When God blesses parents with a child, the joy is overwhelming and often beyond belief. The process of parenting then morphs into a journey of profound love, confusion, excitement, disappointment, celebration and even mourning. By and large, dual and single parent households strive to give their children the life that has been handed to them, or instill visions and pursuits that often end up being elusive generation after generation.
Rather than directing children to God’s word from the time they are born, many adults unknowingly (or knowingly) perpetuate a child’s innate spirit of sin by defining success through competition, money, status and things. We currently have an entire generation with large segments of spoiled, coddled, lazy, ungrateful, disrespectful, violent and promiscuous young people who truly believe they are entitled to everything. Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him, Proverbs 22:15 ESV. Are parents employing the rod and teaching the true measuring stick of success?
Lawrence Bradley, Scott’s father, worked his way to the top but because of his focus on the aforementioned definition of success, he was oblivious to the seed of entitlement and sin that lurked within his son since the day he was born.
Lawrence Bradley, JBF’s CEO and also Scott’s father, drew close. He was a polished, street smart executive in his early sixties who grew up in a small working class neighborhood in New Haven, Connecticut. The son of a route milk man who worked two other jobs to make ends meet, Lawrence understood getting up and going hard every single day. He had deep horizontal character lines in his forehead and his sagging eyes had pteryguim – eye blisters – on the whites. Both were probably after effects of too much tropical sun without adequate protection while spending time at his vacation abode in St. Maarten. Wharton School of Business trained, his hard ingrained manner was attained through years of hard work and making money the old fashioned way, treachery and more than a few good lies.
Regardless of how misaligned our children become, we, as parents, are called to love them, because God loves us despite our dastardly ways.