ONCE A PARENT, ALWAYS A PARENT
It’s been great visiting our married children, their mates and their children. We’ve done a lot traveling since retirement. The older ones are in their early to mid thirties, married and raising children. The younger two are in their early twenties; 1 married recently and the other engaged. I vividly remember them young – how we’d play and laugh together. It was my responsibility to teach and raise them. That role is over and I’m trying to fulfill my current role as a parent. First, I have to define that role. It might seem I no longer have a role but that isn’t true. When I looked to my own father I realize he still had an important function in my life and so I do with my grown children. Roles change, but there always is a responsibility for a parent to fulfill. There is no retirement from parenthood.
When my sons were young my role was apparent: train, discipline, teach and raise them to be godly men. Now it’s a bit trickier to really pin down where I fit into their lives. I know a big part of it involves supporting and encouraging them, building them up and reassuring them they are doing a good job in life. Being a husband, father and young man can be quite a challenge for them. My goal isn’t to point out where growth still needs to take place but to affirm them where they have grown and to help them keep moving in the right direction. Daily prayer for them is a must. Giving them my blessing verbally speaks to them, and God honors it as well.
There are truths I still can teach my sons, but I think they teach me as much about life, love, faithfulness and being Godly men as I teach them. They have taken the baton I passed on to them and carried it far beyond where I was at their age and stage in life. I watch them function as men, husbands and fathers and I am very proud of them and humbled that God entrusted me with such fine, special young men. They bless and encourage me as much as I bless and encourage them. As I seek to set a good example for them, they also set a fine example for me. I thank God for them.
I thank God for being their father and for all the lessons I have learned through fatherhood. Above all else, it has helped me understand and appreciate my heavenly Father and how He relates to me.
Ps 89:26 He will call out to me, ‘You are my Father, my God, the Rock my Savior.
Isa 9:6 And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Gal 1:3-5 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Whom has God given you to influence and build into their lives? Thank God for them.
Do you still pray for them? What else can you do to help them?