«And he will return the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse'(Malachi 46).
The veteran and famous North American actor Dick Van Patten recounts a time in his salad days, when he was out of work, though he had started acting since childhood and had become famous. Married and with school-age children, he found himself desperately seeking a job, so he devoted all his available time to it. Seeing his father at home for such a long time, his children asked him: «Daddy, let’s play together!» But Dick was not in the mood to play. His wife pulled the little ones away and led them to another place so they could play with each other. The situation lasted for weeks and there were no responses to his many job applications. The couple prayed a lot to God to provide a job opportunity for Dick. His wife, who had great musical talent, also looked for a job. Finally, the wife got a job in a music production company and he was left to take care •of the three children. Dick did not completely agree to the new arrangement, but it was the only solution left and he reluctantly accepted this as the answer to his prayers.
This family situation provided many opportunities for Dick and his children to develop strong bonds by playing, talking and doing household chores together. The experience lasted for many months and his relationship with his children strengthened to such a point that Dick was fully convinced that this was the best answer to his prayers. When Dick Van Patten wrote the story of his life—already in his old age—he considered that experience had been more valuable than the best imaginable acting role.
You can buy your kids expensive toys, clothes, technology, and sport equipment, but in the long run, this does not lead to unity; it can even estrange or alienate parents and children, if there is no close relationship. We all need family closeness and reconciliation and this can only be achieved by investing time in an active relationship. If you have children, especially in the formative years, consider whether you are spending enough time with them. Malachi prophecy tell us that God «will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers” (4:6).
If you are open to the influence of your heavenly Father, He will provide an authentic reconciliation with your earthly children (or parents).