From time to time, I talk to young fathers who are searching. They are a little uncomfortable because they are searching for more. However, this kind of “more” is not discontentment. This “more” is a father (or mother) wondering if there is more that he or she can do for Christ.
They have good jobs and are comfortable. They have a good life and a good place to live with a loving family. And they are well thought of professionally in their work, but there is still a little feeling of agitation.
He or she looks around and thinks, “There has to be more!”
They have it good but are struck with this sense of, “What else? What else can I do?”
I dealt with the same thing, and I’m very familiar with this feeling young fathers have when working in the secular workforce and even when working in non-profits and maybe even churches. There is a draw to do more.
This “more” that they are thinking about is really related to the Great Commission. They feel this insatiable draw to do something to spread and multiply the Good News of the Gospel. That’s the mission. For some, it is a magnet and driving current. For others, it is a dark cloud and a weight.
If this is you, I want to put your mind at ease by telling you that your mission is your family. If there’s anything else you need to learn, it’s that once you got married and God gave you those children and put those little lives in your home, they became your mission.
When Jesus Christ gave the Great Commission (Acts 1:8), He gave it to them in ever more distant circles. He listed Jerusalem, all Judea, and Samaria, and then to the end of the earth. These should not be skipped. You don’t skip Jerusalem to go to the ends of the earth.
I don’t mean this in terms of covering Jerusalem completely before you go on to Judea and then covering Judea completely before moving to Samaria and so. The point is that you do not ignore one and jump to ever further away groups.
Also, many think of Jerusalem as their city, but I don’t think this is close enough. I believe that “your Jerusalem” is your kitchen table. It’s those little faces looking back at you at meals and your husband or wife.
God put them there for you to lead them to Him. “Suffer the little children to come to me” (Mark 10: 13-16). This is your mission. This is what you were put on this earth to do. As a matter of fact, this is your first mission.
And so when you’re faced with this idea that there must be more, what does God want me to do? So many men and women run right past this idea that God has put them in this world to bring their children to Christ.
This idea has a ripple effect on how our home runs.
- I’m going to treat my wife in a certain way.
- Some of the decorations I put on the walls will be related to God’s word.
- The music we listen to is going to be God-honoring.
- We will eat as many meals as possible together.
- I will choose what kind of job I take based on that job’s ability to assist me in some way or at least not hinder my ability to bring my children to Jesus Christ.
Nothing. Nothing should hinder your ability to bring your children to Jesus Christ. Now, I don’t want you to misunderstand what I’m saying. You’re not going to save your kids.
Jesus Christ is the one that saves your children. Jesus Christ has done a work and will do a work in your children’s lives that you cannot do. Your job is to bring your children to Jesus Christ. You are not to hinder the little children from coming to Jesus Christ.
So, if you are never present in your children’s lives, you’re hindering your children to come to Jesus Christ.
If you’re homeschooling and you can’t get past the friction it’s causing in your family, homeschooling has hindered you from bringing your children to Jesus Christ. You need to stop homeschooling.
Literally, you should filter every decision through this question…
- Should I use this curriculum?
- What time should we eat dinner every night?
- Should I work?
- Where should we live?
- And, so on…
Your mission is to bring your children to Jesus Christ. This is your top priority…
Think of it like an Olympic athlete training to run on the biggest stage in the world. For years, everything they do is considered based on the question, “will this make me faster?”
- Do I eat this? Do I not? Will it make me faster?
- What time should I get up in the morning? Will it make me faster?
- Should I lift weights? Should I not? Will it make me go faster?
- Should I take this job? Will it keep me from training so that I can get faster?
- Should I get married? Will it hinder my ability to get faster?
Olympic and professional athletes work for years to achieve their goals.
In the same way that an Olympic athlete asked that question, will it help me go faster? You need to run every single element of your life through this idea: will it bring my children to Jesus Christ? That’s your mission. Your home is your Jerusalem. And that’s the reason why God has put those children in your home.
They’re not a hindrance to your job.
They’re not an expense.
They’re not an embarrassment.
They’re your heritage unto the Lord, and above all else, you need to bring those children to Jesus Christ. Let him do the work, and you step back and watch it multiply.
And yes, it’s true. Not every child will become a child of Jesus Christ. But the one thing I can promise you right now is that the percentage that is commonly understood is that 70% of young people leave the church once they leave home. That means that in a room of 100 young people that 70 of them will walk away from God when they leave their homes.
I am confident that if every Christian parent out there made it their mission to bring their children to Jesus Christ, that 70% number would plummet. It would plummet!
So, to circle back to the uncomfortable father (or mother) driving to work and feeling this whisper in the back of their mind, “There has to be more.”
“How can I do more for Jesus Christ?”
This is a good thing. God is preparing you for something bigger in the future.
But don’t lose sight of the fact that Your Home is Your Jerusalem! You have been called to a very important task.