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The Good Years

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The Good Years

Some time ago I read with interest a portion of a beloved sister's memoirs of her life. Her love for God, her respect and reverence for her husband and her devotion to her family was obvious in the words she penned. As she recounted yesteryear, she wrote fondly of that segment of time when the children were born, when the family was all together around the table for meals and when her brood was being nurtured into young men and women who she prayed would be assets to the kingdom of Christ. Her humble description of those precious days that were past and gone was simply, "The years have been good."

Since the devil is such an accomplished agent of harm, we realize that in our current society (and unfortunately, even in the church) a number of families experience little that resembles the happiness enjoyed by the sister mentioned above. Sin and its often very stubborn "root system" is allowed to twist itself around hearts thus robbing homes of countless opportunities to lead little ones to a life given to the Lord. These shattered youth grow up unstable and often without the ability to understand what happiness truly is because they have seen so much unrest in their formative years. Separation, divorce, divorce and remarriage do not serve to provide what any rational thinking individual would describe as "good years." As one young man commented on his childhood, "It is no fun being part of a broken family." Such things are regretful especially in view of the fact that not only did God create man in His own image, but in Heaven's design of marriage God intended for that union to be filled with joy. Yes, He intended for us to have "good years" upon the earth.

We can have "good years!" What a pleasure to observe a good number of parents among us who are truly concerned about keeping "the circle unbroken" here and in eternity. Instead of pushing their children to excel in sports or the entertainments and pursuits of this life, they rather strive to fill their hearts with God's Word and urge them to "seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness" (Matt. 6:33). What a joy to then see these young boys and girls step forward in gospel obedience. How pleasurable to hear these young men as they begin to offer public prayers, lead singing or maybe prepare and do their best in giving a short sermon. What a thrill to witness the example of young sisters (who like their mothers) simply desire to be as "daughters of Sara" whose appearance and manner of life is becoming to the Christian faith. Why deceive ourselves? "Godliness is profitable unto all things" (1 Tim. 4:8).

It is lamentable that some parents bemoan the time when "arrows" are being shaped. The precious times which so quickly pass us by should be filled with productive teachable moments. Our pursuit of the things of this life should not be allowed to hinder our appreciation for spilled milk, smudged fingerprints on the windows or the truly repentant heart of a justly-disciplined youngster who says, "I wuv you mommy and I'm so sohwy!" Those notes they scribbled as they first began to write that made us daddies know we truly were the greatest, soon turn into letters of appreciation for making a living for the family. Momma gets letters too, for all she does to make the house a home. Yes, these are the "good years."

Now, our children want to someday write of the "good years" too. Fathers, let us have a strong work ethic, be faithful to our wives and exhibit a life-long commitment to Jesus Christ! Mothers, love your homes and "build" those homes. Honour and show reverence to your husband and allow righteousness to be descriptive of your commentary. Leaders of congregations can further help as they make decisions of who fills their pulpits by placing men before these children who obviously love their wives and have a deep interest in the welfare of the family! The little hearts that are daily being filled will be recipients of ingredients that solidify sound character. They will be led to understand a principle that, though it is trivialized in our current society, is still true and without rebuke, that is... strong, happy relationships that serve to stabilize hearts, homes and the church do not just happen! With a worthy objective before us we must work at denying self and keep ourselves cemented to God and right principles.

Finally, having done such things, our offspring, the very church of tomorrow will, Lord willing, in the distant future be able from grateful hearts to fondly recount "the good years."

 

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