Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Legacy of Faith

"I get many letters from you parents about your children. You want to know why we people up here in Princeton can’t make more out of them and do more for them. Let me tell you the reason we can’t. It may shock you just a little, but I am not trying to be rude. The reason is that they are your sons, reared in your homes, blood of your blood, bone of your bone. They have absorbed the ideals of your homes. You have formed and fashioned them. They are your sons. In those malleable, moldable years of their lives you have forever left your imprint upon them."  Woodrow Wilson, Pres. Princeton University 1902-1910 
I came across this quote from the 28th president of the United States, Woodrow Wilson.  This statement was made in a speech given to parents of Princeton University students at some point during Wilson's employment as President of Princeton University.

Wilson stated that the University could only do so much, regardless of the parents expectations.  The students had adopted the ideals of their parents.  As in Wilson's time, the students of today will have adopted the ideals of those who've reared them.  Today, that may be parents.  It may also be nanny's, teachers, or even peers.

Do you spend more time with your children than do other caretakers?  Are they really being reared in your home or do others have a greater influence?  Who, really, is molding them?

Do you have the expectation that teachers and nanny's will train them?  All children are trained and reared - but by whom, and to what end, is the question.

Do you expect that pastors and youth pastors will disciple your children?  Sure, they can and should partner with you, but the responsibility is your own.  Training is a continual process, impossible in an hour or two on Sunday.  What are you doing to set the tone?  To stay ahead of your children on the road down which you are leading them?

How do you view your children and how do your actions reflect your views?  Are they blessings to you, or burdens?

I ask you...  What are your ideals?  Your priorities?  What do you ultimately want for your children?  What is your husband's vision for your family?  How are you, as his wife, helping him in attaining that goal?  How are you helping him in training your children toward that end... the end that should be, ultimately, multigenerational faithfulness.

Do your children know and understand your values?  Do you teach them one thing but train them to do otherwise by not setting the example yourself?  Are you growing in Christ and showing your kids the Way, that is Christ?  Do they, do you, know Truth?

Are you displaying fruit in your daily life?  Ironically, apples don't fall far, as the saying goes.  Our words are meaningless, unless they are supported by our actions.  Our children will learn most from the example set before them.

Do they see you daily, Bible in hand?  Do they find you with your head bowed in prayer?  Do they hear you calling upon the Lord in times of trouble?  Do they hear you praising Him, thanking Him?  Do they hear you interceding on their behalf?  Are they invited to join you?  If you are not already, encourage them to read and to worship alongside you, to pray with you.

As Woodrow Wilson was attempting to point out, we cannot, as parents have unrealistic expectations on others to teach and train our children.  The job is ours.  We can embrace it with gladness and the weight of perfection is lifted when we understand that there should be one goal.


If we give the message to our children that above all else they are to receive straight A's, an athletic scholarship, an advanced degree, a six figure income, a comfortable life... what good is it?  It's all fleeting.

We are called to be faithful.  God's grace is enough, His power made perfect in our weakness.

May His grace cover our failures and shortcomings, and may He strengthen and equip us to to lead our children well.  To leave a lasting imprint; a legacy of faith.

"But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me."  2 Corinthians 12:9

* A friendly reminder....  The LisaCorinne Handmade giveaway ends October 3, 2011.  I would love for you to join me!

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