If the Lord should choose to tarry in coming for His bride another 20, 30, 50 years or more, I wonder what the Church, the bride of Christ, will look like. Our children and our grandchildren are the would-be heirs and future servants in the Church all over the world. I wonder what spiritual legacy we are leaving for them to follow. Which of our words will echo in their hearts when we are long gone? What example are we leaving them today to follow tomorrow?
There are a lot of teachers out there who are willing to teach our children and our children’s children for us. Some are saved and teach the truth unadulterated, and some are not saved and do not have the truth in them. Will our children be able to discern difference? Are we?
Part of our job as Christian parents is to lay as solid a foundation in their spiritual upbringing as possible. In order for us to be able to effectively teach our children, we must first know what we believe and we must be convinced of it if we are going to instill a passion for the undiluted truth.
But I fear the noise of the world has made our ears and hearts dull to the whispers of He Who is our teacher of the truth, our giver of spiritual discernment, the Holy Spirit, and consequently, our discernment is wanting. And because many parents are unsure about their own faith, instead of boldly living out strong convictions before their children that stem from spiritual discernment, many young people in the Church are learning to live out a watered-down faith.
The apostle, Paul, said in Philippians 1:9-11, “And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”
We will face a lot of possible stumbling blocks to our faith throughout our lives, as will our children, and their children. Satan and his followers are as cunning and crafty as they always were, and they will continue to set before us roadblocks to an abundant life in Christ. Even satan knows that there is power when the full strength of the truth is applied in our lives and he will do what he can to dilute it with lies and make those deceptions seem attractive.
We must be discerning so that we don't deceive ourselves about the power of things that may seem harmless or acceptable by the world or even by some brothers or sisters in Christ. They are not our measuring stick of what is right and wrong or even what may be permissible and what is actually beneficial. Christ is.
Once we learn to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking to our hearts and allow Him to convict us of right and wrong in our own lives, we will be equipped to properly train our children about the undiluted truth of God and how that practically translates in their own lives.
Our faith is not our own.
We live it out to the benefit or the detriment of those around us, and our first priority as parents and grandparents is to our children and grandchildren - to pass on a legacy of love for an unabashed truth as set forth in God’s Word by the Lord Himself.
If you're a parent with grown or nearly-grown children and you look back and feel you could have done a better job of instilling the truth, I'm right there with you. But the biggest travesty about that would be to allow the enemy to continue to beat you up about it. God knows you did the best that you could at the time. The past is the past. We have today and we can use this time forward to pray for them and be the best example of godliness that we can.
And I realize that sometimes, no matter how hard we try, our children are going to do what they want to do and they may stray from the Lord despite our best efforts. But we can do our best to train them up to love the Lord and to be jealous for the truth, that is, the desire to guard its purity and to live out a life that is nothing more or less than a sincere heart loving and serving God according to His will rather than being caught up in the world and living out some sort of useless, carnal religion.
If we are faithful to pray for them, example to them and teach them a godly life (not perfect, but following hard after Jesus Christ), then even if they stray away from God for a time I believe that He will be faithful to bring them back around to Him.
If you're a young adult (or even an older one!) who didn't grow up with Christian parents or you had Christian parents but feel they could have done a better job with your spiritual upbringing, don't use that as an excuse to not live for the Lord now. If you have repented of your sins and given your life to Christ, you are indwelled by the Holy Spirit and you have available to you all the discernment, power and wisdom you need to live a life of truth and be a light in this dark world.
I pray for the future Church and its well-being. I pray that we who are a part of it continue to wisely and unashamedly share the gospel in all its glorious, undiluted truth and I pray that our children and our children’s children are among the servants who boldly carry it on until the Lord’s return.