"Follow the Leader"
May 15, 2013
And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. Deuteronomy 6:6-7
Mohammed Nisham lives in New Delhi, India. There he and his wife own thriving tobacco and real-estate businesses.
In this case, thriving businesses translates into the Nishams being very rich, but it does not mean they are very smart ... at least not when it comes to giving direction to their children.
Case in point: Nisham was recently arrested for endangering the life of a child and allowing a minor to drive. The minor behind the wheel was his nine-year-old son. The children's mother explained why they let the lad drive on the open road. She said, "He's been asking and asking and asking; so we let him drive the Ferrari."
That's right; she said the boy was driving "the Ferrari." That's an expensive automobile. On the other hand, why not? The Nishams had already allowed their boy to drive their equally expensive Bentley and Lamborghini.
And if you're asking, "Do these parents feel any remorse for having risked the lives of their son and other innocent bystanders?" the answer is no. The boy's mother said, "I am proud of him. He's been driving since he was five. ... It's not easy for a child to achieve such a feat at this young age."
To which I reply, "Mom, I've got news: such a feat is pretty easy." All you need do is give your son the car keys, make sure his feet can reach the pedals, and get out of the way. And, as long as you're stepping out of the way, make sure everybody else does too. After all, there is a big difference between being able to drive and driving responsibly.
In truth, when I read that story, I was disappointed in the parenting skills of the Nishams. It seemed as if the children were in charge and not the parents.
Tragically, there are many parents who follow the Nishams when it comes to giving spiritual guidance to their little ones. They believe their children, and not themselves, know what is best. You will note, according to the Scripture above, adults in general and parents in particular, should set the direction for their children spiritually. Understand, I don't believe Jesus ought to be rammed down any child's throat, but that doesn't mean responsible parents shouldn't lead and direct their children toward the path of righteousness.
The Lord has entrusted our children to us for a short time. It is the wise parent who does all he or she can to make sure Christ can pick these little ones up in His arms and bless them. Even more, we need to make sure the children know part of the Savior's blessing revolves around the sacrifice He made, which gives us a blessed life in this world and a joyful eternity with Him in the next.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, today I have many things to do. May I always remember the most important thing on each day's calendar is showing the Savior to others, including and especially my children and grandchildren. May I lead them on that path. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries