Continuing the Lionproof series, we come to one of the most difficult of qualities: consistency. To fill in some of you who may be new here, I am writing this series based on many interviews I’ve had with second-generation Christians who are living for the Lord. Many have asked those who have left church when they turn 18 about why they have left, but I wonder “why do some stay? What did their parents do right?” So I began talking to godly young adults, seeking patterns in the child training practices. What I discovered changed my life.
If you want to read the other parts of the series, click here.
When builders in India illegally constructed a six-story structure in Rajasthan in 2007, they made many errors, not the least of which was using inferior materials. Inspectors had been called in to look at cracks in the building, and within minutes after their emerging from the structure, the entire building collapsed in a shower of cement, dust, and rebar! The footage of the sudden destruction was incredible! Amazingly, and thankfully, no one got hurt.
In the parenting process, it is easy for everything to look just right on the outside, but on the inside be built with inferior materials. When the barricade is erected to keep the Devil out, it is imperative to use high-quality materials in the workmanship.
Your weakest point is the one spot where the trouble comes, and it is that one spot which can cause the breakdown of the entire structure. The very best material we can use to build our barricade is the quality of consistency. Without it, we are playing with a strong possibility of collapse of the structure, and death of the residents.
To my respondents, consistency was a huge factor in the formation of their lives. One of my respondents, Jamie pointed out, “When my parents made up their mind about something, they didn’t change, except on a very rare occasion, and then they always explained the change to us. Nothing was ever done on a haphazard basis. Their decisions were law.”
Let’s take a look at the three different ways these successful godly parents displayed consistency to their children.
“My Parents Were Faithful Through the Hard Times.” – consistently loving God and living for Him even in trials.
“My Parents Were Consistent in Discipline” – reliable in correction. The kids knew what to expect.
“My Parents Were Dependable in Spiritual Things” – consistently reading their Bibles, praying, and being an example of true Christianity.
Not long ago, my family and I were at a church in the northeast. It was a Missions Conference, and I was pleasantly surprised to hear a report from a single lady missionary who had been raised in a godly Christian home. Her very interesting story began when she was just a little girl. “I was raised in a hunter’s home,” Emily told us. I could sense the interest of the men in the congregation. “My dad was a big hunter, and there were lots of weapons in our house. He took the time to teach each of us the importance of respecting the weapons, so that by the time we were four years old, we were allowed to have our own bow and arrow . . . as long as we didn’t shoot each other!” Laughter gently rippled through the people.
“One day when I was four, I got angry with my sister, and I shot an arrow at her!” She paused for a few seconds, and then continued, chuckling, “So what happens when you get in trouble in a Christian home? I got a spanking!” Several folks giggled and nodded their heads in understanding.
“So, as I was lying on my bed, crying, suddenly everything my parents and Sunday school teacher had been trying to tell me all came together, and I realized I was a sinner. There on my bed, I stopped crying and prayed and asked the Lord to forgive me of my sins. Even though I was so young, it was the best day of my life.”
Emily smiled and continued, “So, parents and grandparents . . . you keep doing what you know is right! Do it consistently! You never know – someday it may lead to your children’s salvation!”
May we learn from these dear people, and be consistent!
Can you think of ways to help us as parents be consistent with our children? How can we encourage each other?
Don’t miss the next post, folks! We’ve got four more posts in this series, but I must be honest with you, this next post is the most important of all principles. It is Your Most Valuable Weapon!
Linking up with these fine people:
Monday: The Alabaster Jar
Wednesday: To Love, Honor, and Vacuum