Near our house stands a 77 foot 7 inch high steel cross. It’s huge!
It’s the work of an artist friend of ours, Max Greiner. Max recently planted dozens of trees and because of the constant wind each tree is staked on all four sides so it grows straight.
Like these trees, our kids are going to face strong and shifting winds of culture and morality. And like these trees, if they are not securely anchored they will be driven by every wind and grow bent and twisted.
Restraint is involved.
The wires restrain the tree from going the way it would naturally go in response to the winds. Children also need parents to restrain them from going the way they would naturally go driven by peers, society, media, etc.
“A child who is unrestrained brings shame to his mother.” – Proverbs 29:15
That means we have to be the boss. We are responsible for deciding when it’s bed time, what they can do and what they can’t do. When/if they date. What time they need to be home.
Restraint often means going against the prevailing winds of culture. It may mean we don’t allow our kids to do “what everybody else is doing”. It may mean we aren’t “the cool parents”.
As a parent I don’t have to earn this power or even want it. I have it because God gave it to me when he commanded children to obey.
Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. – Colossians 3:20
To be fair, I ran our home as a democracy. Each of our three children got one vote on an issue. My wife got four votes and I got eight. Because I realized that since God gave me the authority to lead my family He would also hold me accountable for how I used that authority.
I was expected to lead my family the way He leads His – sacrificially laying down His life for us. If I was a harsh dictator I would give account to Him.
Likewise, if I was negligent and allowed my children to grow unrestrained I would give account to Him. Generations of Eli’s children were judged because of his failure to restrain his full grown sons.
For I told him that I would judge his family forever. He knew about the sins his sons were committing and he failed to restrain them. 1 Samuel 3:13
God expects me to restrain my children from evil.
And I will stand before Him to give account for how I used, abused or ignored that authority.
Find out more about the Coming King Sculpture Garden and the 77’7” empty cross.