I grew up in a family of six children in a small house where we shared everything. My brother and I shared a bedroom; I am not sure how my four sisters managed to share their bedroom. Needless to say, we were crowded. The house was no more than 900 square feet with no basement. We also had no running water, toilet, forced air heating or air-conditioning – mind you, in those days the houses were not as sealed and airtight as today (so maybe we did have a little “air-conditioning”). There was an outhouse,of course (about 30 feet from the main house),and the water truck delivered water into our barrel in our front porch so we had drinking water. We could also carry a couple of pails from a nearby pipe that was constantly releasing water from an underground stream.
I cannot say that I was ever alone in our house and loneliness was never anything I could imagine. We all learned to care for the others and to respect the “rights” of the others and yet we grew up very much as individuals. I do not recall ever asking myself “who I was” or feeling the need to “find myself.” I knew who I was and I knew where I was. Having said all of that, we all grew up to be different and unique people in many ways. We were and still are a warm and loving family, though our parents are both dead and gone now.
You are responsible for what you become
It is clear that every person, in realizing that he or she is unique, is alone, even when with others. Being alone means that the inner workings of your mind and thought patterns are unique in every way. We are who we are, and who we become is a result of many unique events and experiences in life. It may not be clear when a child is little what he or she will become and we alone are ultimately responsible for our actions.
Being alone does not mean that others do not influence us and maybe force some of their beliefs and thoughts onto us. But what we have is still only a product of all that we are and have experienced and how we react to whatever others try to do to us. Quite often a person who is severely dominated by another may slowly build up resentment and retreats to escape the pressure of others.
One of the great freedoms that God gives to each human being as he or she reaches adulthood is that we have the ability to think for ourselves and make choices and decisions. Our choice or decision may be to allow others to tell us what to do, but that choice is still our own. We are indeed alone with ourselves all of our lives and that is why in the final analysis of all we do, we answer to our Creator individually – for ourselves.
Parents influence their children in profound ways
The Bible has a unique way of describing the intricate relationship between parents and children. The Scriptures show the impact of the actions and values of parents on children. However all children grow up and God requires those mature children to answer for all individual actions. Because we are totally dependent upon our parents for so much, our lives are strongly influenced by them. When parents have problems, the children are affected by those problems (Jeremiah 31:29). It is also true that when parents are wise and caring, the children are influenced in a good and positive way. Our lives do reflect much of what we received at home (Proverbs 22:6).
In the final analysis the parents are not held accountable for the actions of the children, it is in the wisdom of our Creator that He states that each person will answer for his or her own evil or wicked deeds and be blessed for good actions (Jeremiah 31:30). We all have to change our thoughts until we are in sync with our Creator.
When God created Adam, He said it was not good for a man to be alone (Genesis 2:18). We promise to love, honor and dwell together as husband and wife, and then we strive to fulfill our promises to our spouses. That effort is singular in the sense that each spouse makes personal decisions to maintain the integrity of the family. Each one is responsible for his or her actions and decisions inside the marriage covenant too.
Although we have been created in a way that requires mothers and fathers to work for years to train up a child into adulthood, they still have to release that child one day and allow each child to make his or her own decisions. Many of King David's examples were poor examples to his children. In reality it appears that King David's children did not learn from the many mistakes that David made and had to repent of. In another example, the prophet Samuel’s sons drifted far from the spiritual example that Samuel set (1 Samuel 8:1-3). From these examples and many others, it is clear that whether or not the parents have done well and are God-fearing people, there is no guarantee that their children will be.
It isgenerally true that when children are carefully and properly trained, they will not stray far from that training. Training means spending time teaching, directing, encouraging and, if need be, disciplining your child. Children do not naturally grow up with good qualities that make them successful in life. Children are like a sponge in that they absorb all that comes to them. They learn through those things. The education of a child could be harmful or beneficial. The concern of so many diligent parents is that even though they strive to instill godly instruction to their children, they cannot be certain that the child will act wisely. That is a vexation for parents who have tried so hard to leave something good behind.
God is our ultimate parent
Each person alone has the ability to develop good work habits and zeal for God’s truth and way of life. That is why Paul spoke about various differences in the spirit bodies that God will give at the resurrection.
Although we are surrounded by others, our minds function on their own. We can therefore be part of a big crowd and still be faithful adherents of godly instruction. God designed us to be social creatures, but He also designed us to be unique. It is important to be content with yourself at any moment and be responsible for who you are. Each person will stand before Him alone and give account of himself (Romans 14:10-12).
Luke 9:18 shows us Jesus praying. Jesus was without any disciples or friends during that prayer, but He was never alone, God was always with Him (John 8:16, John 8:29). We each have that same opportunity to be alone and yet be with our Father when we pray. Go to God and talk with Him. That is where the blessings start and where our connections to our Creator grow.
To learn how to mature and make the best decisions and develop a deeper relationship with your God, read our free Bible study aid Making Life Work.