I was recently reading the Scripture passage in Matthew 25 about the man that gave talents to his servants. I've often heard this related to talents as in gifts that God has given us. I started thinking about it in relationship to some of the most precious gifts of all--our children.
God has given many of us children, some one, some two and some five PLUS! He is also not here bodily to help us raise them. He has passed that responsibility on to us.
I try my best to learn from others' mistakes instead of making them all myself! I've seen the two attitudes expressed by the servants in parents when raising their children. There are a lot of factors in raising children, and I know that not all children who decide not to serve the Lord do it because of bad parenting. However, it seems like the parents who are most successful invest their children into the work of the Lord. They teach them to be others-oriented rather than selfish and they, as a family, serve the Lord together. This is what the first two servants did with their talents--they invested them and God gave them fruit.
The sad thing is that many parents let fear control them like the unprofitable servant did. They don't just shelter their children until the time they are able to be released into the world, but they smother them and bury them. There is no thinking of others or the Lord's work because others might "contaminate" them. They "hide them under a mattress" so to speak. Of course, they are not ready to work for the Lord when/if they are on their own. They've never seen it in action.
The master in the parable wasn't upset because the servant had lost his talent. He was upset because it wasn't invested and multiplied. God wants us to do more than just "keep our kids in church". I don't believe God wants us to fear. He wants us to trust Him as the Giver of our children to help us parent His children. This is so much harder to do in practice than in theory. May God help me to invest my children back into His work without fear! Oh, how I want my testimony, as insignificant as it seems, to be carried on for generations by my children and my children's children.
What are your practical ideas for investing your children into the Lord's work?