October 23, 2008


My mom always testified that I was instrumental in her coming to Christ. Because I came to Christ at age 16, before my mother, and because I expressed interest in going into the ministry, mom decided to join a Bible study. She figured she needed to know the Bible since I was entering the ministry. At that Bible study, mom found Christ. Mom credited me. She would often quote to others Isaiah 11:6 " a … child will lead them."

At moments, children lead their parents. This comes home to me ever so often at the Love and Respect conference. For example, this weekend at the Wheaton, Illinois conference, during the book signing, three individuals stood before Sarah and me: a father, mother and 25 year old son. The father and mother attended the conference because the son invited them. Burdened for his parent's marriage, he took the initiative in bringing them to the conference. They accepted. They responded. With enthusiasm they stood in the book signing line.

I received this e-mail from a person: "I watched your video series as a class for college. I really liked what I heard. Do you do counseling? Or do you know of someone who uses your materials? (In Alabama) My parents need help..." I applaud this young person's burden for the marriage of the parents. I encourage young people to reach out to their mom and dad. It isn't fair that a child should "parent" the parent but sometimes circumstances go in that direction.

Another writes, "This email however, is not about me. This is about my parents. As I am learning how wonderfully God created marriage to be; when carried out as He intended. As God is teaching me I have a growing concern for my parents. Their marriage is void of the things God commands us to be as spouses. In God's perfect wisdom His commandments provide a means for us as Christians to live life to the fullest. . . praise God. There is a Love & Respect conference… about 45 minuets from their house… I have been encouraging them to go because I have heard the amazing effects and impacts it has on marriages… However, my dad doesn't think it will help. He told me that he has been to so much counseling, read so many books, and done so much praying but nothing seems to help. From his perception my mom needs to change before anything will help. Whoever is right is not for me to decide. But they need your help! God intends for marriages to thrive. I am learning that. Would you be willing to personally invite them to the conference at the end of this month? I desperately want my parents to be happy in their marriage." This young person caught the vision that God has for marriages. This young person did not acquiesce to the culture's perspective that one ought to leave well enough alone.

Some parents respond to their children's invitation, others do not. Even so , it's worth the risk in reaching out as this 25-year-old son did with his parents at the Wheaton conference. As a son or daughter it's never too late to try to reach out to parents concerning their marriage . There are moments when "a…. child will lead them."

Copyright by Emerson

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