Hear, my son, your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching; indeed, they are a graceful wreath to your head and ornaments about your neck.
The final “S” in this acrostic for parenting with S-U-C-C-E-S-S is this: successful parents SPEND time with their children.
There is no verse in the Bible that says, “Spend time with your children.” But all the parenting principles we have looked at this week require not just quality time but a quantity of time with your children. Did you know 100 years ago the average parent spent 54 percent of his waking hours with his children? Today that figure is only 18 percent. In fact, one study said the average father spends only eight to ten minutes per day with his children. No wonder when our children run into problems and temptations, parents are among the last to whom they turn for help.
In the Old Testament, Eli was a faithful and successful priest. He was successful in his work and successful in his ministry. But Eli was not a successful father–his sons were very rebellious. In fact, the Bible calls them “worthless men” (1 Samuel 2:12). They stole from the Lord’s altar and committed acts of sexual immorality. Verse 17 says of Eli’s sons, “the sin of the young men was very great before the Lord, for the men despised the offering of the Lord.” So how did Eli respond when he heard about his sons’ sin and rebellion? “Now Eli was very old; and he heard all that his sons were doing to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who served at the doorway of the tent of meeting. He said to them, ‘Why do you do such things, the evil things that I hear from all these people?’ . . . But they would not listen to the voice of their father” (vv. 22-23, 25). God judged Eli and his sons for their unrepentant sin. As a result, when we think of Eli, we don’t think of his success in his work. We only think of his legacy of failure as a parent.
Parents, if you fail your children, you lose everything. That is why it is so important that we apply these biblical parenting principles. What we do or we fail to do as a parent does not just stop with our children, but it reverberates through generation after generation. You see, when we leave this earth, our likeness will continue to appear again and again in the children and the grandchildren we leave behind. And that is why it is crucial that we learn to parent with success.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Parenting with S-U-C-C-E-S-S” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2009.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.