by Charles R. Swindoll
How's it going with you and the kids? Maybe that question doesn't apply to you. You may be single, or you may not have children, or you may have already raised your brood. If so, bear with me while I address those of you who are still in the process of training and rearing.
So, how's it going? What word(s) would you use to describe your overall relationship with your offspring? Challenging? Strained? Pleasant? Impossible? Angry? Threatening? Adventurous? Heartbreaking? Impatient? Exciting? Fun? Busy?
If you want to get your eyes opened to the facts, at the supper table tonight ask your kids to describe their feelings about you and their home. I'd better warn you—it may hurt! But it could be the first step in the right direction . . . the first step toward the restoration of harmony and genuine love under your roof.
Needless to say, having a Christian home is no guarantee against disharmony. The old nature can still flare up, habits set in concrete can lead to broken communication lines, and biblical principles can be ignored. So face the truth, my friend. Stop right now and think about your home.
An evaluation is no good if all it leads to is guilt and hurt. To stop there would be like a surgeon stopping the operation immediately after making his incision. All it would leave is a lot of pain and a nasty scar.
Take time to get next to your children . . . to come to grips with barriers that are blocking the flow of your love and affection (and theirs) . . . to face the facts before the fracture leads to a permanent, domestic disease.
Three biblical cases come to my mind:
Rebekah, who favored Jacob over Esau and used him to deceive his father, Isaac, which led to a severe family breakdown (Gen. 27).
Eli, who was judged by God because of his lack of discipline and failure to stand firm when his boys began to run wild (1 Sam. 3:11-14).
David, who committed the same sin against his son Adonijah by never disciplining him during his early training (1 Kings 1:5-6).
You see, no one is immune . . . not even you. So move ahead. Refuse to pamper your parental negligence any longer.
Take time to evaluate the present condition of your home.
Then take the steps needed to strengthen the weaknesses you uncover.
Excerpted from Day by Day with Charles Swindoll, Copyright © 2000 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. (Thomas Nelson Publishers). All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.