When thinking about what I could give a 20 year old looking for a spiritual father figure 5 things very quickly came to mind. They aptly relate to family life (no surprise) and are what I would consider the highest needs of your natural kids but also those you are discipling (who might be 10 or more years younger than you). Yesterday we looked at the first 2.
Lets look at 3 more:
3. FAMILY LIFE
Psalm 68:6 NKJV God sets the solitary in families…
We are made to flourish in the context of family. So if you live alone, join yourself to others, a family circle, join yourself to a Church circle that replicates family.
So if you are a family have people in your home, don’t make your home private. You can be family for others.
The eating together, the talking, debating, laughter, conflicts and resolutions of conflict, the attention given and received all are essential ingredients to a person’s development. Your kids need it. Those your discipling need to be let into it.
Even if your family circle is broken in some way you can still develop these aspects of family life that bring life and health to those in it and those who are included into it.
Proverbs 22:6 NLT Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.
Children need answers for life, guidance & boundaries to know how to make choices in future. On relationships, sexuality, career, budgeting, etc. in order to find their groove confidently. Don’t leave it to school, friends, TV, celebrities or the internet. And dads don’t leave it entirely to mum!
There is a common myth around that it is best that people are left to discover their way in life. But its a little ridiculous to think that someone who has never journeyed a certain path before is better off not having the wisdom of those who have.
As a discipler you only need to be one step ahead to help someone in the journey of life and in Christ.
Proverbs 29:18 NASB Where there is no vision (or redemptive revelation – that is to suggest contrary to human perspective – that which becomes possible through the eyes of God and due to our redemption in Christ) the people are unrestrained. (italics are my addition!)
Kids (we all) need vision, boundaries and guides to run within. Not just any old tracks but God tracks, attempting the extraordinary, living the faith, Godly adventure.
Ephesians 4:14,15 NLT 14 Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. 15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.
A young person’s enthusiasm can mean they embrace whatever philosophy is most exciting, convenient, or fits the moment – ‘pick ‘n mix’. Kids need to grow clear convictions: freedom, who they are, who Christ is, what Hes done.
Fathers, disciplers, you make the difference by having a clear conviction of your own – your convictions lived out are the most powerful influence of all.
We bring Christ into the home. We unconditionally love rather than regularly reinforce performance love.
– You forgive & don’t remind them of a mistake.
– Pray, read the bible, go to church, give.
– You lay hands on a family member when they are sick.
– They need to know there is the power of the Holy Spirit available to them.
These 5 things are guaranteed to set any child up for life and cause any disciple to grow mature and healthy. Live the life!
(Hear the audio 15 June)