The father of a righteous son will rejoice greatly,
and one who fathers a wise son will delight in him.
Let your father and mother have joy,
and let her who gave birth to you rejoice. (Proverbs 23:24-25)
As new parents hold their newborn in his or her arms, there is joy, awe, thankfulness, and fear all wrapped up into that little bundle of joy. As that baby grows into an infant, then a toddler, then a child, a young adult, and a full-fledged adult, there are countless opportunities to parent, teach, love, and prepare that child for the world. In today’s reading, verses 24 and 25 highlight the goal that all parents strive for—leaving a God-honoring legacy.
How does your child become righteous, wise, and grow in trusting in the Lord? How does your child give you joy throughout life? Ask any Christian parent these questions and they will quickly give all the credit to God. God needs to be at the center of God-honoring parenting. As parents obey God and raise up their children to trust, follow, and fear the Lord, there will be much rejoicing. As a parent myself, I wonder if my parents are delighting and rejoicing in the God-honoring legacy that they have raised up (although I’m sure there were moments that made them cringe). Maybe, we as adults, need to visit our parents or give them a call, thanking them for raising us in the ways of the Lord.
If you feel a sense of emptiness after trying to parent your children on your own strength or after listening to popular parenting advice, it is not too late to open God’s word and seek His parenting advice. In this day and age, we need to focus on God and point our children to God’s grace, goodness, and love that He lavishes upon us through His Son, Jesus. Take the time to explain to your children how to grow up fearing the Lord so that as they get older, their individual relationship with Jesus will flourish. Let’s put our trust in the Lord to help us leave a God-honoring legacy which will bring us joy and allow our children to be a blessing to others.