Want to see a Bible example of the modern parent and why we are losing our kids? “3 Then his father and his mother said to him, “Is there no woman among the daughters of your relatives, or among all our people, that you go to take a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?” But Samson said to his father, “Get her for me, for she looks good to me.” (Judges 14:3)
Now the modern parent doesn’t understand my criticism because he or she is logically and emotionally very similar to Samson’s parents. And his parents were doing things the way they felt was right and so other options were not visible to them. The modern parent who is like Samson’s will read that verse and see a caring and concerned parent trying to steer their child right. But they do not steer their child right.
The critical juncture in the parents’ decision making was the point that they were confronted with two wills – God’s and Samson’s. The parents are like the modern parents who lose their children because at that moment they give in to the will of the child and God’s will has to be compromised. The modern parent is loathe to admit it, and might even become angry at the suggestion that this is the case, but that is what they are doing.
At this point the modern parent begins scrutinizing the text to find evidence that the parent isn’t responsible, saying something like, “Samson was grown, there’s only so much a parent can do.” First off, the parents made him this way. The text says that the parents went along with the will of Samson. They went with him! The text shows us the modern religious parent too, which is to know the right thing to do, but the children come first and so the parents don’t do the right thing.
A godly parent says to the children like Samson, “Today, you must choose between your will or God’s will. If you choose to walk away from God, then we will not be a part of it. We will not support you. We will not encourage you. We will love you and pray for you, BUT WE WILL NOT STAND FOR THIS AND ALLOW YOU TO DESTROY YOUR LIFE. Such a strong stand is too much for the modern parent who places his child’s will ahead of God’s. The words are too harsh even though their permissiveness jeopardizes their soul.
The modern parent who loves God intuitively knows he has been trespassing against God by putting his child’s will ahead of God’s, and he has a part of him that truly wants to do right, but he falters time after time when he comes to that juncture where he stands before his child who is straining to chase after the fleshly and carnal appetites. Though he knows that he should stop it, he gives way and permits the child to have his way.
I have seen this phenomenon of the modern parent – looking weak like so many Biblical parents, Eli the High Priest was another – and haven’t seen many parents with the spiritual backbone to do the right thing by God and for their child. If this little post is describing you, please resist the temptation to attack the words, and instead pray that you might have the wisdom to take a stand and truly lead your children to go the right way.