Tonight, I so enjoyed the children’s choir as they sang for us on the second night of our World Outreach Celebration. I always love it when these precious children sing. Some of them are pretty young and I am not sure what they are actually mouthing, but they do put their hearts into it! I also love to watch as some of them search the crowd for mom and dad or grandparents. In fact, sometimes it is just as fun to watch the grandparents!
I enjoyed special amusement tonight as one little guy was trying to sing but was missing so many front teeth that you could tell he could not pronounce most of the words!
But all amusement aside, it is such a joy to watch these children sing about the Lord with the knowledge that they are being raised intentionally for the Lord. The songs they are singing (perhaps at this point without much theological or personal comprehension) are filled with truth, which we pray they will one day embrace for themselves. This thought came home to me tonight in a special way as they sang, “We Believe.”
They joined their voices in declaring, “We believe in the crucifixion, we believe that He conquered death, we believe in the resurrection, and He’s coming back again.” I have no doubt that, at one level, they all believe this, and I am also persuaded that some of them truly and savingly believe this gospel truth. But there was one particular kid who was enthusiastically singing this song, and it brought great joy to my soul and a tear to my eye. She was the biggest child in the group—and the oldest. In fact, she was directing the choir. She was my 28-year-old daughter, Allison.
It seems like only yesterday that she too was trying to pronounce words while missing her front teeth. Not long ago, it seems, she was standing on the platform of the church joining her voice with other children, singing about God’s love and grace as found in the gospel. In the past, I have enjoyed looking at the old pictures and reflecting on those days. But tonight it all came together as I watched her leading another generation to sing of that same true and amazing grace. Knowing that, by God’s grace, she really does believe these truths was a most precious experience for me tonight.
It was, and is, a joyful comfort to know that she and her husband are now intentionally raising their children to believe these truths as well. I trust that one day I will be privileged to see them singing and embracing with gusto, “We believe.” I am sure that I will be like those video-capturing grandparents I mentioned earlier!
I must confess that tonight I paid the most attention to my daughter in the kids’ choir. I thanked God for His saving grace. But further, I also rejoiced in the contentment of knowing that the intentional—though admittedly very imperfect and at times very failed—parenting of our children has been graciously blessed with eternal fruit of believing children. God has lovingly, graciously and powerfully worked in our children’s lives to such an extent that, as a family, we can gratefully say, “We believe!” But now I find myself thinking and praying for this generation of children and their parents.
Parents, be deliberate in believing the truth of the gospel—yourself. And be intentional to do all you can to help your children to go from singing “we believe” to truly confessing, “Yes, I believe!”
Of course, I understand, and believe, that salvation is of the Lord (Jonah 2:9). But our sovereign God has chosen to use means. And believing parents are God’s normative means for the salvation of our children (Ephesians 6:1–4). So, believe God and walk and talk and work like you believe God. Use every available means to let the little children come to Jesus (Matthew 19:14). And encouraging them to participate in the children’s choir may prove to be one of those gracious means. The choir is large, but there are too many of our children who were missing. Let me encourage you to do all you can to expose them to the gospel and to those who are gospel-saturated. If as a family you desire to sing with heartfelt conviction “we believe” then make such belief your undying pursuit.
Read God’s Word both to and with them; pray with them; talk to them about the Lord and His saving grace in the gospel; utilise the ministries of the church. Be so involved as a family with the church that your children will come to see it as a kind of home away from home. Yes, prioritise the body life of the local church. In other words, so saturate them with the wonderful truth of God and His gospel that one day they will truly be able to say, and to sing, “We believe.” I promise you, there can be no greater earthly joy than witnessing such a heartfelt declaration.
The apostle John wrote, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth” (3 John 4). And to see this brings great joy as well. Thank you, my God and Father, for providing such joy.