I could be wrong, but I believe most parents not only want their children to thrive, but they also want them to carry and reveal some remnant from each of them. Far more than the “nature” of a few proteins in the double-helix of DNA, we want our “nurture,” our working of the clay of our children's lives, to be evident in the way they live. Recall one of those special moments like when a young boy, sitting at the kitchen table, mimics every move his father makes as he goes through his morning routine of reading the morning paper and eating his breakfast. The boy who really doesn’t get excited over snotty eggs learns to eat the white first and then gulp up the whole yolk all at once just like Daddy does. Or imagine the same boy carefully spreading shaving cream over his face, then scraping it away with the handle of his toothbrush because he saw how Daddy does it. We want our children to perpetuate something of our character that somehow bridges the legacy of our identity and efforts into the future. Fast forward to the same boy as a twenty-something. He is now his own man. Not a “mini-me” but a wonderful variant of both mom and dad with a bit of the child’s freestyle mixed in. Now, imagine you have a family friend who gave your son a job at his machine shop. One day he comes to you and as you share a conversation over a beer, he begins telling you that he doesn’t respect your son, remarking how he is “so different from you.” Gut-check. Even if those criticisms were objectively accurate, what would your initial reaction be? I think in my own mind I would be inclined to wrap my hands around my so-called friend’s scrawny little neck, because how can someone love and respect me, the father, and yet hate my son?
1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. 4 For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 6 This is he who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7 For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree. 9 If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son. 10 Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. 11 And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Isaac Serrano is Lead Teaching Pastor of South Valley Community Church. He likes talking theology, history, and culture. Isaac lives in Gilroy with his family. On his days off, he likes to go fishing and venture outdoors. Isaac serves on the leadership board for the Regeneration Project and the school board of Pacific Point Christian Schools.