Any fan of television can tell you that, from the 1950s through the early 1970s, Hollywood churned out some pretty unrealistic series where moms cleaned house wearing dresses and pearls, and dads smoked pipes and wore slippers and sweaters while both dispensed volumes of wisdom. My wife and I never resembled those TV characters. Like most real parents we resembled Dan and Rosanne Conner more than Mike and Carol Brady.
As fathers go I did not “know best.” I made lots of mistakes. I can look at each of my five grown children and see that, though they all very different people, they all have many of the same personality traits that my wife and I possess. This is not always a good thing. I see as many of my weakness in them as I do my strengths. If you ask my wife, though, she would tell you with a smile that our kids possess only her strengths and only my weaknesses.
Being a parent is an awesome thing. I love every one of my children dearly, yet it is, even to this day an awesomely frightful thing, as well. I wish I had known when they were little the things I know now. I would have been, I am certain, a much better parent.
I wish, too, that I had been a better example of a Christian to them. Paul, though not a parent, raised a great deal of “babes in Christ.” In other words, he discipled a lot of people. In closing his letter to the Philippians, he makes what seems like a casual statement that most of us just read right past. It is, though, not so casual. He says, “Do the things you’ve seen and heard me do.”
I know a great many parents who say, “Do as I say, not as I do.” A great many Christians offer up the same attitude about discipleship. “Here is what’s right. Here’s what I do.”
Are we good examples to “babes in Christ?” Are we good examples to our children and grandchildren?” Do we dare take up the challenge and ask others to look at us as an example of a good Christian?
Remember the only thing we can take with us to heaven is our loved ones.