~ by Randy Bushey
Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6).
In my last blog-post, we looked at the role of godly fathers in immersing their families in God’s Word.
The objective: to influence our kids for Christ, training them from early ages to love the Lord and to passionately live out the Gospel.
But what if our kids take a different road? What if they defiantly make moral decisions that breach the standards under which they were raised, thereby breaking our hearts and the heart of their Creator? What if they rebelliously reject God and the salvation He offers in Christ? What if they appear to be hell-bent on pursuing those things that are worthless, rejecting treasures of eternal value?
Those questions plague many fathers, who want nothing more than to see their kids repent and embrace Christ by faith.
Does that describe you? Then these three points of encouragement are for you:
1)Don’t beat yourself up! Your child is fortunate to have a father that deeply cares about their spiritual condition before the Lord. Remember: our adult kids will make their own decisions. We bring them up and launch them, and the decisions they make may be in direct opposition to the biblical training they received.
And, some of you came to faith as adults. When your children were growing up, you too were growing in the basics of following Christ. And at the same time, you were learning how to be a Christian father while the maximal period of parental influence was slipping through your fingers.
2)Never give up! I’m convinced the proverb above is a general principle, not an iron-clad promise of God. Salvation is an individual choice; it’s a commitment we can’t make for our children.
However, those seeds sown during childhood may finally germinate in adulthood – when the tough grind of life can bring kids back to the faith to which they were exposed in younger years: the faith of their father.
3)Keep on praying! We’ve recently come in contact with a family that was raised at Bethel in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Their mother – a faithful follower of Christ – died some years back. I visited her in hospital as life ebbed from her body.
But she had little concern for herself. The prayer that was constantly on her feeble, parched lips during those concluding days was for the salvation of her children.
She continued to believe – even in her final moments – that the Lord could bring her kids to faith in Christ.
And He did. It just happened!
In recent weeks – in another irrefutable example of the Lord granting the dying request of His saint – her eldest child has professed Christ in her 60s! And a younger brother, after decades of broken, dysfunctional relationships, has been restored to the Lord.
Takeaway: none of us knows who will yet be rescued… from the dominion of darkness and transferred into the kingdom of the Son he loves (Colossians 1:13).
So, keep on praying expectantly!
~ graphic by Staci Bryant, freeimages.com