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Preparing our Replacements

 

Paul Schneidmill

 

Often, God will bring back to my remembrance things I experienced as a U.S. Army Infantry soldier as an appropriate example or illustration.

Here's one:  No matter what position I served in, Team Leader, Squad Leader, Platoon Sergeant, Operations Sergeant, etc. when it was time for me to be transferred to another duty assignment/station, I couldn't leave (most times) until I had a "replacement".  I could not just tell the guy replacing me, "You've got it from here buddy, I'm gone..." I had to take him around and show him what my areas of responsibility covered; to introduce him to the folk I supervised as well as the folk who supervised me.  I had to train him at what I did, and PREPARE him to take my place.


That's what a "Replacement" is in this respect; someone who will take your place.  Jobs don't always shut down when we leave or are asked to leave, in many cases, we are replaced, whether we have a part in it or not.


So, it is with the family.  As the family continues, members are replaced; in a manner similar to the way we did it in the Army.  It should be obvious that the Replacements for the family members who are advancing in the seasons of life are their children, their children's replacements are their grandchildren, and on and on it goes, if the family is to continue.  My grandfathers are no longer alive.  I never had the privilege of meeting either of them, and even though my dad is still living, I'm a dad also, and it's my job, as well as a great privilege, to prepare my son to be my replacement.  My wife has the honor of preparing our daughter to be her replacement.  Ultimately, we are preparing our children to take our places.

Someone may now be asking, "What are we to prepare them for?"  We are to prepare our children to live in a society and world that is degrading by the second.  Where the catch phrases of the day are: "If it feels good, do it", or, "Everybody else is doing it, so what's wrong with it".  Where Absolute Truth is supposed to be non-existent and "Truth" is what every individual person defines it to be for "them", at any given time and it's different for every situation.
 
I believe we have to prepare them by being and giving them the substance they'll need to live in a world that this one has become.  We have to prepare them to discern and recognize right from wrong, and have the courage and the wherewithal to not take part in wrong actions, no matter
how attractive, harmless, and minor it may appear to be. 

We prepare our replacements two ways:

 

(1) By Teaching them as outlined in Deuteronomy 6:7 .  As the scripture passage says, we must teach them diligently.  That implies with a concentrated effort and dedicated emphasis.  One main area we should teach them is the area of respect.  To respect themselves and others.  For example: our young men today need to learn to "wear" their clothes and not find acts of ignorance and violence glamorous.  Our young women need to know they are not "convenience stores" that an un-respective man can come to any time of the day or night, acquire what he wants and then leave. 

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2) The second way is to "Train" them as outlined in Proverbs 22:6.  The Hebrew explanation for the word "Train” transcends the meaning of simple instruction.  It means to engrave and track.  Like cars of a train tracked to follow in the same path of the engine, so must we "train" our children as we prepare our replacements.  
Deuteronomy 6:9 says we are to have our guidelines for righteous living written, etched and engraved in the very foundations of our homes, which just happens to be the very first and primary school our children should attend.

 

So, whatever kind of replacement we want to have, we need to example, model, then teach and train.  Therefore, we must prepare our replacements by teaching them God's way and training them on His track and the Bible is the best instructional manual to assist us in the acts of preparation.       

Ⓒ 2001 Paul Schneidmill