginning of time will be destroyed, but those precious souls will live eternally and it is our charge to build them so that they can reach the right destination. Get back to work on the building project God called you to oversee.