“Never do today what you can put off ‘til tomorrow.”
Does that saying ever cross your mind or more importantly, do your actions reflect that saying? There is so much that needs to be accomplished in any given day. As a parent, how do you decide what requires personal attention and what can wait?
Let’s presume you become aware of a faulty electrical wire in your house. If left unattended, this hazard will eventually start a fire. Do you wait until you see evidence of smoke to correct the electrical issue? Of course not. If you wait until smoke appears, it may be too late to save the house, and more importantly your family.
Now let’s presume that you become aware of an issue with your child that if left unattended could threaten his life. Would you wait until you have evidence that it is becoming life threatening or would you act now? The truth is–your child has an issue that is life threatening. The issue is personal sin. The Bible teaches that we are all born with a sin nature (Genesis 8:21). The Bible also tells us that sin, if left unattended, leads to death (Romans 6:23).
It is easier and less expensive to be proactive in taking care of faulty wiring than it is to rebuild after a fire. Similarly, it is much easier to consistently instill godly behavior in a child than it is to try to correct poor choices and undesired behavior in a teen.
In a recent broadcast on National Public Radio, Greg Collard tells the story of churches banding together in the effort to keep young men out of trouble. One of the organizers, Bishop Warren Brown, made this statement concerning their efforts: “We recognize that oftentimes we feel that we will deal with our young black men in the eighth or tenth grade. That’s too late.” Possibly the most significant word used in Brown’s statement is the word “recognize”. It is often difficult for parents to consider their young children as adolescents or adults. Yet, if they do not recognize at an early age the potential long term effects of their child’s behavior, they may not become purposeful in training until it’s too late.
We teach our children the alphabet, reading, and writing because we know that these tools will one day be necessary for academic success. In the same way, we should be teaching our children how to use biblical principles, equipping them to stand firm in truth and assuring their spiritual success. For example, even though a newborn is unable to read a parent can point him to Jesus by singing hymns and praise songs to him. Using picture books with toddlers assists them in learning about Jesus’ life and love. As you teach your child to count, teach him to count his blessings. When your child begins to read, provide him with Bible stories written specifically for his reading level. Help him comprehend what is read and point to ways God’s truth can be applied in his daily life.
Never put off today what could hold eternal purpose for tomorrow!!