As I have watched what is happening in our society I feel the overwhelming urge to apologize to my children. Let me explain.
As a parent it is my heart felt desire that my children inherit a world, a country, a church that will nurture them, give them hope and be something healthy and strong. Instead we are giving them exactly the opposite; or at least so it seems.
Scripture states that:
"Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people" (Proverbs 14:34, NKJV).
Or, as one paraphrase version words it:
"God-devotion makes a country strong; God-avoidance leaves people weak" (TMSG).
I am sorry to my kids that our nation has become weak. Weak in its morals. Weak in its willingness to stand up for what is right. We try so hard to not offend anyone, that we avoid standing on God's Word or His standards. We have worked so hard to take God out of every aspect of our society and daily lives that we have become morally bankrupt as a people; and then want to blame God for our distress.
I have watched the recent political discourse, and just as in past political environments, I am amazed at the naivety. We have people saying that their moral goodness or compromise won't effect their decision making processes; after all we are not electing a Pastor-in-Chief. But it seems to me that what you hold dear; what you consider to be of most value cannot help but to influence the choices you make and the issues on which you are willing to stand. As our leaders become more and more spiritually bankrupt we bury our heads in the sand and hope for something better. The problem with burying your head in the sand is it leaves you in the perfect position to be squarely kicked in the.....well you get the idea. We avoid the expectation of moral uprightness and godliness and so we become weak. So, to my kids I say, "I am sorry."
Another area where I must tell my kids I am sorry, has to do with the divided world we are leaving them. You turn on the TV and what you see and hear is a nation tearing itself apart. We argue over who is the most racist, when the reality is racism is rampant in all areas of society; red, yellow, black and white. We argue over whose lives matter most. We become antagonistic when one side dares to disagree with our stance on this issue or that. We yell that we are so angry with the establishment, but then proceed to divide our society even more.
In the Church we talk and debate about which sins are hurting our people the most. Which is kind of silly. It is like saying; "which is making us more dead; murder or decease." Friends, dead is dead no matter how you get there. We divide our congregations along political and societal morays; and in turn become more focused on our divisions than we do on God's call to unity in the Church.
In 1858 in an address to the Illinois Republican State Convention, Abraham Lincoln reminded the people of the words of Christ when he spoke of the "house divided." Jesus said it this way:
“Every kingdom divided against itself is headed for destruction,
and a house divided against itself falls" (Luke 11:17, HCSB).
Lincoln saw, even before he ran for President, that if our nation continued down the road of division it was doomed. So what have we given our children, a nation that is growing more and more divided with every political speech, every new social movement, every new way to be offended. We have given our children a nation of hate, distrust and division, and for that I am sorry. We have left for our children a Church more interested in political, social and personal agendas than being a people of the Book; letting God's standards draw us together. And for that I am sorry.
I so desperately want my children to have the future that God has promised them (Jeremiah 29:11). I deeply want them to know what it means to be the people of God seeing the blessings of God. Perhaps it is time for God's people to start living God's purposes in our lives, our homes, our communities. After declaring that God is Lord and that we should love Him with all that we are, Scripture goes on to tell us that we should make God's words a part of our heart and then:
"...teach them diligently to your children,..talk of them when you sit in your house,
when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.
You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets
between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house
and on your gates" (Deuteronomy 6:7-9).
To my kids I am sorry for what we have left you. But to my kids I also declare; "It does not have to remain this way." In our home, our Churches, our community we must place God back on the throne of our lives, nation and society. As parents we must live, teach and make a priority out of being a God-focused, God-honoring people. As the people of God we must "pray, seek" His "face, and turn from" our "wicked ways" (2 Chronicles 7:14) for it is only then that we will see the hand of God heal our land.
I am tired of being sorry for what we are leaving our kids. Perhaps instead of living in a state of constant "sorry" it is time for us to live in a state of proactive faith.