Aug. 27, 1961 is a very important day in my life as well as my wife, children, sister, brother, their spouses and their children. If it were not for my parents, Bill and Winnie Northington, marrying on that day many years ago, none of us would be here now.
As you and I think back on life experiences and the choices we make, we are not able to look into the future to see what will happen because of those decisions. They are unknown to us and, in some way, we just trust that the choice of marrying this man or this woman, or whatever choice it is, will work out. However, God knows what will happen and He has given us His Holy Spirit to guide us to make those best decisions.
My parents grew up in the South to stable but less than perfect homes where they were loved while experiencing the ups and downs of life like all of us do. Their parents were hard-working, middle class people who wanted to do what was best for their children and their friends around them.
Dad and Mom began to take us children to church right out of the crib and provided an environment where we could learn the ways of the Lord. We were not flawless children, but they loved us unconditionally and were fully committed to us.
As my parents grew in their relationship with the Lord, they began to pass on what they learned to my sister, brother and me. Deuteronomy 11:19 instructs parents to take God’s Word and “Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
Being a parent today, part of what they taught me is being instilled into our children now. This is the beauty of parenting that God designed – passing down His love and instruction through imperfect human beings to another generation who then passes on the same.
“Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him.” As you interact with your children or grandchildren, realize the choices you make today in how you treat them will impact generations to come. What you and I put in them will determine the reward of seeing them be fruitful adults one day. My prayer is that you and I will make our relationship with God a priority so that we can be trustworthy to pass on our faith to them and then experience them as the gifts they are.
Dad and Mom, thank you for living out the vows you made so many years ago to one another. Your commitment will leave a lasting legacy for generations to come.