This week, I have been reading the Family Ministry section from Rob Rienow’s (2013) book, Limited Church: Unlimited Kingdom. I have SO much in an say in regards to this because it is packed with great stuff. However, I want to focus on one part that grabbed my attention more than the others.
Rienow (2013) writes that “the Great Commission and the institution of the family are inseparable” (p. 146). We start with God’s first command to humans in Genesis 1:28, where he commanded Adam & Eve to be fruitful and multiply. God created the family to be the center of discipleship. Family is where we do more than just exist under the same roof. As a family, we talk about life, share life, live life. In Deuteronomy 6, God gives parents and grandparents (and all other family members) the responsibility to impress the Scriptures on the hearts of their children/grandchildren. We can only do that when we love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and might – another command from God that reappears in the New Testament when Jesus reiterates them (Matthew 22:34-40).
By impressing the Scriptures on the hearts of our children, we are fulfilling the Great Commission. We are making disciples of our children. I was also reading Faith Begins At Home by Mark Holmen (2005) when he wrote about speaking to a group of teenagers and their parents. When he had the teens and their parents face each other and revealed that they were looking at disciples of Christ, some of the teens were in disbelief.
Living out the Great Commission is more than just words. It is our actions. There’s a saying out there – “Your actions speak so loud that I can’t hear what you’re saying”. If we aren’t living our lives as disciples of Christ, will our children hear the words we’re saying about Jesus? Most likely not.
If we stop impressing the words of Scripture on the hearts of the next generation, what happens? We need only look at Scripture for the answer. In Judges 2, we read that the next generation quit impressing the Scripture and turned back to Baal and other gods.
“And all that generation also were gathered to their fathers. And there arose another generation after then who did not know the Lord or the work that he had done for Israel” (Judges 2:10, ESV).
It took just one generation to not disciple their kids for them to not know the Lord or anything but about him. As I have read and re-read these words, it makes my stomach queasy thinking that if we do not disciple our children then their children may not know who Jesus is. Honestly, I think or current culture is quite evident of this.
There are people my age whose parents did the opposite of discipling them. Their parents had “forced” them to go to church and they didn’t want their children to have to suffer through that. Now there is a generation, my age, who have no idea what the Scriptures say or the truth about Jesus. We have a culture that is promoting things that go against the word of the Lord. Culture is starting to dictate the church in how it is, what it says, and how it acts.
We need to heed the commands of God and start discipling our children in the words of Scripture. We need to fall in love with the Scriptures all over again, so that we can earnestly impress them on the hearts of our children and grandchildren. It is my prayer for you that you will love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and might so that you can impress the Scriptures on the hearts of your children/grandchildren.