The Christian Home, Lecture 16: The Goal of Parenting © 2004 by R W Glenn3
How, now, do we go about this task? First, we begin by acknowledging that wecannot perform such a miracle. Last time I said that although parents are the maininstruments the Lord uses to bring their kids to the worship of God, God himself and Godalone can change the leopard’s spots, can remove and replace stony hearts with fleshy ones,can open blind eyes, can raise the spiritually dead. Only God can make true worshippers of false ones. Turn over to
Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that inJerusalem is the place where men ought to worship."
Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem willyou worship the Father.
"You worship what you do not know; we worship whatwe know, for salvation is from the Jews.
"But an hour is coming, and now is, whenthe true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people theFather seeks to be His worshipers.
"God is spirit, and those who worship Him mustworship in spirit and truth."
Notice especially v 23:
the Father seeks such people
to be hisworshippers
. The verb translated
is a present tense verb, indicating the continualnature of the father’s seeking. The idea is that the father is constantly seeking true (or genuine) worshippers. Now this should not be understood to mean that that there arepeople who
worship God truly. What this means is that God seeks people in order to
them true worshippers. For to God, to seek
to save. Luke 19:10 involves the sonon this seeking mission, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which waslost.” And from the perspective of John’s gospel, it is always and only God who takes theinitiative in our salvation.
All this is to say that there is absolutely nothing in us as parents that can change thehearts of our children. Ultimately, they are in the Lord’s hands. And yet, rather than giveus a defeatist attitude toward parenting task, this knowledge instead ought to strengthen our resolve to perform it to the glory of God. In other words, we cannot forget that though Godalone can make anyone a true worshipper, he has chosen us parents as his primaryinstruments for bringing this to pass in the life of our children. So the logic runs somethinglike this: Only God can change our children’s hearts. God has chosen to use us as his toolsfor changing our children’s hearts. Therefore we can be confident that if our children are to be changed, it will come about through God’s appointed means.So the first thing we need to recognize is that only God can bring about the change of heart our children need in order to be his true worshippers. At the same time, he hasordained Christian parents as the prime instruments for bringing about such a change.What, then, is our role in this process? The answer to this question is the second part of theanswer to our question about how we fulfill the task of Eph 6:4.
Seeing the Lord
If worship of the true and living God is the goal of our parenting, then it seems fair that we parents need faithfully to let our children see Jesus Christ as he really is. We need
See 3:16; 6:37, 39, 44, 65; 15:16.