I know it is the polite thing to do when someone has given you a gift. And as you have given me many, I want to take the opportunity to give back to you my profound and sincere thanks. Many years ago, I did not take this opportunity when I should have, and so I don’t want to let this opportunity pass me by. You see, after the first time I still had a lot of work left to do; but by the time this next event rolls around there won’t be any more chances. I mean after all, we’re talking fire this time… not water. And so this thank you note is for the ages… and for all the parents that have made my job so easy.
God told you to talk about Him and His word with your kids, “… when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.” (Dt. 6:7; Ps. 78:5-8) But you haven’t. And for that I am grateful. Your kids have a very vague, abstract, elementary understanding of who God is. Your kids know little about Bible authority, how to accurately establish it and apply it, and some don’t even believe the Bible is the inspired word of God! They know more about pop culture, fashion, and sports than they do about God and His word. Thank you for that.
God showed you to have an answer for your kids when they ask you spiritual questions. (Ex. 12:25-27; Joshua 4:6-7; Dt. 4:9-10) Many of you thought it simply wasn’t your job. You’d send them to the “pastor” or the “preacher” or the “youth minister”. “Oh Johnny and Suzzie, you’re too young to worry about that. We’ll talk about it later.”
Hahaha… and later never came. You didn’t give them an answer and so their curious mind went to the world looking for an explanation; or even better for me, they learned to think that you were just a blind follower of tradition, and they rebelled against your beliefs. Unintentionally I am sure, you sent your kids running to me for answers. Thank you for that.
God told you to watch out for what kind of friends your kids have. Maybe not in those exact words, but He did say, “Do not be deceived, ‘evil companions corrupt good morals.’” (I Cor. 15:33) And when are companions ever more influential in one’s life, then in one’s youth? I know some of you didn’t want your kids just growing up with some of those “Bible Nerds” from church. You wanted them in the “it” crowd at school. Blah, blah, blah. Bottom line, you let your kids be friends with the children of my friends (and in some cases... best friends). And through peer pressure, and the allurement of temptation, they were soon my buddies; and in most cases, my buddies for life. Thank you for that.
God told you to teach your kids to flee from youthful lusts (II Tim. 2:22). Again, maybe not directly, but He did provide that teaching in scripture, and I don’t think He intended for kids to figure that out on their own did He? And instead of teaching them to flee from me, you invited me into your home. Via DirectTV, or Dish Network, Verizon, ATT, and/or Spectrum; one way or another, you let me in. And they got to see my handiwork on display up close and personal (many times without any oversight, regulation, or restriction) From TV and internet, to ipads and music players, these all became my portals to their souls. So for inviting me into your home, and into the lives of your children… thank you for that.
God told you to raise your kids (Eph. 6:4), but you’ve left them for the world to do that. You work so much, all you are is a bank to the kids. All you are is a provider for all the other things your kids love and do. You work so hard to provide the physical, that you have abandoned the role of parenting for others. The kids are at school 7 to 8 hours a day. Many times they come home to an empty house or go to a daycare for more time away from parents. Then there are the karate classes, and/or boy/girl scouts, and/or sporting activities, etc. etc. By the time it’s all said and done, you’ve spent little time even being together, much less interacting with one another, and even less still… interacting in a spiritual context. You’ve been merely the provider, and let me be the parent. Thank you for that.
Thank you for the gifts that you have given me. You have made my work easier. You have turned your children over to me in their youth when they were the most weak and vulnerable. In the end, many of you practically gift wrapped their souls for me. And so what can I do, but tell you thank you. I know many of you will read things like this and want to change. You will realize you still have time (II Pt. 3:9-10), you still have hope (Prov. 19:18). But in the end, I know you will just fall back to the routine in which you have already become oh so comfortable. And so once again I say… thank you for that.