Entitled or Instructed?

by | May 12, 2024 | 2024, Musings | 0 comments

Skipping through the channels last week, I stumbled on an episode of Dr. Phil dealing with an incredible 16-year-old. She was being raised by a single mother who had tons of money. The young girl had been receiving a couple thousand dollars a month for transportation, clothes, food and entertainment. She wanted, no, EXPECTED a humongous raise. She was insisting that her mom pay her $10,000 a month so she could “just get by.”

Now I realize that is an extreme example of an entitled child, but in my line of work (education), I do see an amazing display of young people (of all ages) who honestly believe that the primary role of their parents is to “give them what they want and need.”

Of course, that is not the message of the scriptures. In Deuteronomy 6, we are told to love the Lord with all our heart, soul and strength and then to impress those same commandments onto our children. In other words, we are to teach or educate our sons and daughters about spiritual things. That is our number one job. So how do we do that?

Consider the life of Susanna Wesley (1669-1742). She got married at 19 to an English pastor and they had 19 children. Nine of those kids died as infants. Her two sons, Charles and John Wesley became the distinguished leaders of the Methodist movement both in England and the United States. John was the great evangelist and Charles wrote some 5500 hymns and penned the words for another 2000 songs. We still sing many of them today!

With such remarkable children as her spiritual legacy, we might ask, “How did she do it?” She did it through intentional instruction. She educated her sons and daughters in spiritual matters. As each child turned 5 years of age, she saw to their formal education. They all studied at her feet 6 hours a day. She also saw that each boy and girl had personal time with her each week to discuss their own spiritual life.

In one of her letters, she remarked, “On Monday I talk with Molly, on Tuesday with Hetty, on Wednesday with Nancy and so on.” From before the children could read, they memorized the Lord’s prayer, a catechism and other portions of scripture. They prayed together every morning, every evening and at every meal. She was intentional about the spiritual instruction her children received!

Perhaps this is a good week to do a quick inventory of your own children and or grandchildren. Are they “entitled” or “instructed?”  What can you add to your busy life that emphasizes the scriptures and the spiritual demands the Lord has on all of us? How can you schedule time with each child to discuss their walk with the Lord? How can you support their efforts to serve Him?

Remember Deut. 6:6-7: “These commandments that I give to you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you get up.”



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