Focus on the Family

By KIMBERLY SNIDER
THINK A MINUTE

THINK a minute.

Some parents can trace their family back 300 years, but they don’t know where their children were last night. A wise man said: “If fathers took their sons fishing when they were young, they wouldn’t have to go hunting for them when they’re older.” It has also been stated: “There are no illegitimate children—only illegitimate parents.” Just having children doesn’t make a man a father or a woman a mother.

One father admitted: “The thorns I’ve reaped are from the garden I planted.” It’s sad that some parents spend more time raising fruits and vegetables than they do raising their own children. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis concluded: “If you fail to do a good job raising your children, whatever else you do doesn’t matter much.” No work is more important than the work of raising our children to become happy, successful people.

The first doctor in history to successfully perform a heart transplant was the South African surgeon, Christian Barnard. But in his book, One Life, he tells about his failure as a husband and father. Dr. Barnard had gone away to America for many months doing his world-famous medical work. He tells what happened when he finally went home to his family in South Africa:

“It seemed like 100 years since I’d been home. I’d not written my wife and children in months, yet I was still shocked by my wife’s greeting. She asked, ‘Why did you come back? I could see there was no longer a smile in her eyes. She said, “Don’t look so surprised! We gave you up. We thought you were never coming back!” I said, “But I was building hearts.” She replied bitterly, “No, you were building a family! That is, until you dumped it all on me.

We no longer exist for you.” At that moment, this brilliant heart surgeon knew that even he could not heal the broken hearts of his own family whom he failed.

Many of us have failed as a spouse or parent; but Jesus Christ will forgive you if you ask Him. Then ask Him to help you start changing and doing a better job of raising your children to become the happy, successful people they were born to be.

Just think a minute.

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