Parent to Parent

by Pastor Paul M. Sadler

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Probably the most commonly asked question of a seven year old is, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Usually the one inquiring must resort to a form of interrogation: “a doctor, lawyer, policeman; I know, a fireman!” These are noble professions indeed, but why are children almost never encouraged to pursue the ministry? Is the Lord’s work any less meaningful? Are the callings of pastor, evangelist, missionary, and Christian counselor unworthy of our children’s consideration? Parents do well to remember that there is no higher calling in life than the Lord’s service.

Sadly, our young people are so preconditioned to aspire to worldly professions that they don’t even consider the ministry a viable option. Timothy’s mother had no way of knowing whether God would call her son into full-time service. But to her credit, she trained Timothy from a small child in the Scriptures to prepare him for the things of the Lord. Shortly after his conversion to Christ, he was called into the ministry, where he delivered many from a Christless eternity (2 Tim. 1:6).

“Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth” (Eph. 6:2-3).

There are two benefits when children honor their parents. Paul begins by stating, “that it may be well with thee.” In short, if a child honors his parents, he will have a good conscience that he has done right by them and also glorified God. The second benefit is the promise of prolonged years made reference to by the phrase, “thou mayest live long on the earth.” This does not mean that all young people who die at an early age necessarily dishonored their parents. It does mean they will escape many of the pitfalls of life that could shorten their lives.

Every parent should consider taking their ten, eleven, and twelve year olds to a rescue mission. I have preached a number of times at the Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago and have come away profoundly touched by the experience. You witness firsthand how the sins of immorality, alcoholism, gambling, and drug abuse destroy lives. Thankfully, many of these poor souls have come to know Christ, but they must live with the consequences of their disobedience.

During those formative years, we need to encourage our young to seek the face of the Lord as to what area of Christian service the Lord might use them.
—Pastor Paul M. Sadler

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