Excerpt of Dr. Dobson’s pamphlet:
…The second concept in my dad’s letter was the one that ended my parental complacency. He helped me realize that it is possible for mothers and fathers to love and revere God while systematically losing their children. You can go to church three times a week, serve on its governing board, attend the annual picnic, pay your tithes and make all the approved religious noises, yet somehow fail to communicate the real meaning of Christianity to the next generation.
This mission of introducing one’s children to the Christian faith can be likened to a three-man relay race. First, your father runs his lap around the track, carrying the baton, which represents the gospel of Jesus Christ. At the appropriate moment, he hands the baton to you, and you begin your journey around the track. Then finally, the time will come when you must get the baton safely in the hands of your child. But as any track coach will testify, relay races are won or lost in the transfer of the baton. There is a critical moment when all can be lost by a fumble or miscalculation. The baton is rarely dropped on the back side of the tract when the runner has it firmly in his grasp. If failure is to occur, it will likely happen in the exchange between generations!
According to the Christian values which govern my life, my most important reason for living is to get the baton–the gospel–safely in the hands of my children. Of course, I want to place it in as many other hands as possible, and I’m deeply devoted to the ministry to families that God has given me. Nevertheless, my number one responsibility is to evangelize my own children. In the words of my dad, everything else appears “pale and washed out” when compared with that fervent desire. Unless my son and daughter grasp the faith and take it with them around the track, it matters little how fast they run.
The urgency of this mission has taken Shirley and me to our knees since before the birth of our first child. That is why we find ourselves in prayer, week after week, uttering this familiar petition:
Lord, here we are again. You know what we need even before we ask, but let us say it one more time. When You consider the many requests we have made of You through the years… regarding our health and my ministry and the welfare of our loved ones… please put this supplication at the top of the list: keep the circle of our little family unbroken when we stand before You on the Day of Judgment. Compensate for our mistakes and failures as parents, and counteract the influences of an evil world that would undermine the faith of our children. And especially, Lord, we ask for Your involvement when our son and daughter stand at the crossroads, deciding whether or not to walk the Christian path. They will be beyond our care at that moment, and we humbly ask You to be there. Send a significant friend or leader to help them choose the right direction. They were Yours before they were born, and now we give them back to You in faith, knowing that You love them even more than we do.
|Sweet baby girl|