I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth. 3 JOHN 4
I didn't quite finish telling the story of what happened at the Promise Keepers event I mentioned yesterday. After we finished the demonstration with the traps, a large stream of boys (sons of the dads in attendance) began pouring into the stadium after listening to another speaker in a separate area. Their entrance was the only sound you could hear because I had asked the men to remain quiet as their sons filed in. Then these fathers began standing, baseball caps in hand, as they watched the next generation parade by in a mass of teenage energy and potential.
Once all the boys were inside, I said to the dads, "These young men are our sons, the leaders of the families of the future. Let them hear what you think of them!" I'll never forget the deafening roar that immediately erupted.
Clapping. Stomping. Yelling. The enthusiastic affection cascaded down the stadium aisles for several raucous minutes. Tears of unbridled pride and joy filled the eyes of fathers throughout the stadium.
It's too bad that rearing children can't always be as exhilarating as those moments were. On most days, parenting is rather lonely by comparison. There are few cheers, mostly challenges. It's hard work and long hours with no guarantees.
But there are plenty of rewards. Nothing can compare to the joy of seeing children grow up to walk in the truth. Nothing can match the fun of having them right here in our homes, letting us feed off their creative, spontaneous humor and their raw zest for life. And nothing is as exhilarating as watching our children bravely walk around and stay out of our culture's traps and snares, advancing the banner of Jesus Christ in their generation. It might be a good idea to give your teen a standing ovation for a choice he or she has made recently. Cheer them on.
Trust me. They need your cheers!
What have you been forgetting to celebrate lately about your children? Celebrate it now.
Thank God for the joy—and the journey—of parenthood.