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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

once I was young, now I'm old

One of the things we often hear is “Oh, he’s just young. He’ll settle down.” One Christian sect even expects their young people to run wild for a while before they settle down and join the church, but the “Preacher” says, Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment. (Ecc. 11:9) No matter how accepted it is for young people to be wild and do their own thing, as the preacher says, let their hearts cheer them and walk after their own heart but even though it is accepted and even permitted, we must let our young people know that God will still judge them.

How much better it is to be raised in a family that teaches the babies from birth to obey and take joy is doing the will of God. We need to be conscientious about doing our job as parents. We tend to see ourselves as permanently, oh maybe “middle aged.” We are sensible enough to know that we cannot be “young parents” when we have children who are twenty-one and twenty-five; we just don’t like to see ourselves as getting old, but in God’s scheme of things, it is a very natural process. And how glorious it is to be able to have lived a life that has allowed us to grow in grace and be blessed with the wisdom that only a life for the Lord can give.

Now also when I am old and greyheaded, O God, forsake me not until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come. Psalm 71: 17-18
David asks of the Lord that he be allowed to live long enough to be a witness to his children for the wonderful power of God and the blessings He bestows. He has learned that through obedience, hard trials, and victories won. He describes himself as “old and greyheaded.” Many of us want to be able to carry that witness without that final part of growing old. We have bought in to America’s obsession of youth which finds no value in age. However we must be wise enough to understand that the only way our words can carry weight is when young people can look on us and see a long and godly life we have lived. There is no way to fake this. I have seen men and women on TV who stand professing to be strong witnesses of the gospel, but when we look at their personal lives we see selfishness, pride, greed and self-righteousness. In the long term, their words are empty.

We need to keep in mind that just as our parents had the blessing of being able to raise us in the bosom of the church and then go on to be our role models and to the ones we relied on for the power of their prayers, we have that same responsibility for our children. Our jobs don’t stop when we have prayed for our babies and raised them to walk close to God; we must go that final step and become—“old.” Only by doing that can we complete the full cycle and become the strong bastion of support for them that our parents have been for us.

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