Enjoying the Journey
As I sit in my study at home there are two pictures of my parents on the desk in front of me. One is a photograph taken on the night that I graduated from high school. It is hard to believe that I will soon be the age that they were then. This picture is the way they are indelibly impressed on my mind. Time has moved on, but some things do not change.
The other picture is a recent photograph taken of mom and dad. They have aged very little through the years but my appreciation for them has grown more than I could ever express. Children are in so many ways a product of their parents influence. All of the good things in my life I owe to my Heavenly Father and the father and mother He has given me. They have reflected Him to me.
My devotional Bible reading today is Proverbs 3. I never read that chapter without thinking of my dad. When I was just a boy I asked dad to write his name and his favorite Scripture passage in the flyleaf of my Bible. I still have that Bible. Beneath a special note and my dad’s familiar signature is the reference – Proverbs 3. It was only as I got older that I realized that was not his favorite Scripture. Galatians 2:20 is his life verse. Instead, he had written a Scripture for me. Now all these years later it continues to speak. “My son, forget not my law…”
Proverbs 1:8 says, “My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother.” I can still hear that instruction. I still feel the effects of that law.
I have reflected this week on dad’s instruction and mother’s law. They have taught me many things – more than I perhaps have yet realized. But there are mountain peaks that seem to rise above the rest.
Dad’s lasting instruction to me: “Son, keep your heart right. Keep your head on straight and God will use you.” Those words have been the Spirit’s message to me many times. To keep me clean. To keep me humble. To remind me that my life was not my own.
Mom’s enduring law to me was the law of love. The law of kindness. Her gracious spirit pervaded our home and has forever shaped my life.
I hope my dad and mom know that their instruction and law continue to this day. My prayer is that they will be passed down to our children. The wise man finished his thought: “For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck” (Proverbs 1:9).
Indeed, they have been that and more.
In just a few days my parents are scheduled to be guest speakers in our annual Faith for the Family Couples’ Retreat. I am thrilled. It is always good to be with them, but I am happy that others will be able to be blessed by the influence of the man and woman who are my heroes.
We often quote, “Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD” (Psalm 127:3). True. But heritage is a continuing line. It goes both ways. Parents look forward and see the heritage continuing. Children stand in their generation and look back to where it came from. “The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage” (Psalm 16:6).
Join me in thanking God for those who have handed us a godly heritage. May the Lord help us to pass it on!