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Sunday, September 8, 2013

A short devotional from Billy Graham

"Apart from religious influence, the family is the most important unit of society. It would be good if every home were Christian, but we know that it is not so. The family and the home can never exert their proper influence while ignoring the biblical standard. The Bible calls for discipline and a recognition of authority. If children do not learn this at home, they will go out into society without the proper attitude toward authority and law. There is always the exceptional child, but the average tells us that the child is largely what the home has made him. The only way to provide the right home for your children is to put the Lord above them, and fully instruct them in the ways of the Lord. You are responsible before God for the home you provide for them."

Walt and I made many mistakes. At the beginning, one of them was raising our children to "be good" mainly for the approval of other people, tho' we weren't conscious of it for many years. We wanted to look good to others and my husband greatly feared that his children would turn out like many pastors' kids-"holy terrors." I greatly feared that they would not grow up to be the Christian citizens I was trying to make them, because I so often failed at consistent discipline.  Another great mistake and sin was to not give them our full attention when they needed to tell us something that was important to them. We often neglected to spend quantity and quality time with them-- both are truly important! We didn't always 'put the Lord above them' as we should have, but He has forgiven us and shown us His unconditional love. In the long run (37 years since our wedding) God has shown Himself to be truly gracious and faithful to work in their hearts , and to cover over our mistakes. They are tremendous blessings to us, not the least of which is delighting in their humor, and enjoying them as adults.  God is in the business of sanctifying and convicting and blessing, and we are so humbled by His kindness shown to us by His work in them.  How thankful we are for those Gifts!  If a Christian home can truly be loving and talk about His grace, as His children, often referring to the Bible as our standard, He will do the deeper work in the hearts of those given to erring parents.  I want to  encourage parents to teach them two foundational principles, and they would be to ~Love God and Love others.