Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Gospel Thoughts Today: Setting An Example

Every single child needs love and stability. And that doesn't stop just because they turn 18. Why is it so many parents think the minute their child is old enough to drive they can take care of themselves? Or, when their child goes off to college they choose to stop parenting, claiming they gave 18 years of raising this child and now it is their time to have fun? I'm not saying don't take care of yourself. I'm not saying don't have a good time. I'm saying take care of yourself and continue to guide and nurture your young adults. The best way to do that? By example. So many young people are lost, trying to figure out their place in life. If we, as parents, aren't there to send them in the right direction, who will? The media (heaven forbid!)? Their friends? You may think they don't need you anymore, but the truth is, they do. Have you planted the seeds of faith in your children? If you haven't, get to work. It's never too late. Set an example.

Jesus gives a few analogies in the Gospel (Luke 13:18-21) on planting the seeds:

Jesus said, "What is the Kingdom of God like? To what can I compare it? It is like a mustard seed that a man took and planted in the garden. When it was fully grown, it became a large bush and the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches." Again he said, "To what shall I compare the Kingdom of God? It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch of dough was leavened."

In Anne a lay apostle's book Lessons in Love, she encourages us to take a look at the example we are setting for our children:

"Dear parent, I know you are lonely but Jesus loves our children far more than we do and if He has entrusted them to us, He will help us to both provide for them and fashion them according to His plan. In the case of single parenting, Catholic identity is even more crucial. Our children will retain perfect dignity if we connect them to the Church as we are bringing them up through their childhood. Jesus Christ and our Blessed Mother view all children as treasures, irreplaceable to the Kingdom of God. Therefore, if these children are secure in their place in the Church, they will be secure in their place in the world. I have seen many children from single-parent families flourishing. They generally, like all children, adapt to the viewpoint of the parent so the parent must be vigilant about his or her own dignity. This means, dear parents, conducting ourselves rightly and not exposing the children to any influences that are in conflict with holy formation. Children will not do what we say. Children will do what we do."

Lay apostles, begin with taking a look at how you act in front of your children, no matter their age.  If you have young children, are you speaking appropriately in front of them, eliminating unhealthy language? If you have teens, are you requiring they attend Mass with you every week?  If you have adult children, are you encouraging them to seek a relationship with Jesus?  All we have is the remainder of our time on this earth.  Let's use every second to promote the Kingdom of God.

Thank you, Lord, for allowing me the gift of a loving man, four daughters, two sons-in-law, four grandchildren, and an incredible mother-in-law.  Please help me continue directing them straight into Your Loving Arms.

God bless,

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