Thanks for your comments on my first post on Passing the Torch. It’s hard to have a dialogue with someone when you disagree on something as fundamental as absolute truth. Tim’s comment nailed my thoughts exactly. Truth is truth no matter what I or anyone else thinks about it. Post modernism says what is true for one person may not be true for someone else. Truth becomes relative rather than absolute. The foundation of all that I believe about the origin of life, the purpose of life, and the existence of eternal life is absolute truth. What I believe is either true or it is absurd, but it cannot be both depending on how I or someone else feels/thinks about it.
Here some foundational absolute truths that I live by: 1. All mankind is sinful and in need of redemption (Romans 3:23). 2. Jesus, the only Son of God, came to earth as the Redeemer for all mankind (John 3:16, Romans 6:23). 3. Jesus is the one and only way to God and eternal life (John 14:6). 4. Without faith in Jesus there is no hope, and eternal death in hell is certain (Revelation 20:11-15). If I believe these to be true, it would be neglect and hateful for me NOT to teach them to my children.
My question today about passing the torch is this, What is THE TORCH you want to pass on to your children? Every parent passes beliefs, perspectives, behaviors, etc. on to their children rather they consciously choose to or not. If you could only pass on one foundational truth to your children, what would that truth be?
When I think about passing the torch in that context, then a lot of things I consider to be important aren’t so important anymore. Is it really important that Camden and Rory like hunting and the outdoors like I do? Is it really important that my kids cheer for the sports teams that I hold dear? Is it really important that they’re into sports at all (I can’t believe I just typed that)? My point is that many times I take every opportunity that presents itself to make sure my kids feel passionate about the same things I’m passionate about, but how much effort do I give to the most important torch I’m trying to pass on.
Parents pass a lot of torches on to their children…some intentionally and some not. Your torches are probably different than my torches. Maybe you want your children to follow in your footsteps with their career choices, their college choices, their politics, their hobbies, etc. None of those things, in-and-of themselves, may be bad. The question is whether we spend more energy passing on those things than we do passing on what is really important.
Deuteronomy 6:5-7 says, “5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”
That is THE TORCH. More than anything else, I want my children to love God with all their heart, soul, and strength. If I’m going to pass that torch on there are some things that I, as a parent, have to do. In my next Passing the Torch post, I’m going to share some things that God is teaching me about passing the torch. I know these things for sure: 1. Parenting is the hardest job I’ve ever had, 2. I often screw it up and pray that my kids aren’t scarred for life, 3. I don’t have all the answers.
So help me out. What, as a parent, do you have to do to ensure that the Deuteronomy 6 torch is passed on to the next generation? What is essential…non-negotiable? Get the conversation started!