Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who greatly delights in his commandments! His offspring will be mighty in the land… Psalm 112:1-2 ESV
While I don’t necessarily worry about it, I often think of my children’s future. I’ve always been a visionary, more interested in ten years down the road than the present, and part of that is dreaming of being an empty-nester, a grandfather, a great-grandfather. More than anything, I want to know my kids and grand kids will succeed in their lives.
While we often consider education, character, hard work and luck to be the secret to success for our children, the verses above indicate the number one thing we can do to ensure the success of our children (or at least have them be “mighty in the land”) is to fear the LORD and greatly delight in His commands. What a challenge! It’s not so much about picking the right college, getting my kids on traveling sports teams, or helping them find internships or achieve a perfect SAT score. In fact, it’s not even about raising them to be Christians. It’s more than that, it’s my heart and my life that matters most.
How about you? Do you fear the LORD above all else? Does your fear for Him outweigh your fear that your kids won’t turn out well? I’m still working on this one. Do you greatly delight in His commands? It’s one thing to do His commands (I generally try to anyway). It’s a whole other thing though to not only do, but delight in them, and not only delight in them, but greatly delight in them. In other words, my prayer time, my study time, my devotion to my wife, kids, neighbors and the poor, must be something of great delight. While it may seem hard at first, it grows easier as I meditate on the love God has for me as seen in the work of Jesus who died for me and rose again. The more I meditate on Jesus, the more I greatly delight in His commands, and the more I’m assured my children will be mighty in the land. That’s spiritual formation I can live with!