55: Building a Family by Faith
As Christians we have three enemies, the world, the flesh, and the devil. I find that the most subtle foe and the hardest to discern, is the world. The most succinct description of the “world” is found in 1 John 2.
“The world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.” 1 John 2:16
Other translations use the word lust instead of craving, and some refer to lust as a strong desire. So by definition, the world in which we find ourselves lives in light of what it can see, touch, taste, and feel.
But as Christian parents, we are seeking to live by what we don’t see, touch, taste, and feel. Like our righteous forefathers, we seek to live “by faith,” Romans 1:17. And while faith is a strong conviction, and even an assurance of what we hope for, faith is not readily seen.
“Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” Hebrews 11:1. We who have chosen to follow Jesus, been washed by His blood, and born of His Spirit, have become new creatures. Even though we are in the world, we are no longer of the world.
Like our our brethren in Hebrews 11, we know that we are strangers and exiles on the earth. We don’t fit into this present world and we don’t share their values. We march to a different drummer, and are pursuing a heavenly city.
Consider our curriculum goals. While we value doing well in academic subjects, of much greater value are our eternal goals and invisible character qualities. I have jotted down a few of these to illustrate my point. It is an incomplete list and I am sure you could suggest meaningful additions.
• Honor parents
• Be humble
• Be truthful
• Be diligent
• Be patient
• Guard your tongue
• Learn to apologize and be forgiving
• Bear one another’s burdens
• Pray for one another
• Live by faith
• Love and trust God
• Become followers of, and believers in, Jesus
• Be filled with, and led by, the Holy Spirit
• Seek first the kingdom
• See the world from God’s perspective
• Keep a soft heart
• Live in light of eternity
• Honor parents
• Love siblings
All of these qualities and pursuits are unmeasurable in the eyes of man, yet precious and of great value in the sight of God
I hope and pray that we will be careful that we don’t yield to the temptation of evaluating our family with our physical eyes. We shouldn’t value our children by how many books they read, how well they play a musical instrument, how many activities they are involved in, or how well they play soccer, for these are temporal. They are not wrong, but need to be seen in the proper perspective.
Even though I created MathUSee with tests to score and objectives to accopmplish, there is no eternal way to measure a “FamilyYouSee”. For we live and walk by “faith and not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7
“As we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient(temporal), but the things that are unseen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18
Parents, you are doing a great work, but often an unseen one. This is a work which no one else is doing. I continue to be made more aware that no one else is doing this. Sadly, our schools, institutions, team sports, and even churches are not doing well in this task.
You have not chosen the easy path. Being with your children 24/7 and learning these important life lessons within the confines of life in your home is hard work, but it is God work. It would be easier to send them away and let someone else disciple them.
You have accepted your responsibility, and are walking in the path that God designed and created for you. I wish I could convey how much I admire your courage and convictions as you raise your children to live forever.
“Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1
Hold on to your faith, feed it with the inspired word of God, be encouraged by meeting with other’s who share your convictions, “be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9
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Image by Sherrie Thai, via Flickr.