Any time our children’s character, integrity, and/or personality show a small crack or two, instead of dealing with it and trying our best to correct it, we just blame somebody else for it. Who do we blame? Oh, the list can be long...
* We love to blame the school house (Principal, teachers, sometimes even the custodial staff gets blamed. Maybe even a cafeteria menu or two).
* We love to blame the government (President Bush all the way down to our little local Mayors get the blame).
* We love to blame the other children and families who are associated with our children (influence is a big deal. Our kids are always negatively influenced...but they NEVER influence others in a negative way).
* We even love to blame the church (that Preacher, Youth Minister, staff, etc. up at the church just aren’t doing the job they should be doing or my kid wouldn’t be struggling?!?)
In no way am I saying that government, schools, other families, and even our churches are perfect...because they are not. But somehow I doubt very seriously that your pastor or that President Bush have anything to do with your child’s negative behavior in school or their sorry attitude in life. How does the fact that there is a family who lives 100 miles from me and is on welfare have anything to do with my child’s rebellious behavior?
I have seen over and over again as youth minister and now as pastor, parents that drive up to the church house doors on Sundays and kick their kids out of the car...and then drive on back to the house to do whatever it is they do on Sunday mornings. And when those parent’s children misbehave in church, they pull them out of the church and blame who? Yea, you guessed it! They blame the church for their kid’s shortcomings.
(those same parents are going to wonder one day why their children no longer
want to be in church)
And YES...the church does exist to help families guide and help raise their kids. But the church is not called to raise anyone's children for them. And if a father & mother are worth they weight in salt, they wouldn’t want anyone to raise their children for them to begin with.
So where does family health begin? It starts at home! It starts at home with Mom & Dad! It starts with a mom and dad that positive, moral, responsible behavior. And hopefully even Godly, Spiritual Christian behavior and lifestyles. It starts with parents that PRACTICE what they PREACH.
Listen to this parents, do you want your children to...
* be individuals of integrity & character? Then you have to be people
of integrity and character FIRST!
* be honest? Then you have to be honest FIRST!
* be young people that have godly ually morals? Then you have to have
godly morals FIRST!
* be young men & women that respect ALL people regardless of race,
creed, or religion? Then you have to respect ALL people FIRST!
It all starts at home. I’m convinced of that. And most of the problems we face as God’s people have more to do with satan than with my wonderful President or my son’s 7th grade teacher!
My son Thomas’ attitudes, actions, and lifestyle begin with Regina and me. And the more I understand and accept that reality the better life will go for the entire Hodge household.
One day I’m going to stand eye ball-to-eye ball with the Maker of heaven and earth...and on that day there will be no one else to blame for my life and the life of my son. I am the one that will be accountable. Me and only me. Everyone somehow, someway will get what they deserve from their choices and actions. The good news is that you won’t have to answer for my life and my son’s life. And I won’t have to answer for your life.
It starts with me at 135 Olive Street. And I willingly say “Thank you, Lord” for the privilege & responsibility.
God bless each of you.