Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
When I was a teenager, my father would say to me, "Garbage in, garbage out." It was his way of teaching me that I was being influenced. Even though I would always say, "I only listen to this CD for the music, and not the lyrics," the music that went in my ears often times added to the vocabulary that came out of my mouth--and not usually in a positive way.
Proverbs 1:8-9 says:
Listen, my son, to your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching. They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.
It wasn't until years later that I appreciated my father's wise counsel. All of a sudden, my father (and mother) became very smart...almost overnight.
Two-year-olds aren't so different from teenagers, you know. They test to see if mom and dad really do know what is best for them. "Don't touch that, it's hot!" When they have ice on their burned finger, then they'll understand mom's advice for what it is worth.
Thankfully, we aren't the only ones trying to teach our children.
We have a heavenly Father who loves his children unconditionally, and who gives us His Word to hand down true wisdom and faith. And we have a mother--the church--who comes alongside of us and nurtures us with the Word of our Father, a Word that disciplines and convicts, but a Word that comforts and consoles like a mother's warm embrace.
We pray that parents would continue to teach their children, even when their efforts aren't appreciated until years later. Ultimately, our heavenly Father's Word never is empty, and will always accomplish His purposes, whether that Word is taught by parents to a two-year-old, a teenager full of angst, or to an adult that must learn "the hard way" once again. And because God's Word will accomplish His purposes, we have hope that our children will be wearing the crown of salvation with us for all eternity.
Lord, empower us parents and grandparents to continue to give your steadfast love to the next generation; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.