Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Loaded Question

"As a parent when we see our children do wrong are we still not willing to stand by them and still love them?"

I answered the parent that wrote that very loaded question. That question arises often, though the circumstances change from family to family.  So, I decided to expand a bit here and share my thoughts.

The quick and easy answer is, "Yes. This is my child, forever and nothing can change that. I stand by them and love them, no matter what"

The factual answer is "As a parent, we never stop loving our child, but their actions can become painful for both of us.  If they do wrong, breaking man's law or God's, and turn away, living in danger or error, we cannot stand by and keep quiet." 

No matter how much we love our children, we can be faced with the same situation Christ was:

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! (Matthew 23:37 KJV)

There are times when a child does wrong and a parent's heart is broken because they have tried to gather and protect -- but the child will not listen to loving experience.

The Bible has the answer to the final question that person wrote, too, about how to know when something is wrong: "How do you figure that out?"

Through Bible study and prayer. Good verses are:

Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.  Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. (Matthew 7:16-20 KJV)

The Bible also tells us what those fruits are:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23 KJV)

It also tells us what is wrong and should not be done:

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21 KJV)

While it is true that there are parents that do not love their children (and for those children, my heart breaks), we all have a Father who loved us first (1 John 4:19), enough to die for us (John 3:16, John 12:27) and has taught us forgiveness (Matthew 18:35).

He has provided requirements as well as instructions on how to achieve those requirements.  When we fail to follow those instructions, there are consequences – also spelled out in His word.

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