How do you teach children the value of the gospel?
You show them.
In two days I leave for Serbia. I’m traveling to speak at a worship festival and spend time building relationships at a mental institution, with the staff and residents. I’m going because God has called me. Because in my bones I believe God has graciously whispered his plan to adopt the Serbian people as his own into my heart, and he’s asked me to join in.
But leaving my family is hard. Especially considering the challenging month we’ve just had.
How do I leave for 11 days when we’ve just moved into a new house and the summer is waning? I can leave because I know they will be in the the capable hands of family and a loving church community. I can leave because my goal as a parent is to raise children who one day strike out on mission for the cause of the gospel themselves.
I value the gospel, making disciples, including making my children disciples. The best way I know how to do that is by example.
I’ve had amazing conversations with my kids about the children and adults living, forgotten, in mental institutions in Eastern Europe. It’s a sacrifice for them to let me go, but one they understand is important. They have security, a family, knowledge of God; they’re learning to be willing to share that with others.
A couple of nights ago at bedtime I thanked them for making a sacrifice for Jesus in letting me go to Serbia. They’ve contributed to the spread of the gospel as well. It’s hard for naturally selfish little hearts to learn how to be sacrificial. I’m proud of them.
I hope in the fall at school when my son needs to speak up for what’s true that he will recognize the gospel is worth taking a risk for.
Both of my children have asked to go to Serbia with me. In the future I very much hope we will be able to go as a family. I want them to see children without families living rejected by society because of their disabilities, and learn that mercy has feet. I want them to see the church far flung across the globe among other nations, humbly learning their place in God’s kingdom.
I can tell my children these things, but I’d rather show them. Action puts meat on my words. So, even though it’s hard to leave my family and new home, it’s also a privilege. The gospel isn’t the gospel unless it compels. Whether it’s across the street to a neighbor or around the world, the gospel moves us forward.
I’ve been touched to see beautiful stories of families living in motion, serving the poor, loving their neighbors, sharing Jesus! How do you model valuing the gospel to your children and invite them to join you?