Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Parents - Ultimate Disciple-Makers!

Christian parents have the joyful task of studying the Bible with the primary purpose of presenting its realities in simple truth-filled statements. Children need this simplicity and clarity. 

For example, to a child, Jesus at a party has a very beautiful meaning. He's at your party! He’d never miss it! He loves you and always shows up. Jesus is never too busy to be there for you. He never calls to say He will be late. He always shows up early. In fact, He’s always there. Jesus says He will never leave of forsake you. That’s Jesus the partygoer - simply. 

As parents, our Bible study has a children's focus. Children must have things explained to them simply. And so, we strive to do so. This takes effort: to only say something to a child when it is simple enough for them to understand. Especially Jesus. Especially the Gospels. If we present Jesus and His teachings poorly (wrongly, partially, or in words too hard to understand) our children will build on those shaky, often incomplete, foundations we have laid. And what they build will crumble—or support them in wrong views for the rest of their lives. 

Sometimes, in this “child-readying” journey of Biblical exploration, simple raindrops of truth really mess with our doctrinal thunderstorms. “Jesus loved sinners.” And He showed His love by spending time with them. They were at parties. They were homeless. They were at church. And He went to them. 

Jesus served them in their environment: 
He provided the good wine long into the party. Jesus was fully present. 
He slowly washed their feet before redefining every symbol in a cherished memory event. Jesus was thoughtfully intentional. 
He praised a prostitute for wasteful love and rebuked a religious man for selfish thoughts. Jesus saw into hearts. 
He made the church a place of healing on the Sabbath. Jesus put people first.

As parents in the world, let us model this “people first” aspect of Jesus’ character. When relating with people outside our home, may we never turn away because they are “less” than us. May we always seek to care for the people rather than judging the environment. May we always seek the good in the heart rather than accept glaze on the surface.

As parents in the home, may we present spiritual truth through carefully planned action long before we use words. And may our words be laced with Grace. May we speak the Truth in simple statements and stories that are easily remembered and put into practice. May we repeat these truths often.

We must be true to the Living Water and deliver it drop by drop. And hopefully, when the storms come, our children will not be afraid of the rain. And if they are, they will know where the shelter of Home is—and that it is safe.

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