My toddler doesn’t like coffee because he thinks it is good. He likes coffee because he has grown up watching mommy and daddy drink coffee first thing in the morning and multiple times throughout the day. This past week I learned that he sees the Starbucks logo and will instantly say “Get coffee. Coffee store.” Without meaning to, I have reproduced a little person who loves something because I love something.
As we think about the idea of being Jesus followers, we need to really ask ourselves three critical questions, the first of which is this:
What are you reproducing?
There are a million things that can influence us and there are a million things that we influence, whether intentionally or unintentionally. And to be honest, the first question helps us determine where our lives and our kids/disciples lives are headed.
Whatever we are serious about, our kids/disciples will be serious about.
If Jesus is just another voice in the crowd, my kids/disciples will reproduce my same devotion.
And just so we are clear – as one who has worked with students for 9 years, was homeschooled, private schooled, public schooled, faithful youth group attender and addicted porn addict, apart from Jesus – no one is good. It doesn’t matter how many times we say “not my kid.” I was “not my kid.” What a blow I gave my parents when my sinful, rebellious life came to light. Darkness will always be revealed.
So the question we ask is, what are you reproducing?If Jesus is just another voice in the crowd, my kids/disciples will reproduce my same devotion. Click To Tweet
My kid doesn’t wear snapbacks and sneak sips of mommy’s coffee because he likes those things. (Though now he may actually like coffee. If so – these next years will be unfortunate for me) He watched someone who has displayed love (though broken at times, this parenting thing is hard!) and saw what I surround my life with. Its no wonder he plays with old iPhones because in seasons he sees me, unfortunately, sit and stare at my screen. (convicting – yikes!)
Proverbs 22:6 says “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
The question really asks this: Is my life as a Jesus follower one that is worth reproducing? Does my life outside the 1-2 hours a week I may/may not spend in a “church building” display a life that has been/is being transformed by the good news of Jesus?
If my son grows up only ever wearing snapbacks and drinking iced coffee, the older kids may think its so cute but I have epically failed in my divine responsibility. Those moments, those moments when he watches my seek to ask forgiveness and he says “sorry” even without fully understanding, is a step. When he runs to grab the tiny bible from the shelf, even though he can’t read, to sit beside me with it open because I have it open, is a step. When he wants to hold hands as his papa prays over the meal, even though he doesn’t understand is a step.
When he hugs his brother who is crying and apologize for throwing his toy, is a step. Because he begins to take steps in seeing forgiveness around him just as Christ has forgiven us. He begins to see us talk to a God who is very active and accessible because of Christ on the cross.
The things that are most important to you will be reproduced in your children. We must start by examining ourselves. If we are judgmental, our kids/disciples will never reflect the good news of the Gospel but the wrath and judgment (which you and I did deserve, by the way, but only were spared because of Jesus, not because we are good)
If we never have space to rest and focus on Jesus, we shouldn’t ask why our kids stop showing up at “church”. If it was never displayed in the midst of “business” of sports, work, life it will not be displayed as they grow older. They will reproduce a schedule that didn’t prioritize space to abide in Jesus. (Though, to be clear, I am not against sports/work/etc. But if our only win of spiritual growth is a Sunday morning gathering, we have failed and our children are in for a big letdown. There are two more questions we’ll ask in days to come and hopefully help us think of how to redeem the new reality of rhythms in 2018.)The question really asks this: Is my life as a Jesus follower one that is worth reproducing? Click To Tweet
What are you reproducing? Maybe today, take time to rest in Jesus. To ask the Spirit where you may need to correct.