“Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, Before the difficult days come, And the years draw near when you say, ‘I have no pleasure in them.’”
Our passage of Scripture is ordinarily used in encouraging young people to remember God and to give their lives for the Lord; however, I believe there are several lessons contained in this text that would be applicable for parents
First of all, parents should remember that children are not ours to rear as we choose to do so. The Psalmist declared,” Behold children are a heritage from the Lord…” (Psalm 127:3).
We should have the same attitude of Hannah when she made this vow to God, “O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head” (1 Samuel 1:11). Our attitude should be same, that is, when God gives us children, we should give them back to Him by rearing them in the “training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).
Second, youth is the time to teach our children of God and Jesus Christ. Their hearts are receptive and not filled with prejudice. Children trust their parents and they can be impressed with the teaching they receive from the Word of God.
Jochebed, the mother of Moses, must have greatly influenced him while he was in her care. It was in his adulthood that this man of God made an important decision as is recorded in Hebrews 11:24-25, “By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin.”
Then there is the case of Timothy who was greatly influenced in his youth to give his life to Christ. Paul wrote, “When I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded in you also” (2 Timothy 1:5). “And that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15).
Third, parents should realize that soon the difficult (evil) days will come. Parents will not always be around to help their children in making the decision as to what is right or wrong. It is when the child is at home that parents must prepare them to be able to face the “difficult days” when they are away from home.
There is the example of a young soldier in the Far East when the time came for him and his buddies to have a period of rest and relaxation. The decision was made by the majority of the soldiers to go to a town and commit sins of immorality and drunkenness. The young Christian soldier refused to follow the crowd because he remembered that his parents were praying for him and his safety. He also remembered the lessons from the Word of God relative to keeping his body pure (1 Timothy 4:12).
Fourth, parents know their children are growing older and will soon leave home in a matter of a few years. It is during the age of innocence that children should be influenced to give their lives to the Lord. Youth is not the only time to “remember God” but it is the best time. The case is, the older a child becomes the more difficult it is to make the decision to obey the gospel. The reason being, Satan can harden the heart through the deceitfulness of sin (Hebrews 3:12-13).
In conclusion, the inspired writer states in this text that there is a point of no return. There are many influences such as higher education that can destroy the young person’s belief in God as being the Creator of the universe and can cause one to become an agnostic or even an atheist. The practice of sin can harden the heart of an individual so that he will have no desire to repent and return to God. Through the influence of evil companions, a son or a daughter can be led astray (1 Corinthians 15:33). Many a young adult no longer has any pleasure in the former years when he was at home and associating with friends who were Christians and all were attending the various assemblies of the church. It is sad to say that not all stories about ‘prodigal’ children end well as did the one in Luke chapter fifteen.
A PIECE OF CLAY
I took a piece of plastic clay
And idly fashioned it one day,
And as my fingers pressed it still,
It moved and yielded at my will.
I came again when days were past;
The bit of clay was hard at last,
The form I gave it still it bore,
But I could change that form no more.
I took a piece of living clay,
And gently formed it day by day,
And molded with my power and art
A young child’s soft and yielding heart.
I came again when days were gone;
It was a man I looked upon;
That early impress still he wore,
And I could change it never more.
– Author Unknown