Do you have children that are unbelievers? I don’t think there is any sorrow that matches that for a Christian father and mother. If you have read some of my blogs or have read my book, the Master’s Plan, you are aware that a Christian Family Legacy includes God-centered children that know how to be servant leaders. But what do we do if your grown children have either fallen away or just never believed? How do we work on that part of our Legacy? I have that challenge as well!
“The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:4-6 NIV)
We all know that the minds of unbelievers are blinded and that can include our own children. So what is your responsibility in helping them see the light? Do You labor over the question of why they don’t think about eternity like you? And why, when you have told them, they don’t come to the faith? They just don’t get it.
You are not a spiritual eye surgeon. You are probably not going to want to hear this but, there is nothing that we can do to give our children spiritual light. God turns on lights. So when did God first turn on the lights? In Genesis 1:3 God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God took the same power that made the world, and he uses it to give us sight: to give us hearts that understand that in knowing Jesus, we know God in all his majesty, perfection and love.
Our children’s consciousness is being torn away from God through all kinds of temptations and lies. It takes time for them to realize that it does not satisfy. They look to lovers to satisfy that deep longing in their hearts and continue to be disappointed.
When we became a Christian, the power of God’s Spirit recreated our hearts so that we could see who Jesus is. Victor Hugo wrote: “Life’s greatest happiness is to be convinced you’re loved.” When we know we are children of God, we don’t fear the rejection of others—we’re loved by our Creator! As a result we don’t need the approval or love from our children, we’re free to love them and share the gospel with them even if they reject it.
If the power of God’s Spirit can recreate your heart, He can recreate your children’s heart. Do you think God can’t bring them to faith? Do you think the Spirit cannot work to recreate their hearts?
“What we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord.” (2 Corinthians 4:5 NIV)
God opens eyes. It is our job to tell our children about Jesus—who He is, why He came and what it means. It is not our job to make someone respond. It’s God who opens eyes. We are to communicate the message – and then we pray that He would do the miracle.
No matter how many times I hear that, I impatiently wonder what else I could do. Don’t you? It is liberating, though, to know that our responsibility is to tell the story of Jesus, and it is God’s responsibility to open their eyes.
Our job is not to convert people. It is to witness about Christ. Our children are children of God just like us. As Rico Tice says in his book, Honest Evangelist:
• God is sovereign. He has put us here in this place and our children in the same place to hear the gospel.
• God is gracious. Our children’s response to the gospel will not make us any more or less valuable or accepted or loved.
• God is powerful. His Spirit opened our blind eyes—His Spirit can open theirs.
It is time to get praying, look for chances to talk about Jesus, and if it doesn’t come naturally, take a deep breath and say: I’d like to tell you about my first love, Jesus.
And then pray and pray and pray that the Spirit of the Lord will change their heart and give them sight.
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By Joe Sturniolo
Christian Family Legacy and Wealth Planning
Joe believes that stronger families are the vehicle God uses to bring about significant impact for His Kingdom.