So he built an altar there, and called upon the name of the Lord, and pitched his tent there; and Isaac’s servants dug a well (Genesis 26:25).
Would you rather be a great person or the parent of great children? That depends on what we mean by great. The challenge which all parents face is to communicate the vitality of their faith. The family accomplishes its purpose if children are able to hear and see in their parents the evidence of an authentic relationship with the Lord. If children can witness how parents deal with the delights and difficulties of life, with both bringing them closer to the Lord, they will discover a faith that is their own. The problem is that so often all that children receive from their parents’ faith are the rules and regulations of moral behavior. Parents must discipline, establish right and wrong, and help children discover and utilize their potential. But too often the motive of an intimate, personal relationship with the Lord is not communicated. The result is that children associate the Lord with the oughts of Christian discipline without the adventure of Christian discipleship.
Abraham was both a great man and a great father. He shared the promise and destiny God had given him so that Isaac grew to be a strong, quiet, consistent man. He trusted God, acknowledged His faithfulness, stood firmly against his enemies, and worked hard in the simplicity of his pastoral life. He is remembered for little else than that he was Abraham’s son and Jacob’s father, and that he dug wells. There were no acts of valor or daring triumph. But a truly good life can be a great life. Isaac fulfilled his purpose in God’s unfolding strategy. What parent could want more than that?
Great parents share the greatness of their faith so that in raising their children they introduce them to an authentic relationship with the Lord.
Dr. Lloyd John Ogilvie authored more than 50 books, including Conversation with God, When You Need a Miracle, and the immensely popular daily devotional God’s Best for My Life. He previously served as senior pastor of Hollywood Presbyterian Church in California and as chaplain of the United States Senate.