Raising Your Children for Christ
by Andrew Murray
Raising Your Children for Christ
By Andrew Murray
THE FAMILY AS GOD CREATED IT "God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them. And God blessed them and God said unto them Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth" -- Genesis 1:27,28.
God created man to reveal to the universe His own glory and perfection. Man was to resemble God in certain ways. In all he was and did on earth, man was to prove that he was indeed created in God’s image and after His likeness. The traits of that likeness were unique and wonderful. In the dominion he was to have over the earth, man was to exhibit the power of God as King and Ruler of the universe. With the great mind that man had been given for this work, the image of God as all-wise was to be seen.
In man's moral powers there was to be some reflection of God's righteousness and holiness. God Is Love One trait of God's character remained to be set forth: God is love. God lives not for Himself alone, but finds all His blessing in imparting His own life to others. The Son of His love was begotten of the Father from eternity. In the Son, God has filled the universe with human beings, so that the fullness of His love might flow out from them. As the Loving One, He is the fountain of life. As the Living One, He is the fountain of love. In the same way, man may have this image of God, so that his whole life may be a life of love. Man can then give life to those he loves.
In the home on earth, in the love of husband and wife, of parent and child, God wanted to reflect the love of the Father's home in heaven. The deepest secrets of the life of the Godhead in the fellowship of the Father and the Son could then be seen on earth. It is to this last and highest trait of the image of divine perfection-man showing forth the mystery and joy of a life in love-that we want to draw special attention. Because God is Love, He needs to have some worthy object on whom His love can rest. Because He is God, the only and all-perfect One, His Son must be the only One, the Father's image, and the heir of all things. Before the world began, from eternity, God was in Him. In God's Fatherhood of Christ, His perfection is revealed to us. The Fatherhood Of God Man was created after that image of God which was seen in Christ.
When man had fallen, Christ came to take us up into fellowship with Himself, to give us a share in His sonship and heirship, to make us, too, the children of God. In His life given to us in salvation, we, too, become the sons of God. The Fatherhood of God is the summing up of the mystery and glory of the Divine Being. The father of the family on earth is to have, the image and likeness of the divine Father. The father reflects God's image in the life he imparts to his child, and in the loving care he shows. It is in love and trust and obedience that family life on earth reflects the image of the heavenly.
In the light of this divine origin and purpose of the family, we can better understand and value our relationship to our children. On the other hand, our relationship with them will strengthen our obedience and our confidence toward the Father in heaven! Every experience of the love and blessing of a home on earth is a ladder by which to rise up and get nearer to the great Father-heart in heaven. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1). The two correspond to each other-the home in heaven is the original of the home on earth. God's Plan For The Family The establishment of a home of love like that in heaven was to have been the highest privilege of man. However, sin came in and brought about man's ruin.
The father makes the child partaker of a sinful nature, and the father himself feels too sinful to be a blessing to his child. Then, the home too often becomes the path not to heaven, but to hell. But what sin destroys, grace restores! God's grace points back to the restoration of what He intended at creation. It was God's plan for the family with its love and its training of the children to reflect the fellowship of God's home and the love of the Father in heaven. Every parent who is aware of his own shortcomings and longs for wisdom and grace must look back to the heavenly origin of family life.
The God who created it has also redeemed it and makes it new. He watches over each family with tender interest, and gives His own Father-love to every parent who desires to be the minister of His holy purpose. If this is your desire, begin by making God's thought your thought. Begin to see the fatherhood and the family on earth as the image and the likeness of the heavenly original. Look to God as the author of your family life and count on Him to give you all that is needed to make it what it should be. Let His Father-heart and His Father-love be your security. As you trust in His adoring love, the assurance will grow that He will enable you to make your home the bright reflection of His own.
A Parent's Prayer Lord God, You have made me a parent and given me a child of my own. I humbly confess that the perfect love and joy of heaven has not been reflected in my home. I have failed to understand my calling as a parent. Father, forgive me. I ask You to guide and to help me in the study of Your Holy Word. Help me to realize Your purposes for me as a parent. Teach me to know You as the perfect Father. As I study Your example as the divine Parent, make me to be a true parent to my child. Let Your love and blessing rest on our home. Amen.