Tuesday, January 5, 2016

MacDonald's wisdom: our children's faith hunt

George MacDonald was a favorite writer of C.S. Lewis... and it turns out, Elisabeth Elliot and her parents also loved reading from him.  Just finished her book The Shaping of a Christian Family,  which is one I know I'll be returning to, even though much of what she described there seems farther than a few generations removed from where I live today.  But oh what grace and wisdom and beauty and joy in those pages.  

This quote packs in as much wisdom as I was hungry, hunting for about two years ago when I ordered a different book about raising our kids every day with the Gospel, but also wanting to make  their responsibility to respond to the Gospel clear to our kiddos...  The will-remain-nameless book I ordered didn't answer my questions as much as this short quote does:

Every generation must do its own seeking and its own finding.  The fault of the fathers often is that they expect their finding to stand in place of their children's seeking.  They expect the children to receive that which has satisfied the need of their fathers upon their testimony; whereas rightly, their testimony is not ground for the children's belief, only for they children's search.  That search is faith in the bud.  

(quoted on EE's page 222, from GM The Miracles of our Lord, page 78)

And I remember too, early 2006, sitting at the table with our Florida "parents", truly a mother and father in the Lord to Matt and I, and Bart J. saying something firm to us that we must  "never underestimate the power of the covenant of God at work in our children's lives."  

Perhaps, for me for now, the hardest work of parenting, is in modeling the grace and patience and love and joy I hope to give to my kids, and in earnestness and fervency in prayer.   But our efforts and our prayer are not in vain.  We have good reason for bold faith, bold prayers, and bold personal pursuing of God with and before our kids. 

Here's to another year of good hard faith at work!

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