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  • Writer's pictureElpidio Pezzella

Let Us Encourage Our Children

Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.

Colossians 3:20-21 NKJV

I cannot say that I am a perfect parent, but both my wife and I strive to show our three children our love and assure them that they can turn to us for every need. However, this does not exclude the fact that there are moments of tension and heated confrontations, especially with the older ones. We have to learn, because we are not born parents, but we become them and every experience leaves us with new directions. However, we know how difficult it is and the news keeps us in constant turmoil. There are some things about God that we should teach them. Like a loving parent God always seeks what is best for his children, even if and when he should act in contradiction to their expectations. Therefore, I desire that beyond all human limits my children can learn to leave their own plans behind to grasp God's will, without expecting Him to answer them just as they have prayed. Faith is trusting in the Eternal One even when what is happening does not make sense; it is understanding that an unanswered prayer has not yet found its proper time.

No one is perfect, so children will have to be prepared to come to terms with disappointment. We are human, and as a result we make mistakes of the continuous. I want them to learn to distinguish their frustration with believers from their frustration with God. They must be clear about the difference between God, the perfect creator, and His imperfect creation that is in great need of a perfect savior. So I pray that they will consciously choose to have a personal relationship with God, without conditioning or filtering by third persons. Beyond the opposition they may encounter, they need not seek the world's consent. Although they may be mocked, God's love is on their side and their lives in God's safe and powerful hands. Let them be assured of that!

Personally, in the happy years I realized that my doubts instead of driving me away from God, actually brought me closer. In fact, they led me to study the Bible more, which led me closer to Him. Therefore, I teach them that they must ask questions if they want to fully understand. They must not be afraid to question what they know or to get angry if they do not understand something. I am sure that God will find a way to give them the answers they seek. In this way they will know why they believe what they believe. Moreover, the desire to know more and more about God will grow as they go deeper into the Scriptures. The time they devote to the Word will help open their hearts.

The Christian path is narrow and winding, it has its difficulties, but Scripture reassures us that God will be by our side. As parents, this is more than important. Some people believe that because they have faith everything will be flawless and perfect, but that is not the case. They soon discover that life goes on, difficult circumstances do not cease, and suffering is part of the journey. The gospel does not assure that life will be perfect, but that in its imperfection we have a perfect Savior. Therefore, they must not conceive of the church simply as a building to be practiced, but as a family to be practiced as much as possible. If they take this reality to heart, every aspect of their lives can become a mission field.

Finally, we must bind them to God rather than to us, encourage them to put their lives in His hands and to trust even when it might seem meaningless. Trusting in God in the midst of confusion is an act of courage. I want my children to trust God for what they cannot see or understand, to regard the Lord as the compass of their lives, able to direct every step of their journey. They must face their days without any fear of failure. I experienced God always ready to welcome, who gave me the opportunity to return home by leaving a door always open. We all make mistakes, but the beauty of the cross is that Jesus atoned for them and that God forgives us. That is why my children need to know that how they are always welcome home in our arms as well as in God's. No matter how dark the path of their lives may be, what matters is that they know that Father's house is always open.


Weekly Bible Reading Plan #50

December 04, Ezekiel 47-48; 1 John 3

December 05, Daniel 1-2; 1 John 4

December 06, Daniel 3-4; 1 John 5

December 07, Daniel 5-7; 2 John

December 08, Daniel 8-10; 3 John

December 09, Daniel 11-12; Judah

December 10, , Hosea 1-4; Revelation 1

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