A couple of weeks ago while reading the latest on-line sports news, I clicked on a link to Dennis Rodman’s NBA Hall of Fame acceptance speech. That 12 minute speech answered a lot of questions about the enigmatic basketball star. After viewing the video twice, I tweeted that Rodman’s speech was “sad, heart-breaking & refreshingly honest.” Here’s a quote from speech that many can relate to:
“I have one regret: I wish I was a better father.” –Dennis Rodman
Inspired by Rodman’s gut-wrenching honesty and by Psalm 127, last Sunday I preached a sermon about NO REGRET PARENTING.
My basic premise: if we see children the right way, we will treat them the right way. And seeing them the right way is seeing them as the Bible describes them. The last 3 verses in Psalm 127 give us a proper, but uncommon, picture of how we should view children.
1. HERITAGE. “sons are a heritage from the Lord” (Ps 127:3) That word “heritage” comes from the same root word as inheritance – something valuable given to us by another.
I am a watch collector. While preaching Sunday I was wearing my most valuable watch. Not my most expensive (because i didn’t pay for it), but definitely my most valuable. It was a 1959 stainless steel Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust. You can find a similar pre-owned Rolex Datejust on eBay for $3000. But I would not take $30,000 for mine. Why? Because of WHO gave it to me. That watch was made in 1959, the same year I was born. My Dad wore it every day of my life. He wore it to work and to coach my Little League games. He wore it when we went hunting and fishing. He wore it to my wedding. He left it to me when he died nine years ago. Maybe it is not that valuable to anyone else, but to me it is priceless – because my dad gave it to me as an inheritance. Kids are like that, times 1000. They are a “HERITAGE FROM THE LORD.” Valuable. Priceless. Irreplaceable. Given to us by God.
2. REWARD. “…children are a reward from Him” (Ps 127:3) Do you see your kids as rewards, or as accidents? Did your parents see you as a reward, or as a distraction?
3. ARROWS. “Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in ones youth” (Ps 127: 4) Arrows are point & shoot, not remotely guided smart bombs. If we point arrows (kids) in the right direction, they will hit the target. But after pointing them in the right direction, we must let go, take our hands off. Some parents never take their hands off, so their kids never hit the target. Some parents take their hands off too soon. Other parents obsess over trivial details rather than direction. When we realize children are lilke arrows, we will be concerned with DIRECTION not with PERFECTION.
I don’t know how you see your kids, or how your parents saw you. But I do know that while we will never be perfect parents with perfect kids, we can avoid major regret if we learn to see kids from a bible perspective.
You can listen to this & other sermons on the Bethel-Franklin podcast page