How's the Family?

“Let our sons in their youth be as grown-up plants, and our daughters as corner pillars fashioned as for a palace;” (Psalm 144:12)

When two men of mild acquaintance meet, one of the most common questions we ask each other is, “How’s the family?”  This simple question is a pleasantry that requests insight into what, we assume, is something near and dear to the other man’s heart – his family.

Yet, far too often, we see men whose careers, hobbies, and personal pursuits have overshadowed their love of their children and their God-given responsibility to train them up in the fear and admonition of the Lord.

This isn’t anything new; it happened to men of the Bible all too frequently.  Look at what was said of Samuel, the great judge of Israel:

“His sons, however, did not walk in his ways, but turned aside after dishonest gain and took bribes and perverted justice.” (1 Samuel 8:3)

Samuel, David, and others are a good reminder that a life of faith does not necessarily mean you will have fulfilled your duty to pass your ways on to the next generation.  Samuel and David were both men who were so busy fighting wars and running the circuit, leading others that they didn’t lead their own households very well.

This warning is not just to men either.  Women of the Bible struggled with this, too.  Rebekah’s deception created turmoil in her home, and Rachel’s and Leah’s battle to be the best certainly isn’t an example to follow by any stretch of the imagination.  We see vanity, jealousy, strife, and outward appearances destroying many women’s homes throughout the Scriptures.

And all of this is a reminder to us – family work is hard and thoughtful work that must be pursued with diligence and care.  Our children need constant attention because they are constantly growing and constantly watching.  The questions flow like water for them, and the need for correction and adjustment is daily (if not hourly!).

So, for you tired moms and dads – keep it up.  You are doing the work that matters and creating a legacy of goodness and godliness.  Your fatigue is a sign of proper effort, not failure.  Keep fighting the good fight – your kids will thank you later, and God will be glorified.