Get High on Life

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 5, 1998

By Harold Keller / L’Observateur / October 5, 1998

The Bible says that the glory of young men is their strength and that grandchildren are the crown of old men. I was never that strong as a youngman, therefore, I didn’t have much glory. As a grandfather of 15 (11 girlsand four boys), I thank God for the precious crown that He has blessed me with.

I’ve heard it said that God gives us grandchildren so we can make up for the mistakes we made as parents. Believe me, I made my share! Thebottom line is that I’m admitting that I wasn’t a very good father.

It grieves my heart to see any of my children not being the godly parents they were intended to be. One of my daughters and her husband, I know,love their children, but are too liberal with them. In the past, I havelectured her that having boys in her house with her daughters and other girls while she is not there is asking for trouble. One of the biggestmistakes parents make is trusting their children when they haven’t earned their trust.

Ten years ago, a survey of 2,000 teen-agers revealed that 85 percent of teen-agers wanted their parents to discipline them more. I certainly wishparents, especially my daughter, would hurry up and realize what their children are crying for.

This past summer, my daughter allowed boys and girls to assemble at her house, stand in the street, and in some cases disrupt the serenity of the neighborhood. One neighbor, and I don’t blame them, called the police.Needless to say, my daughter was aggravated with the neighbor.

Keep in mind my grandchildren are special to me. I’ve often spoken to themabout respecting themselves and not letting other teen-agers take advantage of them by using their home as a hangout. Out of respect for me,my grandchildren listened but didn’t take my advice.

Since school started, my granddaughters have continued the practice of letting all of their friends assemble at their house after school.

Last week, as I passed in front of their house, I noticed four cars and a truck parked in front of their house at 3:30 p.m. I was boiling mad, wentinto the house without knocking, and with an angry spirit, ordered everybody out. To say I was mad is the understatement of the century. Iwas furious! I told the six boys and two girls to get out. After they left, Iscolded my granddaughter.

That night, my daughter called up and said, “Daddy, don’t worry. I’ll handleit.” “No, you won’t,” I said. “Talk is cheap. It’s time for somebody to takesome action.” I told her that if she thought I would just sit by and allowthe enemy to rob my grandchildren, she had better think again.

The next day, after God spoke to my heart, I called my granddaughter and told her to call the boys and girls that I had run out of the house to meet me the following day at 4 p.m. I was convicted that all of the other teen-agers were as special to God as my granddaughter.

Much to my surprise, all the teen-agers showed up. I started the meetingby apologizing for the way I handled the situation, but did not apologize for taking the action. It’s not what I did, but the way I did it that I wassorry for.

All of the teen-agers were polite and listened as I shared how much I loved my grandchildren. I asked them what they thought about me and, outof respect, they didn’t respond negatively. We spoke about school, God, andrespect for themselves and other people. I told them that it wasn’t fair touse my daughter’s home as a hangout, and that they had no business being there when she wasn’t present.

As we wrapped it up, I again thanked them for coming, appreciated their sincerity, and asked if they would like to meet again. Their only questionwas – when. They seemed anxious.We prayed and I hugged every young man and told them I loved them. Iheard one boy whisper to another, “That’s the first time I’ve ever hugged a man.”I look forward to our next meeting and believe that God will use this as an opportunity to reach out to some young people who are crying out for love, discipline and attention. In the meantime, I think He will even allow me togrow a little.

Harold Keller is a regular columnist for L’Observateur.

Copyright © 1998, Wick Communications, Inc.

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