Concern For Our Children

I don’t need to tell you to be concerned about your children; as a parent, you’ll do that any-way. Paul was concerned about his “son” Tim-othy; Samson’s parents were distressed over his choice for a wife; and nothing illustrates this better than the panic you know must have overwhelmed Joseph and Mary when they realized they had left Jesus all alone in a large city by himself as a child. 

Worrying about kids comes with the territory, and that is not something that is peculiar to Christians. Ironically, from a faith-based standpoint it may seem as though the Chris-tian parent has more to worry about than the unbeliever. (Paradoxically, it is also untrue as well, but we’ll consider the true sense.) Be-sides the universal concerns of personal safe-ty, general character development, and aca-demic success, the Christian parent with his God-ward view of life and its purpose worries for the spiritual development of his children. He is vigilant about harmful influences that could adversely shape and ensnare his chil-dren. He frets over friends, is anxious about alcohol, is distressed over dating, and these days is more and more mindful of mental health challenges. He hopes desperately that his children will develop their own hunger for God, and be convinced of the truth. When the joyous decision of response to the gospel is rendered by the child, the worry does not cease. 

How shall we respond when we are overwhelmed with such con-cerns for our children? What do we need to remember and what in particular ought we do? 

What we need to remember: 

First of all, remember that nobody loves your children more than God. Because, more so than being your child, they are God’s child. They were made in His image and for His glory. He loved them and paid the ultimate price for them. It helps me to know that my con-cern for my child’s genuine well-being aligns perfectly with the inten-tions of an immensely powerful God who literally could move Heav-en and Earth. 

Remember the comfort of Scripture. I almost called these “promises” but there is a difference between a promises and a proverb, such as the one I want to share with you. Although different, we may still be comforted by the proverb that says, “Train them up in the way they should go and when they are old they will not depart.” This proverb assumes that you have done a reasonable job providing a positive example, biblical instruction, and faith-based guidelines in your home. I’m thankful that after you’ve done your best, God has more to say on the matter than: “Well, you’ve done what you could. Now let’s just cross our fingers and hope for the best. God’s word teaches that there is good reason to believe in a well-trained child’s faithful-ness, if not in their youth, then at least when they become older (Prov. 22:6). 

Remember that you are not alone. Others who shared your like pre-cious faith also share with you in all of the concern we have for our children. Sometimes, just knowing that you’re not alone and that others could empathize with what you’re going through is all that is needed. 1 Peter 5:9 says, “...knowing that the same sufferings are expe-rienced by your brotherhood in the world.” Of course, this is talking about the suffering of temptation, but past experience tells me that “suffering” may also be applied to our subject as well. 

And finally, Remember Job, which leads us to our next section... 

What we need to do: 

Pray for your children. 

“So it was, when the days of feasting had run their course, that Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, "It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts." Thus Job did regularly (Job 1:5—NKJV).” Job was a proactive father who cared deeply for his children’s welfare, and actively be-sought God’s favor on their behalf. Rather than lazily sleeping in, he was up early ministering to them spiritually. He wasn’t, like some parents, diluted into thinking that as long as they were going through the mo-tions (think willing to sit through church) then they were acceptable to God. He was concerned about their hearts and whether or not they were truly pure. 

It also says that he “sanctified” them. When you pair that with the New Testament, that we are sanctified in truth (John 17) we may also be ex-horted to study with our children, not just about Sunday and Wednes-day classes, but on other occasions too. Ask them questions, challenge their thinking. Just read with them. Put on an audio recording of Scrip-ture on their way to school. Whatever and whenever you can, sanctify your children in truth.