In one of primary school books I read years ago, there was a story titled “who caused the fire” in the story if my memory serves me right there was a jackal, firewood, a jar of water, a grandfather, a mother, a child, a cat and a candle. The story ends up with the cat knocking up a candle that fell and ended up causing a fire that burned down the whole house….the question asked at the end of the story was who caused the fire? Was it the candle? The cat or the jackal that began it all or did the action of each family member contribute to the house burning down?
Many times we see actions of an individual and those action can be traced back to the individual ‘s parents-where we see the individual behaves more or so like the father or mother behaved and if we trace back further we realize even he too can’t we totally blamed because he/she is behaving like their parent. Thus, we beg to ask the question, how far back do we look? How far can we cast the blame?, was it the son or the father, or the grandfather or maybe the great grandfather whose name no one knows. Surely, it has got to be someone.
We are a product of our upbringing and in many cases as we bring up our kids as we were brought up, the family for most part is the channel through which pass down values, traditions, behaviors just to mention a few.
Kenya is plagued with a large number of teenage pregnancies and this is my take. The teenage is not an unique problem that will be treated sorely by focusing on the teens, we the adults have to take a long look at ourselves and if the teenage is to change; we have to be on the forefront of the change process.
After all these are our children, they have fashioned their behaviors after us, it is we who have passed down the values they now live, it is us who are not faithful to our spouses and partner, it is us who have taught them identity is based on how we look and dress and we have to look good no matter the cost, even if it means selling our bodies to the highest bidder.
The kids burn the school and we argue they are arrogant, but have they not learned from us; we have taught them, matching on the streets solves everything, we have taught them ‘bado bambano’ (keep on the strive).
So how do we break the chains of what may not be healthy in our families, how do we end the tyranny and has been passed down from one generation to another?
This my humble opinion, we want our children to change for the better then we the adult have to take a clear look at our behavior: how we talk, how we handle our grievances, how we handle our sexuality.
Sadly the era of “I said so” is long gone, we live in an era that asks why?, that looks at our behavior and character before obeying our instructions. Thus something has to give. We the adults have to preach water and drink water if we want to see change.
In the book of proverbs 22:6 found in the Bible says “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” Can we honestly look at our selves and say yes I have taught my kids well? If truly that is the case then trust God will restore your child even if they have strayed- the one who promises does not lie.
If not, do all you can do to get it right with God- God is always waiting with open arms for a sinner to get back to him. And this is true for the young adult, teen or kids who has no good influence- you too can approach God if you desire a different life. Salvation is not limited to adults Christ says whoever comes to me I will not reject.-Maybe it’s you as a child that will teach the adults in your life what is right, what is noble what is praiseworthy, what pleases God.
Going back to the foundations we see God’s heart in the commandments Exodus 20:1-17 “And God spoke all these words
- “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.”You shall have no other gods before me.
- You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
- You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
- “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
- “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
- “You shall not murder.
- “You shall not commit adultery.
- “You shall not steal.
- “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
- “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
The truth is that none of us has kept the above commandment-thus we have not met God standard and we all deserve death for we all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory….none of us can say we are good and if we say we are good then we call God a liar. The truth is that salvation is a gift to us by God who gave his son to die on our behalf-paying up everything that we ever did on the cross, no matter what we have done it’s forgiven.
We cannot keep blaming the generation before yours. You have a choice to make. What kind of life do you want to leave? What legacy do you want to leave behind? Whose child will you be? Forgive those that were before because I believe they did not know any better, forgive yourself for all you have done. Allow the love of Christ to wash you clean and transform you into his likeness.
God loves you and for this reason he hang on the cross- to forgive your sins, to make you alive, to give you a new identity, so you could have life in abundance, to shower you with kindness, love and mercy, to show his splendor through you and the life you lead through Christ Jesus, to have eternal life……