Cap's Corner: 25 to 50, the busiest and best time of your life

by Cap McIlnay

I want to give a warning out to all those adults from the ages of twenty-five to fifty. Those twenty-five years are the busiest years of your life. These are the getting married years, the childbearing years, making a career/life building years, and with all the struggles that come with those years.

Looking back, I cannot tell you how we did it. I remember all of those doctor visits with our children, the teacher/parent meetings (yea, not all of them were that good), the agony of the school enrollment (bureaucracy at its finest), and then…and then we get to the non-school activities that we signup our kids in. This is the soccer mom/dad syndrome that has taken over our nation.

These years are the most stressful times of your life, and often times the most likely years of getting a divorce. Look, we haven’t even talked about the joys of buying or renting a home, balancing the budget, deciding how to discipline the kids together, or what the heck to name the stupid dog that we just had to get!

It is for this reason, when I see a young man or woman in a store with their kids, and you see that look on the parents face. You know what I am talking about. That looks that says that they are definitely on their way to having a nervous breakdown. When I see that, I go to them and say to them, “I know how hectic it is raising kids, but there will be a day when you will look back to this time and long to live it again.”

It’s not just looking back and longing that time when the family, the whole family was under one roof, and was truly one family, but it a time of reflection. I would like to share with you some of my reflections.

First off, parents, ALL PARENTS, make mistakes, and we just pray that the good we do to and for our kids out weights the mistakes that we made. Look kids, you did not come out with a manual. Trust me, I looked for it, so give your parents a break, because one day, you will be calling your parents, the ones that made all of those mistakes and almost ruined your life, and you will be asking for their advice.

However, there are some mistakes that I cannot walk away from, and the biggest of them was not going to church, not worshipping God on a regular bases, and not teaching my children how to be a better Christian. Oh, they knew that we believed in Jesus, and that we were Christians, but church and that other stuff was…well, it just seemed like it was always there in the background, and I figured one day I would get to it. Then one day it was too late.

In Psalms 78:5-7 we read, “which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children, 6 so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. 7 Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.” This scripture was about Israel, but it is also about us today. We have more and more Christian parents that are so busy doing everything else that they skip or cut short Church. Today, 85 percent of the teenagers living in Christian homes and going to public schools do not have a biblical worldview.

You see, what is happening is we are allowing the “everything else” to have a higher priority in our children’s life over that of their salvation. The parents have become spiritually shortsighted, and this leads to a very narrow and private Christian view; a very narrow and private soul. If you are feeling some of the sting right now, because deep down you know that you are guilty of this, I am not judging you, instead I am trying to warn you. I am guilty of this, and now I am looking at my grandkids with almost the sure knowledge that they will not know Jesus, nor will they be saved! The odds are stacked against them.

And why? What was so important when they were all under my roof that prevented me from being the spiritual leader of our home? Sunday was my only day off? My kid’s wrestling/baseball/football/soccer/dancing/cheerleading/gymnastics/band was scheduled on Saturdays and Sundays? The excuses I made were all good excuses to my private and narrow soul.

My kids are adults now, and guess what? None of them are a professional athlete, a professional dancer, professional cheerleader, gymnast, or play in a professional band. That’s right, all those weekends, all those Sunday mornings I took them to all of those so important events, and not a one of them is whom they are. I could have taken all of those weekends and given them church, and a love for Jesus that would have not only become their identity, but would have insured my grandkids a relationship with God.

Yes, I have made many mistakes as a parent, but none of them more than how I failed them and my Lord. Trophies and ribbons they may have, but they don’t have Jesus. Don’t make the same mistake!