Friday, November 5, 2010

The Most Important Election of Your Child's Life

This week, our country made it to the end of yet another election cycle. Like numerous other home-educating moms, I took my children to the polls with me. I showed them the sample ballot, and explained to them how it was to be marked. In the days and weeks previous, we spent a lot of time talking about who Daddy and I would be voting for, and the values and principles guiding those choices. By the time I was handed my ballot, the children were pleased to be involved in what they were learning was a very important process.

It is always touching for me to see the smiles and friendly greetings my little ones receive from older folks when we go to vote. Perhaps this is because they know, even more than I do, that the choices we make in regards to who will govern us and how they will do so affect our children even more than they effect us. None of us can trust that our children will inherit a country that is as free and prosperous as we had growing up. We can, however, cast our ballots, praying for God's will to be done, and trust Him for the outcome.

It seems that, with every election, someone is saying that this is "the most important election of our lives"! And perhaps, at some time, they might be right.

However, there is a much more important election to consider. Would that people spent as much time contemplating it as they do politics!

"Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fail. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
2 Peter 1:10-11

The most important election in our children's lives has nothing to do with senate seats or gubernatorial candidates. It has everything to do with their eternal destiny, and it is a choice that God himself makes.

"You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide..."
John 15:16

Have my children put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ alone to save them from the punishment they deserve for their sins? Will they be in heaven with me when they die? I confess that this is the question most likely to keep me awake at night.

Some people may wonder why I, the unapologetic Calvinist that I am, trouble myself at all with this question. After all, if God made his choice "before the foundation of the world" (Ephesians 1:4), what possible good does it do for me to pray and weep over this issue? Why am I so fanatical about my children's biblical literacy and understanding of the gospel? Why can't I do as the rest of the world does, and look at my children as little cherubs who will surely grow out of their bad behaviors, instead of seeing them as sinners in the hands of an angry God, whose hearts are deceitful above all things and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9), who desperately need a Savior?

Why can't I just send them to Sunday School and trust that all will work out okay in the end? Why can't I just pray with them at mealtimes and bedtime and call that "good enough"? Those who have known me for a long time might say, "Tiana, you're sounding like a neurotic perfectionist again! This can't possibly be good for your mental health!".

Maybe not, but echoing the words of Martin Luther, my conscious is held captive by Scripture. I cannot ignore the convictions the Holy Spirit has pressed upon through His Word.

"And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up."
Deuteronomy 6:6-7

All day, every day. I am commanded to be teaching them the Word of God.

"And Jesus came and said to them, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.'"
Matthew 28:18-20

Most of us, when we hear these words, think of foreign missions. We emphasize the phrase "all the world". Yet, the emphasis is really on the phrase "make disciples". I am to make disciples as I go, wherever I go. And starting with my own children only makes sense. They are my mission field!

Not only that, but I don't think we as parents think enough about what God's purposes for our children's lives might be. Most of us think a lot about college and career, but very little about calling. When Psalm 129:4 speaks of children being like arrows in the hands of a mighty warrior, I picture sending my children out, grown up and mature in their faith, to be of great service to the LORD in His purposes on this earth.

"For 'everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'

How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent?

As it is written, 'How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, 'Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?'

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ."

Romans 10:13-17

Parents, you are your child's first and most influential preacher! Are they hearing the gospel in your home, consistently, clearly, daily? Do you think you can rest easy because your child has been made a profession of faith, "prayed a prayer", or been baptized? I don't know about you, but I can't. The stakes are just too high.

To just sit back and assume that, because God is sovereign, everything will be alright and I can do nothing, ignores the means that God has laid out in His Word by which people believe and are saved.

Friends, this weekend, let us take some time to think and reflect upon these things:
  • Are my priorities and schedule consistent with the goals I have for my kids?
  • What about God's goals and priorities? 
  • If I am to make the eternal salvation of my children a top priority, what changes might I have to make?
  • Do I need help? Who will help me?
Let us commit to praying for each other in this as well. Leave a comment and let us know how we can pray for you as you disciple your children.

By His Grace,

Tiana

2 comments:

Erica said...

I worry that I don't do enough with my girls. We pray with them and read Bible stories, but my fear is that it's not enough. It is such a responsibility, and I want to make sure I take it seriously.

Jamie said...

Tiana,
I love this. Everything that our Pastor has been talking about lately, you summed up in this post. You and I are of the same theology. Thanks so much for writing.

Blessings,
Jamie

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I'm a Stay-at-Home, Christian, "crunchy" mama. I have been blessed with the calling to be a godly wife and mother. I am passionate about bringing up my children in the discipline and instruction of the LORD, through home education and discipleship. Helpmeet to my best friend and soulmate, Christopher since 1/29/2000, and mama to four little blessings, including a tiny, precious, newborn baby girl.

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Our Curriculum 2010-2011

Bible--Child's Story Bible by Catherine Vos, Apologia Biblical World View Book 1, "Who is God and Can I Really Know Him?"
Catechism-- "Training Hearts, Teaching Minds" by Starr Meade
Phonics--Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
(Kindergarten), Year 1 Booklist (1st Grade)
Handwriting--Bible Copywork, made using Educational Fontware
Spelling-- All About Spelling Level 1 (1st grade)
Math--Math-U-See Primer (Kindergarten) , Math-U-See Alpha (1st grade)
World History--Simply Charlotte Mason's Genesis Through Deuteronomy and Ancient Egypt
American History--The Light and The Glory For Children Series
Art--Interest-led projects and handicrafts
Geography and Missions-- "Hero Tales" by Dave and Neta Jackson, as well as various other missionary biographies, incorporating globe and map study
*We will be studying music and phy-ed., participating in a writing club and nature club, as well as attending various field trips, with our church's homeschool group.*

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