How Can They Know?

When my wife came home from work, two neighborhood dogs were stationed, one at each end of the 18 inch, thirty foot long, corrugated iron culvert that runs under our driveway. They were intently focused on something going on inside the culvert. My wife stopped the car and drove them off, although they obviously wanted to return. Soon, our young cat emerged. It was evident that she was no longer pregnant – a transformation that had occurred since morning. It was equally evident that the new kittens were inside the culvert, much too far to be reached by us, but not the dogs.

Now aware that the culvert was not such a good idea, the young mother brought a kitten to the front step. We fussily prepared a nest in a plastic basin under her watchful eye and placed it on the glassed-in porch. She purred her approval and immediately cleaned and nursed the baby. Before the evening was over, she had returned to the culvert and brought four more infants and expertly began to attend them. She had no mother, no doctor, no nurse – not even a mid-wife – and yet the care was perfect and the kittens began to thrive. How could she know? The answer is instinct. A God-given programming that provided the instructions for flawless care.

God’s plan for man is different. The scientists tell us that man’s instincts require less than the fingers on one hand to count. But man can communicate knowledge and God has made him a creature of learning rather than instinct.

When we do not teach, they do not learn. The Lord’s apostle, Paul, said: “But speak thou the things that befit sound doctrine: that aged men be temperate, grave, sober-minded, sound in faith, love and patience; that aged women likewise be reverent in demeanor, not slanderers nor enslaved to wine, teachers of that which is good; that they may train the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sober minded, chaste, workers at home, kind; being in subjection to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” Titus 2:1-5.

Who can we blame if we have a generation that is irreverent and unconcerned about their own parental responsibility? If we have absolutely done our best with diligent teaching and careful example, we could blame the generation. They have the ability to choose to do right or wrong. But have we done our best and have we been careful? God has placed our children’s ability to choose properly in our care. The mother cat recognized that she needed a little extra help and sought it. Maybe we need to follow her example.

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