A Place Created by God

Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and
instruction of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4)
“I know a place created by God as part of his plan for our existence and survival. I know
a place where I am loved and accepted. I know a place where I am forgiven when I
make a mistake. I know a place where I belong.” So wrote Rolf Zettersten several years
ago in Focus on the Family. “This place is called the family.”
More than ever before, it seems, the family is in trouble. We are no longer living in a
Christian, or even post-Christian, culture. It’s anti-Christian, and it has the family in its
crosshairs. Our children are especially vulnerable to the toxic influences of today’s world.
How will they be able to hold on to the faith they have? What can we do to help them as
they grow? Here are a few thoughts:
  1. The family is where we receive our identity. We must first give our children an
    identity as children of God. If we—parents and grandparents—model the attitude, “I
    am not ashamed of the gospel” (Romans 1:16) in our own lives, they will absorb that
    lesson in theirs.
  2. The family is a sanctuary where we are accepted and restored after we have
    stumbled or gone wrong. It is where we confess our sins and forgive one another
    daily. We must continue to forgive one another in our marriages and in our homes.
    Forgive, as the Lord forgave you” (Colossians 3:13) needs to be part of the fabric of
    our lives. (Read Genesis 45:3-15 and 50:15-21 for a biblical example.)
  3. Caring, yet firm discipline is a blessing to any child. There are times in every
    child’s life when they need a healthy dose of “vitamin N”—when they need to be told
    “No.” The Lord says, “Discipline your children, for in that there is hope; do not be a
    willing party to their death” (Proverbs 19:18).
  4. The family is where we teach our children about Jesus. Our ultimate objective is
    to lead precious souls to heaven. We must above all be missionaries to our children.
    Home devotions, prayers, and bringing them to church are indispensable to raising
    our children to know that Jesus came to be their Savior.
Our children are growing up in a challenging environment, but God has promised that his
word will not return empty (Isaiah 55:10). God’s word works. There is no better reason to
bring up our children in the training and instruction of the Lord. And there is no better
place to do so than the family.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we thank you for bringing us into your family of believers. Help us to
make our own families a blessing for generations to come. Amen.