When The Sheep Stray

I can control the kids. We don’t have much problem with them. But it’s hard to control the parents…you can’t send them to detention on Saturday morning…” The principal of a large high school made the statement after charges were filed against a parent for shoving a player in a school athletic contest and then getting into an altercation with another parent in the stands. A month prior, a state representative filed House Bill 275 which would make harming an official at a youth sports game a felony. The newspaper article reporting this said, “However the legal case is resolved, the incident has added fuel to the national debate about unruly parents at youth sports games.”

These happenings and numerous similar events that also have been reported highlight the fact that “What’s wrong with our youth?” might be better phrased as “What’s happening to our parents?” The scary thing about this is that it is self-perpetuating: irresponsible parents produce irresponsible children who produce irresponsible children. The problem is a spiritual one of national proportions and could well be our downfall while we divert our attention to more material worries like “How can we fix the economy?” And not only does the problem affect us as a nation, it weakens the church.

Teaching the children was a high priority in God’s instruction to Israel. “Take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes saw, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life, but make them known to thy children and thy children’s children.” (Deut. 4:9.) A little later God said, “And these words which I command thee this day, shall be upon thy heart; and thou shalt teach them diligently to thy children and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thy house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou riseth up.” (Deut. 6:6,7).

Drive by shootings, drug use, disrespect for others, disrespect for property, and disrespect for God are the billowing smoke and the flying cinders. The fire is in the home. And it can be put out one home at a time when we make sure our home adheres to Biblical principles. If we have failed and waited until it is too late for our own children, we can try to help teach the grandchildren and the children in our Bible classes. The consequences are too important to neglect the responsibility.

A cliché heard often in the past and not much now days said: “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.” That’s not scripture, but it’s scriptural!

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