"And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters."
Genesis 5: 22
King James Version
"Leading by Example"
"A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove. But the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child."
Do I make time in my life to share God's love with the children and young people I meet?
"When first things are put first, second things are not suppressed but increased."
C. S. Lewis
Many years ago, my best friend and sister-in-law, Irma, and I were talking about the ever perplexing job of child-rearing. Irma has always been a mother who was not only there for her own two children but who has also, throughout the years, filled-in for many other kids who have needed a listening ear and kind heart – both which Irma has to share.
As we talked, Irma told me something that caught my attention. "You know, Dorothy," she said, "Before Jenny and Scott were born, I believed that being a spiritual person was important but if I missed church or didn't study my Bible, it didn't seem like a big deal. That was between God and me. But the day I had my children – something changed. Everything became important. All of a sudden I felt as though they were watching everything I did." As one person penned, "Training a child to follow Christ is easy for parents. All they have to do is lead the way." As John Croyle so appropriately said, "The greatest teacher is not experience; it is example."
I was shocked several years ago when my niece Bethanie wrote a college paper about me. In her essay, she detailed events throughout her life when we had spent time together. It was so surprising to me to learn how moments I thought totally uneventful, had made an impact on her life.
As we have taken a close look at the family tree that began with the union of Adam and Eve, we see that right from the start there were two branches – easily defined by light and dark. Cain and his descendants chose to be obstinate in their defiance against their Creator. While descendants of Seth, some who had the same name as Cain's offspring, chose to align themselves with the wisdom and will of their heavenly Father.
Such is the case with a man named Enoch. We find that Cain had a son named Enoch who had a city named after him. The material, earthly legacy became the important thing to Cain and his son Enoch. But in the case of Seth's descendant, Enoch was a man who didn't just choose God, he chose to walk, step-by-step with God. In Genesis 5: 21, 22 we are told Enoch was 65-years-old his wife bore Methuselah, their first child. The Bible makes an interesting point, that after this baby came into his home, Enoch "walked with God." The spiritual responsibility of child-rearing changed Enoch. As Fulton Sheen stated: "Your children are a mirror which reflects back on you the kind of image you cast." And if we trace the lineage of descendants from Seth to Enoch and on down, we find that the example Enoch set by walking with God, helped lead his family and their children in a very different direction than that of Cain's family.
But not only do we find that Enoch led by example, if we think about his family, I believe his wife also served as a motivator of godly behavior, not only in support and encouragement of her husband, but also in the rearing of her children. Unlike Lamech who took two wives, the Bible makes an opposite comment about Enoch's life. Rather than make choices contrary to God's will, Enoch was obedient and it showed in his home-life. Author John Ruskin describes a happy home in this way: "The true nature of home – it is the place of peace; the shelter, not only from injury, but from all terror, doubt, and division."
God's daughters can be great motivators and encouragers in their homes. Through the support of a godly partner, Enoch was able to have a home where the effects of a devoted walk with God were seen from generation down through generation.
May the same be said of our homes and families as we make the same choice Enoch did to "walk with God."
"Be the soul support of your children."
Young Hearts, Strong Hearts
"Such young hearts
Strong hearts that beat like eagles' wings
Looking for good to behold
Trying to understand sorrow
They rise at midnight
Sleep when all else awakes
Not afraid to say or do
Just give, take what is given
Laugh at mistakes
Cry when heart is touched
Feel pain of each other
Feel happiness of one
Bright eyes seeing something
Mind turning like fish wheel
Slow and steady
With current of holy water
Take in good fish, throw out bad fish
Back to the holy water
They know all is sacred
And when I look into their eyes
I see something of long ago
Something I once was
That still lives on
Something so good that when rest is here
I dream of rainbows and peaceful things
When I am with them
They are my reason for being
And when they go
They are my reason for going on."
Ms. Ginny Doctor
Dorothy Valcarcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus