Habits of Highly Effective Christ-Followers
Begin with the End in Mind – Part V
Scripture Reading: Galatians 6:1-10 NLT
Key Verse: Galatians 6:8 NLT
Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.
I experienced a very sad event years ago in the last few weeks of my pastorate in Wisconsin.
My wife and I became acquainted with the local Wesleyan pastor and his wife. Our pastor friend had the wonderful experience of officiating his daughter’s wedding. A few days after the wedding, while on their honeymoon, a car accident killed the daughter and her husband.
Our pastor friend decided to preach at his daughter’s funeral at the high school where his daughter had recently graduated. The gym was full of students, families, and other people from their community.
As you can imagine, afterward the pastor and his wife were having a terrible time with their grief. The pastor shared with me what he told his wife, and it has stuck with me for many years. He reminded his wife that the goal of their parenting was to make sure that their daughter went to heaven, and now they knew that they had achieved that goal.
This story is especially for parents of small children. As Christ-followers we must remember to parent our children with the end in mind. Parents too often have in mind that their children are successful in life rather than successful in death.
There is nothing wrong with wanting our children successful in this life, but it should never be the most important goal for them. As we strategize our parenting plans, pay attention to Jesus’s words: “What good is it to gain the whole world but lose our souls” (Mark 8:36).
We parents must constantly remind ourselves that no matter how good of a job we do with our kids, there are no guarantees that they will serve the Lord. But we want to at least know that we have done our best to make sure they see God’s truth in our homes and lives.
One of the stupidest things I have heard parents say over my 44 years as a pastor is: “I don’t want to cram religion down my children’s throats”. The problem with that statement is that somebody is going to cram something down their throats. If it is not you and what you believe about God, then it will be their friends, teachers, and professors.
Do not neglect this critical job that God has given you as the leaders and teachers of your children. Set faith in God as the top value in your home and the main goal for your children!
Father, grant me wisdom and courage as I raise my children. Help me to clearly state and live out our values in serving You. In Jesus’s name I pray, amen.