… So that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky… – Philippians 2:15
I don’t want to parent just for the sake of raising well-behaved children. I want (need) a bigger vision. By God’s grace, I want our children to “shine like stars in the sky.”
The goal of being “good” is that lives are changed, eternity is different, and God gets the glory. Jesus says in Matthew 5:16, “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven.” It’s easy to let the means become the end. If we’re not careful, we can make raising well-behaved kids the goal.
We need to parent with a bigger vision.
It goes without saying that we want our children to live righteous and holy lives in this “warped and crooked generation.” As long as I have breath in my lungs, I will direct them toward the path of wisdom, where real life is found. But I don’t want to just pass on a faith that is built on moralism.
By faith, I want our kids to walk after Jesus to the places where kingdoms are still being conquered, justice is being administered, the mouths of lions are being shut, flames are being quenched, and battles are being fought (and won). I want our kids to live. by. faith.
The Christian life is anything but boring. The following are three simple ways to inspire a bigger vision in your family and your children.
1. Read your children stories about heroes of the faith.
As we teach our children the Bible, we need to help them understand that the Bible isn’t only what has happened, but it’s a Story that is still unfolding. Teach them to enter the drama. It’s a script that still needs men and women to step onto the stage. You just might be raising a man like Daniel, a woman like Esther, or a kid like Josiah.
2. Teach them that all things are dangerous things when done for Jesus.
Radical obedience to the Spirit’s leadings – anywhere and everywhere – has an inherently adventurous quality. Even the small things are great things in God’s Story. Help them to see that their lives will echo well into eternity – their life matters!
3. Model for them a life of faith and not just comfort or predictability.
One of the most powerful ways we can instill a bigger vision in our kids is to live with one ourselves. What is your faith costing you? Is your faith stretching you in uncomfortable ways? Where are your kids seeing you depend on God to come through right now? Give them a desire to live for something bigger by showing them what it looks like!
While we only have One Perfect Hero, He calls us by His grace and through the power of His Spirit, to get our hands dirty in the drama. He charges us to live – really live – for what will last.
May God give you the grace to inspire more in your family, and through your family – to parent with a bigger vision!