The Set Up

My kids can thank me for their good vision. But they can also blame me for the crooked teeth they had straightened with orthodontics.

But I haven't just set my two children up with physical blessings and cursings. It's likely that I've paved their paths in other ways as well.

Fact is, I'm setting the pace for their lives in many ways...with every decision I make, every attitude I harbor, every word I say, and every habit I practice.

For the past several days I've been reading in 1 Kings and I've begun to notice a trend. I bet you've seen it too.

Turns out that David's decisions and lifestyle sent his sons Absalom, Amnon, and Solomon in three different directions. Saul's tormented attitudes drove Jonathan to an early death. And Solomon's short-lived wisdom and success predicated his son's short-lived reign on the throne and shrunk the kingdom he inherited significantly.

And that's not all. The chapters I read indicate one son after another who reaped the consequences of his father's or grandfather's actions. Sometimes the inheritance was good. The father had done well and so the son was blessed. Other times, unfortunately, the dad messed up and the son ended up trying to clean up the pieces he left in his wake. Blessings and cursings. Inheritances and handicaps.

That makes me think: what am I setting my children up with?

Sometimes the consequences of our actions are direct and unmistakeable.
But I'm sure there are more subtle set ups in the making every day of our lives. Little decisions, "harmless" words, unintentional reactions, stubborn attitudes we think belong to us alone and affect no one else. We're wrong. The Bible clearly teaches that our ways--all of them--are laying the pavement our children will walk on in their adult years.

For instance, what kind of path do I pave for my children when I:
Ahh, the list could go on and on and on. The little things. The little things that I've seen have huge consequences in other peoples' lives. The little things that I'm setting up my children with.

So I ask myself today--and I ask you--what choices have I made today...this day...that have set my children up for blessings? And what decisions have I made or neglected to make that have set them up for struggles, for problems?

It's something to think about. Seriously.

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