Raised With Christ

 
 

Raised With Christ

GUEST EDITORIAL: Bob and Mary Thomas

Around the world each Sunday morning, in various churches, people will pray or recite the “Lord’s Prayer”.   We’re all familiar with the opening line as Jesus taught us in Matthew 6:9… “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” The beginning of this prayer sets the tone in a couple areas for us as we approach our heavenly Father in prayer. First, we acknowledge Him as our Father in Heaven, making all of us his children. Secondly, we pray for His will to be done, thereby surrendering our own will and acknowledging our faith in His plans.

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As each of us studied the bible we learned that we needed to be “born again” (John 3:3). We needed to become like “little children” (Mark 10:14) and we needed to become a new creation “raised with Christ” (Colossians 3:1). Since we have a Father in heaven who has set the example for us as his children, we have an example to follow as we become parents to our own children.

 

This weekend we had an inspiring Parenting Workshop entitled Raised With Christ. Our special thanks to Ken and Cheryl Chin for coming from New York City to Syracuse to lead our workshop. They brought us inspirational teaching through great biblical examples and through great personal examples of faith in their own parenting. Raising our children “with Christ” is on the hearts of every parent in God’s Kingdom. Our instincts to provide, nurture and protect them start out months before they are even born. The words love, sacrifice and commitment take on entirely new meanings! Just as Jesus lamented for Jerusalem in Matthew 23:37 “ … I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings”, we have that same desire to shelter and protect our children.

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The topics of our workshop Raised With Discipline, Raised With Understanding, Raised With Sacrifice and Raised With Many Advisors proved to be very helpful to all of us as we strive to become the parents God has trusted us to be. There are no short cuts to good parenting. Our children see our lives in every detail. Hypocrisy and falsehood will not go undetected by God. Our kids serve as witnesses from God to keep us focused on him! If we intend to “talk-the-talk” as disciples of Jesus then we better do a good job of “walking-the-walk” in our own homes (1 John 2:6)!

 

The dangers that await our children exist physically, emotionally and spiritually. Physically, we hear of accidents that happen almost daily involving injuries to children. Emotionally we hear of cases where children have suffered from verbal abuse or traumatic situations that might not even register until years later in their lives. Spiritually, our children, just like all of us, can find themselves in a battle with temptations and schemes that Satan will put before them. Modern society has twisted and perverted God’s truth to the point where our children are confused and deceived into accepting cultural norms over God’s standards.  The spiritual battle has already crossed the line in areas such as legalized drugs, gay marriage and sexual boundaries.  It’s hard to imagine where the next frontier in this battle will be! Truly Jesus’ words are clearer now more than ever: “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold…” (Matthew 24:12)

 

Kahlil Gibron wrote “Your children are not your children. …They come through you but not from you, and though they are with you yet they belong not to you.” This emphasizes the fact that our children are really God’s children, entrusted to us for a short time as they grow up and find their way. For as much as we love our children, they are loved by God so much more. Parenting is a humbling and upward call. That’s why we are so grateful to have the opportunity to share a workshop dedicated to becoming stronger and more godly as parents.

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The vision for our children has to be one of hope, faith and perseverance. There will be ups and downs for all of us. But, by the grace of God, we can be prepared for this “parenting journey”, armed with the love of Christ and the fruits of the spirit. One day, Lord willing, we can see our children baptized into Christ and ready to powerfully advance His Kingdom to our grandchildren and beyond! By faith, one day, standing aside your children it will be awesome to hear the words together from Jesus himself: “Well done, good and faithful servant!” What a confirmation that your children were too “raised with Christ”! To God be all honor and glory forever and ever! Amen!

 

In His Love,

Bob & Mary

Bob and Mary Thomas

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