A few weeks ago I had the privilege to preach on a Sunday night, and I debated a long time on what to say to parents from the perspective of the youth pastor. Rather than hitting one specific topic, problem or encouragement, I wanted to broaden the concept and present a foundational truth on which every parental choice could be made (and every Christian choice, for that matter.) What I finally decided on was the passage about the spiritual armor in Ephesians 6 and boiled it down to the simple challenge to Think Spiritually.
Through the experiences and lessons of daily life, we are taught to believe that life happens in what we see every day: your child is home sick from school, the car won’t start, the checkbook won’t balance and your grocery list is looming. Reality seems to rear its ugly head everywhere we turn, whether TV shows, bills or just… life!
However, Scripture defines reality in a totally different way. Far from life happening in what we see every day, God considers our “reality” a fringe matter. At the very core of our existence—our purpose for living—life happens in a very different way. Because of God’s love and care for us, He takes interest in the details of our daily lives; but what is really on His agenda is for us to see things from His perspective.
God wants us to realize that reality is not the things we see and go through every day; it is the invisible, spiritual choices that take place minute by minute. Reality, to God, goes much deeper than flesh and blood. Reality is the daily battle in the war on sin, and daily life is important only based on the idea that everything we do has a spiritual consequence.
That’s why God gave us His Word to know how to live the life that is really important to Him. The first step is to realize that there’s a Devil out there fighting against you and there’s a God to defend you. The Devil will constantly fight you on a spiritual level, so defend yourself on the spiritual front by using God’s armor (Eph. 6).
For some practical application, think of this… God would never be the one who leads you to stay away from church and the encouragement of the brethren, would He? God would never be the one who emphasizes the cost and time sacrifices of going to church on Sunday nights, attending the Preaching Rally, attending Sunday school, going to a youth conference, and attending Saturation Saturday, especially when the financial means are available for those who need it, would He?
As a general plea, if something is in place that will help your child’s spiritual life, do what you can to encourage it. Dads, lead your home ever toward godliness. If that seems vague, ask simple questions… what’s my motivation for staying home, for watching this show, or for talking badly about this person? Instead, pray with your kids, check on their Bible reading, and don’t allow excuses for missing church… first in you and second in them. A car only runs on 4 wheels… the Christian life can basically be boiled down to about 4 things… how’s YOUR spirit, YOUR Bible reading, YOUR prayer, and YOUR love for Christ’s church?
Asking hard questions isn’t always fun, but to get to the level that God desires for us (spiritually), it seems as if we HAVE to face those questions. Please have an open heart and lead your family spiritually. It will only help you and them to constantly remind yourselves that the daily grind isn’t what life is all about… think spiritually.
We love you, pray for you, and want to be an encouragement in any way that we can. Let us know if you need anything, and we would love to hear any feedback on any of these recent letters. Thank you again for letting us work with your life-works! Have a great week.