Ten reasons why you should be passionate about preaching the gospel to your children and making disciples out of them.
When I was born again, I endured a minor identity crisis.
For twenty years I poured my self into becoming a world class writer. I got the degree. The friends. The mentors.
I accumulated a stockpile of used journals. Tore through a tiny library of books. And generated hundreds of bad poems, marginal short stories and a god-awful novel or two.
I abandoned all else for that single and solitary ambition–to become a famous writer.
I even went as far as to admire one writer’s unrelenting drive to succeed at novel writing–he skipped his adult son’s funeral so he could write.
That’s, indeed, how perverted my thinking had become.
So just weeks after Christ stripped me of all selfish ambition I found myself staring at the ceiling at a complete loss. What do I do now?
The answer completely startled me.
A Ridiculously Short Bio on J. Edwards
It began when I read a biography on Jonathan Edward’s life. In particularly a somewhat legendary commentary about the size of his family–and their impact on this country.
Jonathan and Sarah Edwards bore eleven children. Four hundred descendants in all.
But it was not the size of that family that really mattered. It was the legacy of those 3 sons and 8 daughters that counted.
The fourteen college presidents. The one hundred or so professors. The close to one hundred ministers. Lawyers. Judges. Nearly sixty doctors. The rest–authors and editors.
That legacy is enormous.
A Dark-Night-of-the-Soul Lesson about Raising a Family
Most of us our content leaving a 70-year footprint on history. Jonathan and Sarah saw things differently. They saw things from an eternal perspective.
And left a 200 year footprint.
How? They nurtured the hearts of their children to cherish Christ. Which brings me back to the point of this post.
The lesson I learned as a new believer was this:
You are a missionary to your family. You are responsible for sharing the gospel with your wife and children. And making disciples of them.
What could be more important than nurturing the souls of our own children? If indeed I truly believed that my children were souls who would last forever…then my wife and I were responsible for nudging those souls to Christ.
Granted, being a missionary to your family doesn’t carry the risks of a frontier missionary. You’re NOT going to be arrested, driven away or killed.
But you can be betrayed. Hated. Maligned. Yet, the reason you press on, the reason you count the cost–remaining anonymous in a world that cherishes popularity–and the the reason you lay it all on the line is because the blessings far outweigh the risks.
Being a Missionary in Your Own Home: 10 Reasons
I hope the following 10 reasons will give you a passion to preach the gospel to your children and make disciples out of them.
1. You are sent by Christ.
Oswald Chambers warns, “We tend to forget that the one great reason underneath all missionary work is not primarily the elevation of the people, their education, nor their needs, but is first and foremost the command of Jesus Christ.”
2. You are given the words you need by the Holy Spirit.
Worried you’ll look stupid? Sound dumb? Don’t worry. God promises to speak for you.
3. You always have a Father who cares for you.
No matter the stupidity you do wade into or the goofiness that overwhelms you in weak times, God loves you. Show your children that same love and mercy.
4. You rejoice in the salvation of your children.
We don’t put stock in our persuasion. Or our parenting skills. We put stock in the omnipotence of God, the Holy Spirit and the gospel message–the mechanisms behind salvation. The mechanisms that unearths their spiritually dead souls to new life. That is cause for celebration.
5. Your soul is immortal.
And so are your children’s souls. You’ll see why this is so important in a minute.
6. You know that Jesus is coming in judgment and mercy.
If your children’s souls are immortal, then this statement should concern you: “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” We spend great energy protecting our children from drowning in a pool. Do we spend that same amount of energy when it comes to eternal death threats?
7. You are part of God’s family.
Any rejection or betrayal you endure is ameliorated by the promise that you are adopted into God’s family. And as an adopted heir, you inherit the riches of Christ.
8. Your patience will be rewarded.
Whether you actually get to celebrate the new birth of your children or not, your patient persistence in obeying Christ’s commandment will not be forgotten.
9. You know that God governs every detail.
Relax. God is smarter than you. And will let nothing slip through his fingers. Ever.
10. You are NOT despised–rather valued by God.
God considers you a treasure. A treasure he determined before the creation of time that would bring him great joy. So he loves you despite your success and failures. Love him back by teaching your children to thirst for him.
Charles Spurgeon once said, “Our misery is that we thirst so little for these sublime things, and so much for the mocking trifles of time and space.”
Do you thirst for the salvation of your children? For their obedience to Christ? For their lives to be selflessly given for the work of the kingdom?
I don’t. Not enough. Let’s do this better. Promise?