What parents breathe out
Dr Sinclair Ferguson, senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Columbia, South Carolina, likes to say, ‘The children breathe in what the parents breathe out.’ In other words, the atmosphere of the home – what we value, how we treat each other, what priority we place on walking with the Lord – is impressed on the hearts and minds of our children.
So, what are you breathing out? What are your children breathing in? Love for Christ Jesus, and the dynamics of the gospel in every part of life? A kind, loving, gracious spirit?
Gene Veith points to a European study (discussed here) suggesting that fathers in particular will have a massive impact on the attitude of their children to the church of Christ. The article is not suggesting that mothers do not need to go to church, and it may be that there lies behind the article some lack of clarity (are they equating mere church attendance with genuine Christianity?) but the implication is clear: the best way to teach our children to love Christ and his church is to love Christ and his church ourselves.
So, fathers and mothers, will you be there tomorrow, as often as you are able, willingly, cheerfully, eagerly, readily making your way to whatever place the saints will gather to meet with God? Will your demeanour and preparations this evening show that you are looking forward eagerly to the Lord’s day and getting everything in place for an early, unhindered start to the day?
May God grant that we breathe out a love for the Head of the church, and his body, and that our children should imbibe it from the heart.