I was thinking about lice. An e-mail conversation got me thinking. Yes, it is true, we have had some trouble with lice lately. A parent was upset that we were not able to stop the spread of the dreaded pest. I spent some quiet moments thinking about this. I know what you are thinking – the boy is consumed with his job!
The parent had hoped that our school policies would eliminate the lice. How I wish a school could set a policy and make bad things like lice go away. Don’t get me wrong, policies do help! While being a thorn in the flesh to many a parent, our no-nit policy for children returning to school has helped prevent the spread of lice. However, eradicating lice ultimately is a parent’s responsibility. When a parent works hard to rid their child of a lice infestation, they are actually helping safeguard everyone in their community! The infestation of lice is easily tracked and hard to ignore. While there is no shame in a child getting lice, there is shame in not taking the responsibility to rid their child of it.
The parallels to sin are very strong. While we may not be able to prevent our children’s desire toward certain sins, we can safeguard them by limiting their exposure to it or preventing the opportunity to continue in it. Just like the hours it takes to wash and comb hair and clean bedding in the battle against lice, it takes large amounts of time and effort to teach and train our children to do what is right in the battle against sin. Parents who work hard and invest their time in eradicating lice benefit the community in just the same way parents who spend time correcting and protecting their children bless the whole community! Children who are under-parented bring their unchecked sins and exposure to unhealthy activity with them into the rest of the community. I have seen firsthand that many children pay the consequences due to a few families’ neglect.
Ultimately, we cannot make our children godly. It is up to the Holy Spirit to convict them and make them righteous. Yet we need to be intentional to invest our time and effort to teach and train our children in ways of righteousness. If we neglect such training ultimately it will be as obvious as those who ignore the lice.
Remember the time you invest in your children is well worth it. Keep up the good and godly work!
May God’s grace and peace be with you,
Mark Strohm, Jr.