Yesterday, we found ourselves sitting at a kitchen table surrounded by friends who are grandparents. There was even a great-grandparent in the bunch. Grand-parenting has brought a whole new dimension to culture-watching and conversations.
Someone took the conversation where it seems to always go. . . to the new challenges of raising and pointing kids to Jesus in a contemporary culture bent on sending our kids in pursuit of all kinds of things other than Jesus. When we have those conversations, we are thinking about and praying for our children as they raise their children.
A few minutes ago, I was sitting here in my office thinking about that conversation and the reality it points to. I thought I was staring off into space when I realized that my eyes were focused on the book shelves across the room. Specifically, I was looking at the shelf that holds books that are ten, fifteen, and even twenty years old. . . all of them offering cultural critique from respected Christian thinkers. One of those books written back in 1988 caught my eye. . . Twilight of a Great Civilization: The Drift Toward Neo-Paganism, by the late Carl F.H. Henry.
I pulled the book off the shelf and began scanning its pages. I began scanning the passages I had underlined so many years ago. I saw this paragraph and thought I would pass it on: “Parental responsibility for shaping the ideas and ideals of the oncoming generation has priority. The imperative of training a child to walk morally and spiritually (Proverbs 22:6) does not, of course, reduce to ‘throwing the Book’ at the younger generation. The example of time spent in prayer, worship, Bible study and church participation, the reading of quality books and magazines, the nature of social life, the way the family makes crucial decisions, and not least of all open conversation and discussion of cardinal ethical and religious concerns define the character of home life.”
Powerful and true words. Timely as well. Certainly more timely today than when they were written.
Sovereign Lord, may your voice scream loudly into the ears of my grandchildren. . . all children. Summon them, in your irresistible mercy, to come and follow you.