I had the privilege of listening to Robert Andrews, who wrote The Family: God's Weapon for Victory speak at my church on Sunday morning.
He said something in his sermon that, once again, defies the culture. He explained that he never once heard his father say, "I love you".
But what came next may surprise you.
He continued to say, but I knew my father loved me.
How? In other ways. Such as the way he saw his dad's face light up when he saw his son.
You know, maybe that's all that some kids will get from a parent. Is it enough?
Since the early 70's or thereabouts, there came an explosion in our culture of a focus on self. Suddenly, we had rights and you better not infringe upon them! Self awareness led to self improvement and self esteem. Books, seminars, talk shows, magazines, television shows all got on board while everyone's personal lives were laid bare as people grappled with their insecurities. And often, the blame was placed on the mother or father.
Interestingly, the same proponents of empowering "self" seem to have not included the ability perhaps to continue this empowerment in the area of not allowing the past to have power over them. All this power is really cowardice. Empowerment really creates a big ego that is self centered and even selfish.
Mr. Andrews is in his early 70's and as many of his generation, is not hindered by the "new" ways of doing things. They see through it and thank God they do. Many of us have not lived to see what men and women of the 70+ generation has seen and their wisdom is valuable. They lived without all the bells and whistles and they survived.
So, here is a man who is not living as a victim because his father never uttered the words, "I love you". Here is a man who chose not to hold it against his father, nor did he choose to live with what the "self" culture almost always ends up with: self pity. I believe Mr. Andrews chose to honor and respect his father and mother like many of his generation understood before the radical anti-everything 60's came along and changed the culture and thus changed our thinking. With it has brought unprecedented rebellion and defiance against parents and authority. The lack of respect is glaring. It's not just "oh you're old fashioned", but down right cynicism, mocking, and devaluation.
We cannot allow the culture to form our children's minds. It is unstable and changeable as the trends wash upon our minds like the shoreline ebbs and flows. It is hard work to resist the current. While I am not trying to relive the 50's. I do want my kids to be relevant, Yet. I have to continue to find that fine line of sowing what is truth, everlasting, and ultimately, eternal. I can only hope and pray that those seeds find good soil in their hearts and take root.
to be continued...