Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Plea for Multi-Generational Parenting pt. 3

For my last post on this topic, I want to address two remaining issues. First of all relationships. If we are to pass on values and truth to the next generation, we must build and maintain relationships. Everyone thinks that they have a relationship with their children, but not every child thinks they have a genuine relationship with their parents. One of the best resources that I have seen on this topic was a message that Josh McDowell preached that the GA Baptist State Evangelism conference. You can order the message here. He shows the truth that if we don't maintain our close relationships with children and teens, they will not receive the truth that we teach (this is not ruling out the intervention of the Spirit, just stating truth). Truth is receive when its communicated in love. We must maintain intimacy with our children and teens, knowing them, relating to them, and serving them, else they will view the truth we teach as falsehood. This not only applies to our own families, but to those within the body of Christ that we minister to. And those in the community (assuming that you are ministering in the community). We must have closeness, vulnerability, honesty, love, and genuine commitment to them, BEFORE they will hear our truth. We must reduce judgmentalism and get involved in their world.

Secondly, we must personally sell out for Christ. Half-hearted Christian commitment will ensure apostasy in our own families, churches, and denominations. Nominal faith in one generation is no faith in the one that comes after it. According to Voddie Baucham it takes two Christian families with two kids a piece to get one believer into the next generation (it's not rocket science with a 75% defection rate). The younger generations see right through the hypocrisy that got by us. And they don't want that Christ, or at least not His church. McDowell says that never before in the history of the church has a hypocritical parent or church member been such a hindrance to the preaching of the word. If Christ is not everything to us all week long, all month long, all year long, our children will understand the shallowness of our commitment, and reject our gospel.

Strive to be the parent or parental figure that inspires legends about your godliness. Refuse to be a status quo, maintenance mentality, don't rock the boat believer. Let your testimony of your passion for Christ be evident. Pray that your family will be speaking of this great grandfather or grandmother who loved Jesus more than life itself. Pray that they will be aspiring to be like you. Pray that they will tell of your accomplishments for the kingdom for generations. THEN, GIVE THEM SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT! Live radical for Jesus! Quit making excuses! Cut off the hands and gouge out the eyes that prevent you from living a legendary life and raising up Christian ballistic missiles! Live your faith out loud! May the dust of your Rabbi be all over you! And if so, may your tribe increase to the glory of God and the ingathering of the nations!

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