"His children must be believers who are not wild or rebellious." Titus 1:6
Here Saint Paul is instructing Titus, whom he had left on the island of Crete, how to choose leaders. He gave detailed instructions on the character of an elder, a servant of God. What struck me out of all the qualities was this one about how his children ought to behave. They should be believers, and they should not be wild, rebellious, or insubordinate. When you think about it, how can a man lead a group effectively if he can't take care of his own children?
Yesterday we attended the 36th anniversary of Christ's Youth in Action, an outreach founded by our community to evangelize the youth and to train future leaders for the Church and society. I was pleasantly surprised to see the son of a couple in our community lead the worship. I have known this young man ever since he was a baby, and have seen him grow up. I thought he was rather shy, but there he was in front of this huge group of university students, telling a story about his grandfather who passed away this year. Tito Eli, his grandfather, was one of the pillars of our community. He was like a father to me and to so many. He advised us, led us in a very gentle but firm manner. His son, Gerry and wife Dory, are my examples of people with a heart for service. If there's something that needs doing, they are there, generously giving their time. And now here is their son John! Three generations serving the Lord! How He must be pleased!
It's terribly difficult to bring up children. We don't want to be too strict, but it's never a good idea to be too lenient either. And what's good for one child isn't necessarily good for another. I think the absolute best way is to hem them in prayer. The wife of Max Lucado, the writer and preacher, walks around her home praying for her husband and her children. In Lamentations 2:19, we can read, "Pour out your hearts like water to the Lord. Lift up your hands to him in prayer, pleading for your children..." Yes Lord, You know what is in a parent's heart. Hear our prayers and pleadings for our children.