Risk is essential if we are going to call ourselves Christians. In Psalm 127:4-5, God describes our children as “arrows” in our quiver. That means we’ve gotta be willing to send our children (and ourselves since we are God’s children – the arrows in His quiver.) out of the safety/comfort zones and into enemy territory to take ground for the Kingdom of God. Sometimes the greater risk is to risk nothing at all. Only in risk do we discover how great our own need for Jesus is and realize His power and love for us.
Last Friday, it snowed here in Lake Jackson and even more in Pearland. We were up in Pearland (my in-laws house) preparing for our family pics at Penneys and so Kasen and I built a snowman. It was his first experience with snow. He was having tons of fun, but couldn’t enjoy it too much ’cause he was also so cold. (The snow was real wet.) One minute he’d be telling me he wanted to help build the snowman and then the next he was ready to go back inside – we’d head toward the door and then he’d want to go back and build the snowman again – just couldn’t make up his mind. He was torn between two worlds. The cold, fun, and passion of building the snowman on one hand and the warmth, safety, and security of the house on the other. I’m glad to say, that in the end he chose to stick it out and finish the snowman. If this is an indication of his life, he’ll be the guy taking all the risks – living life to the fullest. I pray he’ll grow up to be that kind of man – One who won’t be afraid to take a risk and dream big when it comes to expanding the Kingdom of God – an arrow in my quiver, (Ps 127:4-5) one which breaks through on enemy territory taking ground for God.
Friday night, it was time for Miranda and I to get Kasen ready for bed. We hadn’t begun our routine yet, but clearly he was getting sleepy. Our routine includes singing “Jesus Loves Me,” and then folding our hands to pray together, kisses for everyone, and then “Night-Night.” Anyway, I think he was ready before we were ’cause he walked over to us, folded his hands and said, “Che-zus.” Miranda and I looked at each other in disbelief at first, (wondering if “Che-zus” really meant “Jesus“) but were soon flooded with those proud parent emotions that go beyond understanding.
Miranda and I have made it our goal to raise children who are not only church-goers, but children who will truly be the arrows in our quiver described in Psalm 127:3-5. You know. . . we want our children to be offensive weapons in the hand of God. We pray they’ll be dangerous and will truly take ground for the Kingdom of God – infiltrating enemy territory and setting up outposts where God’s troops can base their operations. This was a beautiful moment for us. Kasen doesn’t talk yet. He says a few words – mama, daddy, door, dog, and now “Jesus.” The name that is above every other name. Jesus. Savior. Master, teacher, Holy, Lord, light, friend. . . .I could go on and on – Anyway, my son knows the name of Jesus (Now we’ve gotta help him understand who He is.) and that’s an answer to our prayers.
Prayer: Thank you God for allowing us the opportunity to have such an impact on the world by influencing our children. It’s such a joy and a pleasure. Show Miranda and I how to maximize that impact, and open our eyes to opportunities to tell our children more about You and Your great love, expressed in Jesus. Thank you for giving us these moments. These moments where we see that our efforts are worthwhile and are producing fruit. God, by being a father myself, I’m recognizing how You love me. I’d ask You to cover my children, Kasen and Kesleigh. Surround them with angels. Protect them from the evil one. Plant in them a desire to know more of You and to serve You wholeheartedly. Let them recognize Your love too. For Kasen, it’s just a beginning; but may the name of Jesus, be forever on his lips. May that name be comfortable in his mouth and overflow often. In the same way that I pray for him, let me be his example. Let the name of Jesus rest on my lips too. AMEN.
I wonder what the implications are that he said “Cheese” before he said “Jesus?”
I listened to a sermon by Voddie Bachaum the other day and was struck by something he said. He explained that 75%-88% of American so-called Christian teenagers abandon their faith by the time they finish their first year of college. The average Christian parents in America have 2 children. This means that it takes 4 Christian adults to bring one successfully into the next generation. Which also means that (subtracting new conversions) Christianity is declining at a rate of 75%-88% in only one generation. Voddie continued his argument saying that Germany is already being called a Muslim nation by the Muslims because by birthrates alone it will be a Muslim country in just a few years. Evidently, the Muslim faith is doing much better than American Christianity in regards to how many children are being born and how many are adopting the faith of their parents.
Voddie, also reminded me of the Scriptures which describe children as a blessing and as arrows in a man’s quiver. It is through his children that a man can have the most impact on the world. Yet, most Christians believe that having 2 and at the most 3 children is plenty. The excuses they raise have to do with finances and the size of their houses and yet just a generation ago, our grandparents raised many more children in homes that most of us would consider too meager today.
Is it Biblical to choose material things over children? What would a family be like if they had to share more things in the home? Would our marriages be stronger if we made more babies? Would a more demanding home life provide the accountability and challenge that a father really needs to be the spiritual leader of his home? Could it be true that if we raised large families, they might be more healthy? What if we saw children as a blessing instead of a nuisance that has to be endured for 18 years? Would we have more children? Would Christianity look differently? When did the “perfect family” become the “perfect little family?” Could the church be revived if men and women went forth and multiplied? Leonard Sweet says that every cell in the human body recreates itself every 7 years and that when it stops recreating, it begins dying. What if the same is true of the Body of Christ? What if we were baby makers? Just some ideas I had after listening to Voddie. What do you think?