While reading in 3 John this morning I couldn’t help but think that John’s sentiments about Gaius echo the way that I feel about my children. Nothing would give me greater joy than to know that they, by God’s grace, are walking in the truth.
Of course, the key words there are “by God’s grace”. As much as I would like to think there are things I can do as a parent to guarantee that all my children will know, love and serve the LORD, the reality is that it will only be by the will of God and by His matchless grace.
Are there things I can do as a parent to encourage them in the LORD? Of course. I can allow them to witness my whole-hearted pursuit of the God and exhort them to follow me as I follow Christ. I can wash them with the Word, teaching them the full counsel of God in the hope that the Holy Spirit will illuminate the scriptures and give them eyes to see, ears to hear and hearts to receive His truth. I can intercede for them in prayer. There are many things I can do but it is not my works that will save them. In fact, nothing I do will save them.
So, why do I even bother practicing the spiritual disciplines of studying God’s word and prayer? Out of obedience and love mostly but I’ve also learned something over the years. Even if my faithfulness in study and prayer won’t save my children and even if it doesn’t necessarily have a direct impact on them, I’ve learned that doing those things causes me to not be anxious and reminds me to fix my eyes on God. My sovereign, faithful, gracious and loving God. The same God who revealed Himself to me and redeemed me to Himself. The same God I hope will do the same for my children.
And so I pray that by God’s grace I will know the joy of hearing that my children are walking in the truth. Not for my peace and joy. But for His glory.