I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children are following the truth. Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 3 John 4 (NLT)
John begins this third letter by expressing his joy that those receiving the letter were following and faithful to the truth. The prayer of every parent, caring coach, mentor, pastor and teacher is that those â€œyoung in the faithâ€, their children are following the truth.
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.â€ Â Â Â Â Â John 14:6 (HCSB)
As a parent, it is my prayer that my children would become disciples of Jesus Christ, not just believers. That means that they are building their relationship with Jesus every day. They are seeking Jesus who is the truth in their lives.
The relationship that my children have with Jesus is theirs, not mine. Just as my children are not to be â€œcookie cutoutsâ€ of me in their jobs so they will not have a relationship with Jesus that looks just like mine. They must work out their salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12) for themselves.
There is nothing more important. We as a society are very â€œsuccessâ€ minded. The level we achieve in our jobs, in sports, in school seems much more important than the intimacy of our relationship with our Savior, Jesus Christ. Have I shown by my true example how important my relationship is to Jesus? Do my children know that my relationship is about more than showing up in a church for an hour a week? Do I prioritize my life to reflect that Jesus is #1 in my life?
My ongoing job as their parent is to walk in Jesus’ truth myself. My faithfulness in going to church was revived when my children were born and I maintained that effort throughout their growing years. However, the problems in our family were not resolved because we went to church. It was when the commitment to Jesus was made that our family slowly and painfully got on the path that God intended us to travel. I learned to allow my children to see that I did not have all the answers â€“ but God did. My children saw me struggle with God and rejoice in the victories with God. That is the truth that I continue to live today even though my children live hundreds of miles away from me. I have been praying that God would open up opportunities for me to connect with my children and grandchildren and continue to be a witness to Jesus in their lives.
When my time on earth is done, it will not be financial wealth that I leave behind as a legacy to my children. It will be a legacy of what I have learned and known about Jesus Christ.
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from meâ€”everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Philippians 4:8-9 (NLT)