Youths—You Touch Your Parents’ Heart
“NO GREATER cause for thankfulness do I have than these things, that I should be hearing that my children go on walking in the truth,” wrote the aged apostle John. (3 John 4) Although the children mentioned in this Bible verse refer to Christian disciples, a God-fearing parent can easily relate to these sentiments expressed by John. Just as parents make an important difference in the lives of their offspring, so children make a great difference in the lives of their parents.
King Solomon of Israel noted how deeply children can affect their parents. He wrote: “A wise son is the one that makes a father rejoice, and a stupid son is the grief of his mother.” (Proverbs 10:1) Therefore, all children—even older ones—do well to consider the effect that their actions will have on their father and mother. Why is this appropriate?
Just think of all the care that your God-fearing parents have poured into your upbringing! Their concerns and prayers for you began long before your birth. After you were born, both parents enjoyed bonding with you and likely thanked God for the grand—but sobering—privilege and responsibility of parenting. A tiny, helpless person was now in their charge, and as worshippers of Jehovah, they took this seriously.
Since your parents are true Christians, they turned to the Bible and Bible-based literature for trustworthy guidance, and they asked those who had raised children for advice. They also continued to express their concerns to God in prayer. (Judges 13:8) As you grew, your parents knew your strengths but were not blind to your weaknesses. (Job 1:5) With the teenage years came new challenges. At times, you may have acted rebelliously, and your parents found themselves praying more, reading more, and thinking more about how to help you to continue worshipping your heavenly Father, Jehovah.
Your parents never stop being a mother and a father. Their concern for your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual welfare continues even after you grow older. All the while, however, parents remember that you are a free moral agent and that there are no guarantees as to how your life will turn out. Ultimately, you will decide for yourself what course to follow.
Would it not stand to reason, then, that if there is “no greater cause for thankfulness” for parents than to hear that their children “go on walking in the truth,” the opposite is also true? Indeed, children who act foolishly bring grief to their parents. Solomon stated: “A stupid son is a vexation to his father and a bitterness to her that gave him birth.” (Proverbs 17:25) What deep sorrow parents experience when a child forsakes the worship of the true God!
Clearly, you have considerable influence within your family and beyond. Your behavior deeply touches your parents’ hearts. If you turn your back on God and his principles, your parents will suffer. However, the opposite is also true. If you remain faithful and obedient to Jehovah, your parents will rejoice. Be determined to make the heart of your parents rejoice! What more precious gift could you ever give to those who raise, protect, and love you?