I finished reading the chapter and I said aloud, "I love this chapter!" I don’t usually make a comment aloud after reading chapters in books. Nor, am I usually thinking that I "love" the chapter. This one was different.
The book is Sacred Parenting by Gary Thomas. I am teaching a Wednesday evening class at church in which we are basically reflecting on the book. (The book is not a "how to" for parents. Rather, it discusses how God uses parenting to form us more into into his image.) Anyway, I was reading a chapter entitled, "A Very Boring Chapter in the Bible (That Can Change Your Life Forever). Thomas makes reference to Genesis 5 in which the reader is given "a litany of numbers and outdated names". (p. 154) Thomas discussion centers around the one thing that we all have in common: "we will die, and our descendants will carry on." He says that most of what we spend our time worrying about will not be remembered by the next generation.
Former President Lyndon B. Johnson is quoted as saying to his biographer two days before his death (1973):
I’ve been reading Carl Sandburg’s biography on Lincoln and no matter how great the book’s supposed to be, I can’t bring Lincoln to life. And if that’s true for me, one president reading about another, then there’s no chance the ordinary person in the future will ever remember me. No chance. I’d have been better off looking for immortality through my wife and children in turn instead of seeking all that love and affection from the American people. (p. 155)
So what matters on this earth? The faith that I pass on to my children. That faith is passed on relationally as I love my children and love and honor their mother.
- I have time to listen to my children–even when I am tired or thinking about doing something else.
- I will take the initiative to connect with my children. For the oldest, that will mean calling her to check on her day (she is on a spring break mission trip). For the youngest, that will me checking in with her when she gets out of school.
- I will pray for my children. Not just that they will be happy, safe, secure, and all that. I will pray God will do whatever he wishes to create in them a heart for the Father.
Now this will make today really matter.