For Lord’s Day, December 28, 2014
I have some very happy news to share with you as I have recently been given clearance by Mr. Allie to “go public” with some family news to further inform your prayers for them. Please now add to your prayers the Lord’s blessing upon their new family addition, as Tim, Eunice, and Eli are expecting another child! These verses always come to mind with such happy news:
Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them … (Psalm 127:3-5)
As I mentioned to Tim while celebrating the joys of raising Christian children, I have been collecting notes for some time on responsible parenting and its righteous reward that I only just this week put together and uploaded to our website (under Christian Parenting on the “Duties Required” link of our Resources tab) available here. Following is a powerful quote we just read last week in family worship (from the Thomas Chalmers Sabbath devotional book the Maxwells gave us a while back) that I inserted at the beginning of the collection of quotes on parental responsibility:
I have no right to look for miracles of grace in behalf of my children—if myself I will not put into busy operation the means of grace … Is it not a presumptuous expectation that He, at my request too, will make up for my neglect of the solemn duties which belong to me both as a master and a parent?—My God, I pray not for exemption from these duties, but for boldness and faithfulness and energy to acquit myself thereof.”
The positive side of the above admonition is that God is faithful to use His means, and we can cling to and expect His blessing on our application of His rule and rules as we parent our covenant children:
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. (Proverb 22:6)
If I may, I’d like to share God’s confirmation of this parental promise to Jennifer and me even this afternoon at the oncologist’s office. While I sat with Jennifer as she received her maintenance treatment for over an hour, the children did their school work (while watching their toddler brother) in the waiting room. When we came out afterward to get them and return home, the receptionist said to me: “You should get a reward for ‘best behaved children’, because I rarely remembered your kids were there, they were so good and quiet.” I was able to glorify God in response: “God is faithful to His promises.” And then, I remembered also to say, “Thank you.” You see, it is all God’s grace, but He uses the gracious means of His Word in rearing His covenant children in our covenant homes and the household of His Church. I knew I could count on my kids to behave. It is not that they are angels; rather, they are disciplined saints (sinners like us all who need God’s sanctified family discipleship structure). I praised the children in the hallway for bringing such obvious honor to their parents and their heavenly Father, and pointed out to them how they gave a witness walking before the watching world to our mutual Master, Jesus Christ.
Beloved, may we all be responsible with what and whom God has entrusted to us, trusting that He will indeed bless us greatly with His little blessings to us when we steward and disciple them according to His Word.