Can we really be effective in helping our children understand their role in God’s plan if we are still trying to work out the details of our own role? Can we help them to understand truths about God and His Word if we are still learning about these things ourselves? Can we make disciples of our children when we are still in need of discipling for ourselves?
My answer is a resounding YES!
I am always heartened by the reminder that God chooses imperfect and sinful people to share His glory and play a part in His story of redemption. He did it when He chose the initial twelve disciples, and He continues this method with us today! He doesn’t appear to expect us to fill the role having it all figured out. He seems okay with our bumbling efforts to share His love and do our fallible best to live in His will.When my daughters were two- and three-years old, I knew it was time to get serious and intentional about raising them to know and follow God. I began daily devotions and prayers with them, which prompted a series of questions from them that I wasn’t particularly prepared to answer. I consulted books like Focus on the Family’s 801 Questions Kids Ask About God (with answers from the Bible), hoping that it might help me when I got stumped. I looked in vain for what I should say to a two-year-old asking me, “Where does God live?” and a three-year-old wondering, “Why can’t we see God?” In a way, their questions were so much more basic than questions of original sin and Immaculate Conception, but on the other hand, they were more complex! Their inquiries set me to thinking and seeking out resources that could help me disciple my children at the same time I was seeking discipleship for myself.
There is ample Biblical evidence to support my conviction that it’s okay not to have all the answers, as long as we are seeking.In his letter to the Colossians, the apostle Paul prays that the believers in that church will be “filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1: 9-10) Is that not a prayer for continued spiritual growth and understanding for both new and established believers?
The Book of Proverbs is full of admonitions to increase in wisdom and understanding, saying that if we call out for insight and understanding, “if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God” (Proverbs 2: 2-5). Surely that is not a “one-and-done” experience, but a life-long pursuit.
It will be a compelling witness for our children to see us on our own path to an ever-stronger and ever-closer relationship with God. It will provide effective teaching for our children to see us seeking and acquiring knowledge (Proverbs 18:15), rather than acting as though we know it all already. We can provide powerful testimony to our children that “the unfolding of [God’s] words gives light” (Psalm 119:130). Unfolding is clearly an ongoing process!
I fully believe that God will bless our efforts to understand our place in His plan, even as we support our children in their search for the same.
It’s a little intimidating to read Sally’s vision for our meeting with God when we make it to heaven. Will we really stand before Him and be asked: “What did you do to make me known to the people I brought into your life?” What we know for sure comes from God’s Word, which tells us: “For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat…So, then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God” (Romans 14:10b, 12). These verses offer pretty powerful motivation to give some thought to how we are serving God and telling others about Him with the skills, backgrounds, and personalities He has given us…and pretty powerful motivation to help our children do the same.
A note regarding the title of this post:
The phrase “the blind leading the blind” comes from the teachings of Jesus, recorded by both Matthew and Luke. In Matthew’s account, Jesus quotes the prophet Isaiah to the Pharisees, saying, “You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’” Jesus then continues to teach that what goes into our mouths, referring to the food restrictions of the Pharisees, is not as important as what comes out of our mouths. His disciples point out that the Pharisees are offended by his words, and Jesus says, “Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit” (from Matthew 15: 7-14).
Jesus frequently criticizes the Pharisees for their attention to the letter of the law at the expense of the spirit of the law, and for their concern about how their rituals and practices look to people on the outside more than how the state of their hearts look to God on the inside. Jesus isn’t referencing people who recognize what they do not know, and seek knowledge and understanding with a humble and willing heart, so much as the people who think they know it all already, and have no use for the Lord’s teachings.