When I visit the grandkids, I love to hear the words, “Watch me Poppy!” My granddaughter and grandson, whom I affectionately call “Tooter” and “Tater” wants me to watch them blow a bubble, “try” to whistle, make some funny face, or do some acrobat routine. They want my undivided attention, and I am happy to give it to them on most occasions. I always enjoy watching my grandchildren doing this and that, and I have always loved watching my children perform in sporting events, band concerts, and the like. Watching my children and grandchildren is always a joy – it brings me great happiness.
Many parents will travel far and wide trying never to miss a performance of their child. Take a moment to think about your children or grandchildren – are they not wonderful, are they not precious? What wouldn’t you do for them? We love them so much!
My friends, there is another kind of watching that is much more important – the watching for their souls. I can live with my son fumbling the football on the one-yard line, I can live with my daughter not making the basketball team, and I can live with my granddaughter and grandson’s various failures in life, but I cannot live with them being unfaithful to the Lord. I want more than anything for them to go to heaven, and I want to be there with them.
So, along with the watching of their performances, I must, more importantly, be watching closely for their souls. This is when our children and grandchildren may want to say, “Don’t watch me,” or, “Don’t you trust me?” But Solomon said, “Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying” (Pro. 19:18; KJV). No matter how much they might complain about us watching out for them, or getting in their business, this must not deter us. Let me share with you a couple things that parents and grandparents must watch out for in the raising of their precious loved ones.
This first point may be the most crucial. We must watch out for who are their friends. The Bible clearly states, “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals.'” (1 Cor. 15:33; ESV). “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm” (Pro. 13:20; ESV). It is vital that parents know who their children spend time with at school. There are bad kids in athletics, in band, in ROTC, and in many other school organizations – who will try to lead your precious child astray. Knowing them means more than just knowing their names, it means knowing the kind of kids they are. Do not take your kids word for it! This could be fatal for a couple of reasons: 1) they may be hiding something from you, and thus, lie to you (children can lie), or 2) they may simply be unaware of the dangers associated with that kind of friend – thinking they are good. Parents need to check very carefully into whom their children hang around with.
Secondly, parents and grandparents must watch out for the kind of music and games their children play, and where they go on the Internet. Evils abound in these areas, and they have easy access to them. Do not raise your children with your head in the sand on these issues. Do some research – be alert! Many times our children do not realize the trouble associated with these avenues of evil. Watch out for your children, “so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs” (2 Cor. 2:11; ESV). We must keep close tabs in these areas constantly, and children need to know that we are constantly watching them and checking up on them. Yes, we are getting into their personal business, and should be happy to do so. That is why you are the parent and they are the child. Do not let them forget that!
Watch out for the souls of your children and grandchildren!