Remember that first new car you got? Or maybe it wasn’t even brand new but it was yours! You polished it and shined it and put protectant on the seats. You got out the owner’s manual and studied it, learning just how to properly care for every detail. You learned all about maintenance. And you followed all the instructions. You might have even splurged a little on some great “optional” goodies to make it look and run just right. But how many of us were diligent to continue such behavior? After a few years did that door ding grieve you the way the first one did? Or did you just think, “oh well, it’s getting older”. What if that car was really valuable and you were going to give it to your beloved grandfather when it reached a certain age. Then would you be a little more careful? Would your outlook change? Instead of just caring for it for the moment, would you be concerned with a long-term purpose?
You know our children are like that car. We get all excited when that new baby comes. We dedicate them to the Lord and promise to be diligent parents. But that newness soon wears off. And by the time they are approaching young adult status they might have a few “dings” here and there. It seems to be a losing battle to continue doing the right thing. Especially if we have to suffer a little persecution for it. When friends and family want to call us “over-protective” and “over-bearing” it all becomes, well, overwhelming. It is then that we are tempted to give up and give in. What if the workers building the temple for Solomon had given up right near the end? What if they had said it was too hard, or not worth the price they had to pay? Then the Glory would not have filled the temple, that’s what!
We will be parents forever, but we have only been given a short time to be true stewards of the gifts God has entrusted to us. There comes a day when every parent hands over the keys to Jesus and says, “OK Lord, they are yours now”. Of course they have always been His, but they were entrusted to us for the first few years. How did we value that responsibility, that honor? Have we polished, shined, and protected them? Or did we park them in a crowded lot where they got all dinged up? Just because your young person is now approaching adulthood is it time to give up? When it is almost time for the harvest do we let the weeds overtake the vineyard? If you have not been diligent then it is time to repent, re-group and re-strengthen.
Begin by repenting for thinking you couldn’t do it. That is lack of faith and trust in HIM. Then go back to your first love. Worship Jesus and ask Him again what your parenting goals are. Then re-strengthen, remembering that when we are weak is when we are strong. Stay pliable to His lessons, and stick to the goals and convictions He gives you, making sure they come from Him! The ultimate goal is to bring Glory to Him not us. He desires not only for His Glory to fill the temple but that His Glory to fill the earth! We get to play a part in that! By preparing the temple!