3 John 3-4 “For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.”
It’s a fruit not realized until it is too late to change. The result of a parent’s teaching and training is not realized until it is put into practice by the ones who received it. When our children teach their children, then will we see the real fruit.
The same is true in discipleship – only, there is an opportunity to correct, reteach, and retrain. When we mentor that person who is young in their walk with the Lord, we can help to navigate the many trials they face, answer the many questions they might have, and gently guide them along a path God has chosen for them.
When someone comments on your children’s behavior, inwardly, we thank God it is working. They may have answered respectfully, kept themselves in control when others did not, or just responded as you’ve taught. That type of ‘fruit’ in their lives is promising. It is no indication that they will turn out or that the job is finished.
Whether as a parent to a child we raise or the continuous mentoring of a child of God we have taught, both will reveal fruit in their lives that let us know if it took root or not.
Many a parent has held to the promise of God’s Word.
Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
We have held to what we feel has been our part. We have poured into them, all that we knew, all that we had been given aforetime, and felt we have done what we are supposed to do. And yet, they choose a different path. Our children may have chosen a path opposite of what we have taught and trained them to be.
We return to the Word to encourage our hearts that they will return to what it is we’ve taught them. The paths of communication and exchange in a parent-child relationship are something that is continually evolving and growing. But, prayer is one avenue we have to effect a change.
But the joy we receive when we see the good fruit in others is something that cannot be replaced. We capture memories in photos or make them our tradition. We experience significant events with a celebration.
Their first step. Their first words. Birthdays. Levels of education. Then, onto relationships with others and then, marriage and children.
We cannot downplay these milestones in our children’s lives, nor in the lives of those we disciple spiritually. Rejoice in their faithfulness. Celebrate their growth in prayer and Bible reading. When they grow to begin leading others to be saved and then discipling them, then we can know that our investment has born fruit.
On the eve of the day we celebrate the birth of the Savior, may you look upon your children with fondness and pray for their future with the same fervency that we did when they were young.