Bulletin Article
May 6, 2001


By Doug Long

One of my childhood memories is of my grandfather telling me what he would do different if he had a chance to do it all over again, on condition that he could retain his 80+ years of wisdom. I find it an interesting paradox that when we gain enough wisdom to make good decisions, it is usually too late, because the decisions have been made, and when we need wisdom and patience we are too young to have gained them. Of course this isn't true for everyone. I am a prime example of lack of focus and discipline. It is important for us as parents to let our teens and pre-teens know that the decisions that they are making right now, those little decisions that they make day to day, will (not might) affect the rest of their lives. When a decision is made to skip class, the result on your GPA can be the determining factor whether you get a student loan or a grant. If you decide to volunteer, or feed the homeless on Thanksgiving or Christmas, or get into a school play or debate club, these extracurricular activities can be the difference between whether you get accepted to the college you choose, or whether you will need to settle for the college that will take you. And I don't even need to mention the destruction 15 minutes of sex can do to your life. In short, as you get older you make decisions that begin to narrow what you will do in the future. You can make choices for the sky to be the limit, or you can settle for what is left. Kids face so many pitfalls today. They really need the wisdom of parents and grandparents to guide them, but we need to be proactive. I have been writing about decisions that affect our lives, but there is another decision that can affect our eternal life. The decision to accept Jesus into our lives and be baptized for remission of sins is one of the most important decisions anyone can make, whether you are old or young. It is a turning point. Again a parent's wisdom and involvement is essential for our young ones to succeed.

Proverbs 13:24 He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly.

Ephesians 6:1-3
1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
2"Honor your father and mother," which is the first commandment with promise:
3"that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth."