Today’s One Year Bible reading in Proverbs 23:15, 16 is very short:
My child, if your heart is wise, My own heart will rejoice!
Everything in me will celebrate when you speak what is right.

That reminds me immediately of 3 John 4: “I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children are following the truth.

As a Christian father, my greatest joy is knowing that my children are walking with the Lord. And if we’ve led others to the Lord, and/or discipled them, we have the same joy when they walk with the Lord. But if our children—whether familial or spiritual—turn away from the Lord, we experience great pain, don’t we?

But this “walking with the Lord” thing doesn’t just happen, does it? No, teaching and training our children (or others) takes time and effort. Nevertheless, God has instructed us to do so. Prov. 22:6 says, “Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.” In Matt. 28:19–20, Jesus told us to “go and make disciples of all the nations, … Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you.” And in 2 Tim. 2:2 the Apostle Paul instructed his spiritual son Timothy, “You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.”

But we don’t do this all by ourselves—God promises to work with us! In 1 Thess. 5:23-24, Paul encourages the church, “Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.” After all, He loves our children (familial and spiritual) even more than we do! And if they are His children, He’s committed to work in their lives, just as He does in ours.

So let’s be faithful to “bring [our children] up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.” (Eph. 6:4.)

by Darrel Eppler, Chairman of the Elder Board

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