Pam and I are part of a "Home group" that meets weekly for Bible study and fellowship. We're a small group of 5 couples, all married and all have children at various stages in life. As part of our study we are currently watching a video series that is covering 1Thessalonians. Last night's topic of discussion was mentoring young Christians (young, meaning new to the faith). God asks us through Paul to mentor new Christians to help guide them in the early stages of Christian life. This helps them to recognize pitfalls and detours that they may not have been able to readily recognize on their own. It also helps them to learn to become mature, wise, strong, and to find their purpose in this life. We can also be there for when (not if) they need help with anything - spiritual or just to help with everyday life.
When you look at the examples of mentoring in the Bible, it readily loans itself to being like parenthood. Because all of these things are needed for our children as they go and grow through the early stages of life. And our goal is to help them to become mature, wise, strong and purposeful. With mentoring our children, we not only get to help shape their little lives now, but their futures. A wise and strong child will make different decisions than a hapless child left to live life without a rudder. And some of those decisions have monumental and eternal consequences. It saddens me when I hear parents say, "Oh, I'm going to let my child make up his own mind about God and the Bible when he/she gets old enough." I think about all the decisions that child will make between now and then...and then after.
God brought our 2nd youngest son, "D" to us from China. From the first day, he has seen his parents living the life of Christian people. We live, we grow, we laugh, we cry, we fall, we soar. And in all things we give glory to God and our Savior Jesus Christ. We faithfully attend church family gathering, we participate, we faithfully give of ourselves and our finances. We talk about our faith openly with our children and we try to share it with our friends and family. We pray together as a family regularly. We connect life lessons with God's word in hopes of watching their lives soak this all in. Then one night, after nighttime prayers, "D" turns to me and says, "Dad, how do I become a Christian?" Absolutely nothing else in life makes me happier than hearing words to that affect coming from my own children. We prayed together that night and I baptised him in the Sound some weeks later.
Mentoring a young Christian is challenging and time consuming. Mentoring your children is challenging and time consuming. The joy of watching the fruit...PRICELESS.