【DAY 4】Parents Must Become Patterns to Their Children
In order to rescue our children from this crooked and perverted generation with its evils and adulteries and to perfect them to be gospel seeds, first-fruits, and building materials, we, the parents, must be saved first and become such a pattern (Luke 1:66; Judges 13:8,12). We must learn from Moses’ mother, Jochebed. She taught little Moses to know that he is one of God’s chosen people, which ultimately resulted in his resolution to help and save and the children of Israel out of Egypt (Exodus 2:6-15, Heb. 11:23-26). God has placed children into our hands for a long period of time–eighteen years, and we must, like Jochebed and Timothy’s grandmother, Lois, and mother, Eunice, put unfeigned and living faith into them, and help them to know the Bible –God’s Word – as a babe (2 Timothy 1:5, 3:15).
We must establish a loving relationship with our children, love them as the Triune God loves us, shepherd them according to God, and nurture them with the Lord’s discipline and warning (1John 4:7-12, 19, Eph. 6:4, 1 Peter 5:2). We want to establish a high-quality parent-child relationship with our children, and love our children with God’s love, which is according to God, and not according to our own ideas, opinions, preferences, choices, goals, or intentions. This is very important.
We must try our best provide our children with a wholistic education of their entire being, their spirit, soul and body. Because the human spirit is the most important part of man, Zech.12:1 says that Jehovah has formed the spirit of man within him, and his spirit is as important as the heavens and the earth. Because of this the spiritual education should be our first priority. In addition, because Gods eternal economy is to obtain the church, the Body of Christ, our children’s church life should be included in that priority. (1 Thess. 5.23, Zech. 12:1; Hebrews 10:24-25). Of course, that does not mean that we are not concerned about other aspects of their development and education. We are very concerned about these aspects also. In addition, to their personal development we should care about their ability to work together with others in a group setting. The ability to work with others and consider others needs as well as your own is very beneficial to them in their church life and in their social life.
For parents to have such a wholistic education for their children, they must first set an example in their daily life. The New Testament pays much attention to the teachings for parents. It does not pay much attention to the teachings for children. The principle ordained by God is that parents must live a manner of life to be our children’s patterns and examples. This is the secret. We must become the kind of person that we want our children to be. If we want our children to love the Lord, we must love the Lord; if we want them to read the Bible and pray, we must read the Bible and pray; we must first become such persons and then we can perfect our kids to be the same. As parents, we should sow unto the Spirit. Every word we say and everything we do to our children are the seeds sown into them (Gal. 6:7-8, 2Tim. 3:10).
How can parents set an example in their daily life? By loving the Lord and His word, dealing with our sins, hating the self, and learning the lesson of the cross; this will be an example not only for our children, but also for all the saints. On the one hand, we have God’s life and God’s Holy Spirit; but on the other hand, we have fallen flesh and corrupted fallen nature. Therefore, on the one hand, we need to let Christ live in us and act according to the mingled spirit in our daily life so that we can sow the seed of spirit into our children; but on the other hand, we need to be dealt with by the cross of Christ, putting our flesh to death daily and denying our self all the time, so that we won’t sow our flesh, self, and corruption into our children.
Parents should sanctify themselves for the sake of their children. We must realize that even if we can do something freely, we refrain from doing it for the sake of our children (John 17:17, 19, Num. 6:1-12). Since we all must render an account to the Lord one day, God has committed our children—their entire being with their body, soul and spirit into our hands (1 Cor. 9:25, Gal.5:22-23). So how to achieve this? First, we must be a person who walks with God. It is impossible to “send our children to heaven merely by pointing our fingers towards heaven.” We must walk in front of them (1 Cor. 9:27, Rom. 2:21).