Vol.XVIII No.IX Pg.4
November 1981

Boys Sow, Men Reap!

Curtis Wubbena

Theodore Roosevelt once said, "If you are ever going to do anything permanent for the average man, you must begin before he is a man. The chance of success lies in working with the boy — not with the man. That applies peculiarly to those boys who tend to drift off into courses which mean that unless they are checked they will be formidable additions to the criminal population when they grow older." This statement is particularly true in the spiritual realm. Far too many children have become soldiers of Satan because Christian parents have not stressed the wisdom of seeking the Lord early in life.

Since children can't do what they are not taught, parents play a vital role in helping set priorities. Parents are perhaps the greatest determining factor as to what their children will sow. This has been a truth from the earliest of times. Why else would God instruct Israelite parents to "...teach them (His commands) diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thy house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up" (Deut. 6:7)? This early teaching is vital in producing steadfast men of God! You see, men reap what boys sow.

The life of Timothy is a great illustration of this truth. He was not a spiritual man of God by accident! As a child he had a mother who cared enough to teach him God's will. "... from a babe thou hast known the sacred writings which are able to make thee wise unto salvation" (2 Tim. 3: 15). Timothy was the product of a spiritual environment.

Not only must parents begin the teaching process early, this instruction must be in word and in deed. Our children need consistent teaching. Parents who preach one thing and practice another may do more harm than good. In other words, our children need instruction that is consistent with the examples that they see. The mother of Timothy was a woman full of faith (2 Tim. 1:5). She lived what she taught. A principle that all parents should remember is found in Rom. 2:21. Hypocritical teaching often results in the rejection of both the teacher and the subject. "For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you" (Rom. 2:24).

What happens if we fail to consistently teach our children early in life? This familiar poem says it well.

"Mary had a little boy, His soul was white as snow. He never went to Bible class, 'Cause Mary wouldn't go.

He never heard the tales of Christ That thrill the childish mind; While other children went to class, This child was left behind.

And as he grew from babe to youth, She saw, to her dismay;

A soul that once was snowy white Had become a dingy gray. Realizing he was lost,

She tried to win him back.

But now the soul that once was white Had turned an ugly black..."

If we desire that our children be servants of God, we need to begin working with them early in life, for boys sow, men reap!