Children are like arrows in the hand of a warrior. Wise parents train their children and include them in life, thus aiming them at the target of God's glory. When let fly, these children will build God's kingdom, bless their family, and do good in their community.
A lot of seemingly unrelated things have been swimming around in my circumstances recently. I'm on a mission to discover where the Lord is moving me vocationally. Simultaneously, as pastoral/shepherd thoughts--"Could I ever be an effective Pastor to this generation"--are being raised from the ashes, real life, vivid pictures of God's call to love people is making an imprint. Also worthwhile it is the Olympics, so constant images of heart heart and sacrifice are taken to the Christ-centered level in my aspirations. To top it all off is that ambition, the one that Paul speaks of, "...having this as our ambition: in all things to be pleasing to the Lord" and you've got a God-ordained, sovereign thought process. Finally, our family has experienced loss on several levels over the past few days, so the thought of not wasting our lives has really permeated our home. I'm not sure what that is going to look like, so pray with us.
As these thoughts have been repeating themselves through conversation and sovereign happenstance, I've been doing a lot of reading. I am taking my final on a course called "The Theology of Jonathan Edwards" tomorrow. He remains one of my heroes because of his passionate pursuit of the Godward life in the midst of unparalleled adversity. I've also been introduced to Covenant Life Church in Maryland, Sovereign Grace Music, and other ministries that are effectively returning to the gospel. Recently, I listened to this message (From Covenant Life Church). Yes, the message is impacting... but the way in which it was packaged and communicated spurred my thoughts, which will hopefully lead to appropriate action.
If you're a parent, might I suggest a recent sermon and the application questions listed below:
You can download the message or listen online here.
1. In his message, Gregg Harris reminded us that God normally works through his created order to accomplish his purposes. In other words, God uses the diligence and faithful labor of dads and moms as his tools to train, instruct and direct our children. In what ways have you neglected or delegated this vital responsibility? In what ways is the Lord calling you to change?
2. Psalm 127 refers to children as a blessing, a “heritage” and a “reward.” In your heart, do you agree with God’s assessment for the children that he has given you? If not, what thinking and heart attitudes is the Lord calling you to change?
3. Gregg Harris challenged parents to train our children to be included in our lives. He said that, “when children are not trained to be included on the household team, they…live like guests in their own homes with no clear sense of purpose.” Parents (specifically dads and single moms), what practical steps can you take to train your children to be included “on the household team”?
4. He also called parents to partner with our kids and include them in our lives. Parents (specifically dads and singles moms), in what practical ways could you enter into a partnership with your kids to include them in various aspects of your life (spiritual, vocational, recreational, hobbies, projects, etc.)?