January 09, 2008

You and Your Children

Deuteronomy 6:20-25

When your son asks you ... tell him ...
Deuteronomy 6:20-21


Few parents will claim there is no generation gap between them and their children. Most learn that young people want to be different from their parents, especially when they begin to see their parents' shortcomings. As a result, kids often follow their own generation's music, fashions, and ways of thinking about the world.

Some people argue that the young need not pay attention to their parents' advice or the wisdom of the ages. The future is theirs; the old have had their chance. The past is past, with its stuffy traditions. Do something new and creative-youthful energy will save the world!

But creativity doesn't always imply wisdom. For all the differences between old and young, the tragic sameness of sin unites us. It also tempts the young into be­liev­ing that only they have the answers to life's questions and problems. And when they're old, they'll see that they made mistakes, as did we.

That's why this speech of Moses is such good news. He speaks of another sameness that can unite old and young, the sameness of what God has done for his people-in Egypt, and ultimately on the cross of Christ. The grace that rescues people from their own pride is the same from generation to generation.

Let's help our children see what truly unites us. It makes the other differences easier to live with.

Thank you, Lord, that your mercy and grace are the same for us all. Help older generations show those who are younger the wonders of your grace. In Jesus' name, Amen.

About the author — Arie C. Leder

Dr. Arie C. Leder is the Martin J. Wyngaarden Senior Professor of Old Testament Studies at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He previously served as pastor at Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church, Trenton, Ontario, and with Christian Reformed World Missions in Latin America. He teaches courses on the Pentateuch and on historical books of the Old Testament.

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