Focus on the Family

Think a minute…”Some parents can trace their family back 300 years—but they don’t know where their children were last night.” A wise man said:  “If fathers took their sons fishing when they were young, they would not have to go hunting for them when they are older.” 

Remember: “There are no illegitimate children, only illegitimate parents.” Simply physically reproducing oneself does not make a man a father or a woman a mother. 

A father admitted: “The thorns I have reaped are from the garden I planted.”

It’s sad that some parents spend more time and effort raising vegetables than they do raising their own children. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis concluded:  “If you fail to do a good job raising your children, whatever else you do does not matter much.”

No work is more important than the work of raising our children to become mature adults of honest character who wholeheartedly love God and others. 

The first doctor in history to successfully perform a heart transplant was the South African surgeon Christian Barnard. Yet in his book, One Life, he tells about his failure as a husband and father. Dr. Barnard had gone away to the U.S. for many months to do his world-famous medical work. He tells what happened when he finally came home to his family in South Africa: 

“It seemed like 100 years since I had been home. I had not written my wife and children in months, yet I was still shocked by my wife’s greeting. She asked, ‘Why did you come back?’  I could see there was no longer a smile in her eyes. She said, ‘Don’t look so surprised! We gave you up.

We thought you were never coming back!’ I said, ‘But I was building hearts.’ She replied bitterly, ‘No, you were building a family! That is, until you dumped it all on me. We no longer exist for you.’” At that moment, this brilliant heart surgeon knew that even he could not heal the broken hearts of his own family whom he had failed to love as the true man of the house that they needed. 

Many of us have failed as a spouse or parent, but Jesus will forgive you if you ask Him. Then ask Him to take full charge of your heart so you can start changing. Only He can help you become the responsible, caring parent your children need and deserve, so they can become the secure, happy adults of honorable character they were born to be.  Just think a minute… 

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