The Unwavering Parent & Teacher
And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of a doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.Luke 12:29-30
Committed parents seek the best for their children. Dedicated teachers work hard so that their students can achieve their best. Whether Christian or atheistic, when referring to external achievements and prosperous careers, parents share similar goals for their children. Yet the two differ. How? In many ways, but I would like to focus on one significant difference: the basis for the believer’s and non-believer’s hopes for their children.
Unbelieving teachers have hopes. Their parenting and teaching is not hopeless. But what are their hopes based on? On their children; on the skills that, they taught them, on their ability to apply their learning in new situations when they are alone. But fear and trepidation accompany such hope; all parents and teachers realize that the world their children and students enter is a dangerous one. Powerful influences are present. Will their children make foolish decisions? Will someone persuade former students into harmful commitments? Will my child have the skills, ability, and willpower to always choose the best way and make the right decisions? Will my former students always apply the truths they learned at school to avoid the pitfalls and wrong turns along life’s pathway? Will they choose the right career? Will they persevere and succeed in it? Will they marry well, or will the relationship fall apart some years later?
Do you see that if our hope is based upon our children or students, or on their abilities, or on what we taught them, our hope is built on shaky ground? No wonder we end up worrying so much! Indeed, our children are no match for the world’s trials and temptations. Will all my hopes be dashed? These uncertainties create so much anxiety! A committed parent and dedicated teacher can worry so much about these things!
The Christian parent’s hope is different. It is fixed. It is unwavering. Why? Because the Christian’s hope is not based on our children or students, or what they will think, feel, decide, or do. The Christian’s hope is founded on Jesus Christ. The more firmly believers’ hope is rooted in the Lord, the more unwavering their hope will be. The realities and fears of daily life will not be removed; they remain the same. But the more Christian my hope is, the more it is placed above people, circumstances, and things. The more Christian a parent or teacher is, the more he will trust his son or daughter or student into his heavenly Father’s hand. God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-caring. No temptation or foolish decision is too strong for Him. He can guide my child safely through life. The Lord’s intelligence and wealth is limitless. He can lead each student into fitting careers and provide for all his or her needs.
The world presents many unknown fears, doubts, and worries. Yes, you can be rightfully concerned about the future of your children, grandchildren, and former students. But do not end in the world or in the unknown future. Do not end in worry. Do not become anxious. As our text instructs us, do not be “of a doubtful mind.” Do not let your thoughts end in all that can go wrong. All this is worldly and ungodly thinking. End in Christ; root your thinking in God. In Him, your hope will find unwavering ground. Your Father knows that your children need all the things that you worry about. He knows all the dangers that your students will face. He will provide; trust Him.
In the previous verses in Luke 12, Jesus directed His listeners’ attention to the birds of the air and to the grass of the field. If God cares for them every day, will He not care for you and your children? If He provides food for the birds and clothes the grass so beautifully, will He not take care of you? Will He not hear your prayers? Will He not provide all that is necessary?
Trust God in Christ. Do not trust yourself, your children, or your ever-changing world. Trust your all in God. Do not try to hold the lives of your children or students in your hands; do not place your hopes in them or their abilities. All this will disappoint and generate anxiety. Do not be of a doubtful mind, for your Father knows that your children need all these things. Trust them in His fatherly hands. Here you will find solid hope – as solid as the Rock of Ages. Here the soul of a parent and teacher may find rest. This is the only unmoveable hope.
Are you an unwavering parent, a solidly rooted teacher?