On July 11,1994, Arlete lost her son at the age of 26. He was the victim of double pneumonia and a heart attack. He was ordained as a church elder at the age of 23. The Sabbath before his parting, he preached a sermon about the soon coming of our Savior. This is the main reason Arlete wrote this devotional.
Lo, children are a heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward" (Ps. 127:3).
Sometimes we have run across this verse or perhaps we have heard a sermon where this verse was highlighted. However, we arc very limited to understand the meaning of "a heritage of the Lord."
God gives us children so that they can be a true "heritage." Those who have received an inheritance perhaps can better understand the deep meaning of the word. On one hand, an inheritance is received without being deserved. On the other hand, together with the inheritance, comes the tremendous responsibility of making something worthwhile out of this gift, if not, it can be lost forever.
"God entrusted to parents a work which could never be transferred to another: the education of their children." Educating children is a great privilege, however very serious. There is a book entitled, Raising Children is No Game. Many say it is the most difficult task in the world.
We cannot consider educating "our heritage" without being associated with Divine dependence. As mothers, our communion with God in search of knowledge to raise our small ones is indispensable! At times, as an educator in the home, we face many varied situations. From having to turn off the burner so the beans do not burn so that the necessary correction can be applied to using the "board of education" to teach a lesson is difficult for a child to learn. Imagine what a catastrophe, if in these situations, we did not correct them just because it is easier. This is where prayer comes in, and we ask for God's divine knowledge. But, worst of all is that sometimes there is negligence in correction because it is thought to be very difficult to correct children, and it requires much time, so we "leave things as they are and see what happens."
Some parents think that church-related schools or the Sabbath School class should be in charge of the correction. What a deceiving thought! The work of educating the child in your responsibility can never be substituted!
As mothers we need to, "sculptor in our heritage the Divine character."
"The importance of no other work can be compared to yours (mother). It is not necessary that she paint a beautiful form on the canvass as the artist does, nor chisel in marble as the sculptor. She is not required to express noble thoughts in eloquent words as the writer does, nor express a beautiful feeling in melody as the musician. With divine assistance, she accomplishes the engraving of God's image on the human soul" (Adventist Home, p 237).
Engrave is not writing lightly or making a mark with a pencil or pen. "Engrave" is to imprint so that the impression made shall never more be erased!
It is constructing a perfect (or almost perfect) character. It is teaching so that your child knows how to discern between truth and error; it is instructing the true self-control; it is choosing the truth no matter the cost, and above all, teaching your young ones to depend on Jesus by turning his life over to the Master each day.
Behind the scenes of a whole life dedicated to educating children, uncountable tears are shed secretly. Countless earnest prayers go up to heaven, and hours without end are spent reading to acquire true knowledge, and so continues the endless search to err as little as possible.
When our child is born, it never passes through our mind that he or she is in reality the property of God and that one day his or her life could be extinguished before our eyes. Being things as they are, mother, accomplish your work always trusting in Jesus and having the certainty at the end of each day, that you did everything that was within your reach to educate your child.
Only a mother who did everything toward the formation of the character of her child can receive the peace and certainty that her mission has been completed when she suddenly loses this dear child.
Strive with great affection toward this heritage which has been entrusted to you by the Lord. When Jesus returns in the future, and your family is joined together to receive the Lord, if someone has fallen asleep in death, may they be resurrected by the sound of the trumpet and receive the touch of immortality, and then we will be together with the Lord forever!
We pray this day that we may be true educators because of the excellence of our heritage.