‘Be sure you know the condition of your flocks…for riches do not endure forever…the lambs will provide you with clothing and the goats with the price of a field’ (PV 27:23, 26)
This is a Word given to shepherds. Pastors and parents are spiritual shepherds. In Hebrew, the word translated ‘condition’ means ‘face, personal favor or intimate presence’. This is God’s command: Make every effort to know ‘the faces’, the hearts, of your children, be they natural or spiritual! Your sons and daughters should not intimidate, manipulate or confuse you. God forbid! Parenting is much more than buying baby clothes or paying school fees! Pastoring is much more than preaching a sermon and collecting offerings! Your love must be sacrificial! Your very spirit must be involved! You should be wiser, spiritually stronger, more mature and more loving than they. Your children, when they are small and even when they are grown, should not be a mystery to you! You teach them, you lead them, you bless them! As parents, you need to intercede for them! I mean pray for them! Daily call their names before the throne of mercy and grace! God will show you His purpose for their lives! Flow with that revelation! Even before they tell you about their struggles, the Holy Spirit will reveal to you their inmost hearts, their pains and their dreams.
As a mother, as a father, if you truly love them then you will be willing to help them grow in the grace and in the knowledge of the Lord. You will join your spiritual ‘shoulders’ to theirs, so that their burdens of life will be lighter. This is called spiritual parenting. Even if they are adults, keep your children close to your heart. Do not be a passive ignorant parent or a hireling pastor! Grieve when they go astray, pray them back into the fold when they backslide and rejoice with their successes! If your child is obedient (a lamb) or more difficult (a goat), continue to care for them! Christ rewards His shepherds because He too has a Shepherd’s heart. Be strong, you pastors! Be encouraged, you elders! Be comforted, you parents! Your happy mature strong and spiritual children will give Glory to God! Their good godly lives shall be your reward!