“…if you want to know the Bible, there is no quick plan, no shortcuts, no easy osmosis method. You need to spend time with it. Prayerfully examine your priorities. If you are a parent, consider what you want to teach your children. Do you want them to think that Bible study is important? Study it. Let them see your priorities in action. Do you want them to grow up as praying people? Pray! Don’t be afraid to be spiritual and to talk about spiritual things.” – Henry Neufeld, Threads from Henry’s Web
My husband, Henry, was asked to speak to a group of parents re Bible study this Sunday. He received an email from one of the parents this week who told him “don’t go into too much detail, keep it general. We only want enough so we don’t look stupid in front of our children.” My immediate response was 1/2 rage & 1/2 deep sadness for their children. When will our relationship & our children’s relationship with God become important? When our family is torn apart in a divorce? When our child is diagnosed with cancer? Do we think that our family is going to be protected from pain and adversity?
During the year when my son went through chemotherapy, I would walk the hospital halls at night while he slept. Often I would see parents sitting and holding their child’s hand, just staring at the child, willing them to get better, willing them to live. In the shadows of those hallways, I realized that it wasn’t only disease and injuries which tried to destroy families. It was fear. Whether it was something “simple” like broken bones in an accident or it was a life-threatening disease like cancer or cystic fibrosis, fear was the dark cloud that hung over every room, attempting to suck the life, the hope from the people there. How do you combat such an entity without faith in God? I don’t know but rarely does a day go by when I do not thank God again for His mercy to strike a hunger in me for His Word in the three years prior to my son’s diagnosis. How much more difficult this season of fighting cancer would have been if I would have also been struggling to find my “faith footing” in a world that had been turned upside down. And my son had seen me studying and reading and so he, too, had been part of a youth group that had study groups and discussions about God. Along with his brother and sister, we talked about God around the dinner table. I wasn’t reluctant to say, “I don’t know” and use that as a family opportunity to find the answer to a question.
Do I say all of this to boast? No way! I say this to thank God for His mercy and His great love to guide my life and open up the opportunity to spend time learning about Him. I am praying for this group of young parents and hope many of them will have a revelation moment when Henry brings an opportunity to learn more than “just enough.” God wants to give them so much more.