July 25, 2023

Home-grown Believers

Genesis 21:1-5

When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God commanded him.

—  Genesis 21:4

The long-awaited son finally arrived. Abraham and Sarah were overjoyed at Isaac’s birth. Yet this stunning birth came with new responsibilities, which Abraham took seriously. First, he circumcised Isaac, as God commanded. And as Isaac grew, Abraham instructed his son in the ways of the Lord (see Genesis 18:19). Later Abraham also helped to find the right woman for Isaac to marry (Genesis 24). Despite his advanced age, Abraham diligently worked to share his faith in God with the next generation.

God instituted the home to be an environment where children can be raised to grow in faith: warmed by God’s love, nurtured in his Word, and protected from influences that would damage or destroy. Like tender vegetation, children are especially vulnerable and in need of constant care. This is where godly parents come in—providing an environment that instills faith and encourages spiritual growth. (See also Deuteronomy 6:1-9.)

If we are parents, we can’t pass along what we don’t have. To pass faith along, we need to have a deep love for God that helps to shape the rhythms of family life. This includes intentional times of spiritual training as well as informal conversations about God and his love as we go about our lives each day.

Father, may we create holy habits that bolster our love for you. Help parents and other family members to plant seeds of faith in children’s lives, that you may bring the increase. Amen.

About the author — Dan Jongsma

Daniel Jongsma serves as an interim pastor in Fulton, Illinois. He has pastored congregations in Elmhurst and Fulton, Illinois; in Dearborn, Michigan; and in Nashville, Tennessee. Dan also served as a church planter in the Chicago area. He and his wife, Gloria, have three daughters and four grandchildren.

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