“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
I am a first generation Christian. I was raised by agnostic parents, who were compelled to bring me up devoid of religious influence. Their goal was to protect me from being indoctrinated by theistic paradigms, thus, allowing me to be a truly free thinking individual. Well, guess what?
God had other plans.
I’ve been a Christian since the early spring of 2001. My wife was converted the year before. At the time, our oldest was 2, and our second was on the way. Our third was born in 2003. In the years since, I have come to realize that my wife and I must always include a very important feature of our parenting as Christians. I refer to it as:
Paul expressed this notion to the Ephesians: “to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
In order for Christ to “be glory in the church” today, and throughout all generations to come, we (Christians) must glorify Him now, and also teach our children, the generations who follow us, to do the same. This endeavor is to forever be on the forefront of our raising of them. Unless our Lord returns, it is to be a fixed aspect of every part of their upbringing:
““Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
Moses lays out a most basic feature of parenting (in the “second giving of the law”) to the Israelites, as a command. In everything they do, regardless of what it may be, and in every waking moment, they are commanded to also be simultaneously teaching their children in the ways of God.
Today, because we (Christians) are not Israelites, we are not to take this passage as a command (as the Israelites did), but we are to use it as a PRINCIPLE in framing our children’s lives. It’s to be a guiding tutor for properly raising the next generation, and also the subsequent generations to follow. It’s to be a foundational aspect in molding them, as image bearers of God, to be like Christ.
Moses had already made this a prerequisite for parenting, earlier in the second giving of the law:
““And now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the rules that I am teaching you, and do them, that you may live, and go in and take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your fathers, is giving you. You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you. Your eyes have seen what the Lord did at Baal-peor, for the Lord your God destroyed from among you all the men who followed the Baal of Peor. But you who held fast to the Lord your God are all alive today. See, I have taught you statutes and rules, as the Lord my God commanded me, that you should do them in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. Keep them and do them, for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is to us, whenever we call upon him? And what great nation is there, that has statutes and rules so righteous as all this law that I set before you today? Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children—”
We are to always be “Thinking Generationally”, as we raise our families. This means discipling our saved children, evangelizing our unsaved children, and teaching them to do the same… for generations to come… as long as our Lord tarries.
May the Lord bless our parenting…
Godspeed, to the brethren!
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