Off the Grid!
I will be today for our upcoming vacation next week in Northwestern Michigan. We try to get together with our kids and grandkids in Michigan a couple of times a year. What will be unique about this year’s trip is that we will be staying at a cabin on a lake that is very remote. In fact, it’s so remote that we have no computer hook up, cell phone coverage and not even a TV. It will be interesting to see how my 9-year-old and 13-year-old grandsons make out without the use of modern technology. But one thing that we will be able to do is to spend lots of time together as a family. A family is one of the most important legacies that any of us will ever leave behind. For the people of Israel God gave clear instructions about the training of their children. In Deuteronomy 6 we read these words, “These are the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you’re crossing the Jordan to possess, so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lay down and when you get up,” (Deut.6:1,2,4-7 NIV).
God’s Word teaches that the training of our children was a crucial aspect of our parenting and our spiritual legacy. Passing on what God has given us is critical, and it even contains a promise of a long life. This exceptional promise is repeated in Paul’s writings in Ephesians 6 where Paul writes, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” – which is the first commandment with a promise –“that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth,” (Eph.6:1-3 NIV). In both of these passages, God connects long life with children obeying their parents and honoring their father and mother. When children obey their parents and listen to them, they learn life lessons that later on have great preservation value. There is a difference between obeying and honoring our parents in these passages. To obey means to do as one is told while honor means to respect and love our parents. When children who are raised in a Christian home honor and obey their parents they are putting into place a very important life skill. By following the Lord’s training children’s lives are enriched, and a pattern of healthy decision-making is put into place. Disregarding biblical instruction and training also sets into place a pattern of bad decision-making that can lead to self-destructive behavior.
I hope as we have time with our grandkids this week that we can instill into their lives some of the values that are so meaningful to us. I have always loved to travel and to play games with my family. I think we’ll be playing lots of games and fishing and swimming in the lake where we will be staying. But I also hope that I will be faithful in passing on a spiritual legacy to my adult children and my grandchildren so that they may learn to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. I’m not exactly sure how this week is going to go, but maybe I can get off some pictures as we journey throughout the week. Pray for my family and especially for Ethan and Tyler, for their hearts to be open to the instruction of the Lord and that their grandpa would be sensitive to teach life lessons concerning the Lord Jesus Christ without all the distractions of our modern world.
Pastor Rich Sivo