Thursday, November 28, 2002
If I'm ever on an airplane flight where the flight attendant becomes incapacitated, I think I can do the safety instructions. Yep, I've heard them so many times. Actually, these days, they've pretty much videoized the presentation. I like that part where the little yellow oxygen masks drop down from above your seat in the demonstration. In the video, everyone is wonderfully calm in this simulated oxygen problem - very true-to-life, I'm sure! Anyway, the video shows a mother putting the mask on herself, and then on her little girl. The instructions go like this: "If the cabin pressure drops, get the oxygen to your face first, and then to your child's."
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Breathing the Air Your Child Needs."
When it's crunch time on an airplane flight, you have to first get for yourself the oxygen you need as a parent, then you can give your son or daughter what they need. In these increasingly challenging days for parents and dangerous days for our kids, we have to breathe deeply what our children need so we can pass it on to them.
Over the years of youth and family work I've been involved in, I have often been asked by a parent, "Can you help my son or daughter?" Often, the most helpful answer would be, "Can we get the oxygen to you before we try to get it to them?" How many times has our child's weakness been a mirror of our own, their failure a mirror of ours ... their baggage, their needs - it is like a mirror, isn't it? I have to get me fixed before I can fix my son or daughter. And how in the world do we change things about ourselves that we haven't been able to change all these years?
There is wonderful hope in our word for today from the Word of God in 1 Peter 1:18. God says, "You were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers ... with the precious blood of Christ." We've all gotten these destructive hand-me-down ways of living from our parents who probably got those same hurting ways from their parents, and so on. And even though we may have been determined not to reproduce some of those traits, here they are marking another generation. Unless their hold can be stopped in your generation! Unless I can find the spiritual oxygen needed. If I can, then I can then pass it on to my children.
We've all got ways of doing things we have long wanted to change for a long time: my temper, my negative attitude, my lack of discipline, my critical tongue, this addictive personality, this lack of affection, the dishonesty. But God injects into our lifelong struggle to change, this hope-giving word: "redeemed." We can be redeemed from it! But you can't help your child with that problem until you have breathed God's life-giving oxygen first. The bridge between the person you are and the person you need to be is spelled S-A-V-I-O-R.
We need a Savior. Jesus Christ shed His blood on a cross to pay for a lifetime of your sins and mine, and He breaks the power of sin to enslave any person who belongs to Him. And the Savior becomes your personal Savior when you tell Him you're giving yourself to Him.
Isn't it time you opened up to the One who died for you, for your sake, for the sake of your precious child, for the sake of future generations. If you want to begin this life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ, I'd love to send you the booklet I wrote about it called "Yours For Life." Just let me know you want it.
Jesus has redeeming grace for that son or daughter you love so much. But first, you have to breathe it for yourself.