Your Children's Faith
Scripture: I rejoiced greatly because I have found some of your children living according to the truth, just as the Father commanded us. (2 John 1:4)
Observation: Of thy children. Literally, “out of thy children.” This may reflect the possibility that all church members had not proved faithful. It may also be that John had not met or heard reports of all the “children,” and that others were equally faithful.
Walking. Gr. peripate (see on Eph. 2:2). The word is frequently used in Scripture to describe the daily conduct (cf. Phil. 3:17).
In truth. That is, consistently living under the control of truth, faithfully performing every duty on earth as part of the walk toward the eternal home (see on 1 John 1:7). [The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Volume 7. 1980 (F. D. Nichol, Ed.) (687). Review and Herald Publishing Association.]
Application: At first glance, this text almost seems to indicate that not all of this church lady’s children were faithful, but Paul did rejoice over those that were. The original language, however, tells us that maybe what Paul meant to say was that the children he knew about were faithful. As parents, we want to know that all our kids are living in such a way that they are faithful not just in the eyes of other people but in the eyes of God. How can we ensure our kids will grow up to love and follow God?
1. Pray for them daily. When we think about the book of Job we probably remember the disasters that came on him – lost everything, his children were killed, he got sick. But one great lesson from his life was his constant prayers for his children. The Bible states, "So it was, when the days of feasting had run their course, that Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, ‘It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.’ Thus Job did regularly.” Job 1:5 (NKJV) Rise early in the morning and pray for your children. Pray for them throughout the day, and let the last words on your lips at night be prayers for them.
2. Worship with them daily and weekly. One cannot ever underestimate the value of daily family worship, morning and evening, and of attending church together as a family. Even as the kids grow up into adults, attending church together continues to bring the family closer to each other as the same time as they come closer to God.
3. Serve together. Research and experience show that acts of service deepens the spiritual experience of people. For children and young people, it is more valuable when the family devotes time in service together than when the parents send them or pay for them to go to do it.
May it be said about our children that they are living according to the truth just as the Father commanded us.
A Prayer You May Say: Father God, Bless our children this day, and may they be faithful to You today and each day of their lives.
Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.