July 19, 2015
Passage: Jeremiah 23:1-4; Mark 6:30-34

Parenting is one job nobody trains to do, you learn on the job. The reading in Mark shows how the multitude followed Jesus and the apostles to the other side of the sea. Jesus had compassion on them, even though he had not eaten or had time to rest. A parent is not necessarily restricted to the person who gave birth to the children. We are all expected to be parents to the children around us, even if you don't have children of your own. Bad parenting is worse than childlessness. The example of Eli the priest shows us that we must make an effort to be good parents.

We must also remember that being a good wife or husband does not automatically make you a good parent. We must ensure that we don't neglect our children because they are a gift of God. Jesus provides the example of a good parent, through the reading in Mark 6.

First, a good shepherd listens and observes. Good parents must listen to their children and get to know them. Secondly, a good shepherd is compassionate. We must learn to be compassionate towards our children and show them mercy. We must also learn to reconcile with our children when they wrong us, especially when they are of age. Those of us who have children that we have abandoned should take the bold step to reclaim those children. The fear of disgrace should not prevent you from being a parent to your children. We must also repent from valuing our possessions more than our children. Finally, a good shepherd teaches. We must learn to train the child in the way he should go. We should pray to God for the wisdom that establishes a home.

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