“I want to do something great for the kingdom of God,” we often hear. Spoken by singles who have no idea how to go about it but who have a few hours each week and are eager to make use of it. The gap between what a Christian can do between work and bedtime on a Tuesday and what a parent does over the course of twenty years is staggering and the tragedy is that too few American Christians realize that the real work exists without fanfare and back-patting and it’s not accomplished in a few hours each week.
Yes, there is a great need for service and singles should serve—mightily. But as good as being a “big brother” feels, it is simply not going to change that person’s life like being a Dad or Mother is. Do you want to change the world for the kingdom of God? Get married, have children and raise them to love and serve their God.
So much of what passes for charitable work these days is simply a very, very, poor attempt to replicate what Dad and Mom do daily. Feed the children. Big Brothers and Big Sisters. Toys for Tots. Habitat for Humanity. Putting washers in schools so kids can have clean clothes. All of which are done by ordinary parents every day and are accomplished best in this way.
The gifts of the Church are best used on the children whom we have the most access to, who already trust our words and with whom we will live for twenty or so years. Pour yourself into six or eight or ten children and marry them to godly spouses and in your lifetime you may well see a small church building filled with your own family praising God and serving Him. That’s fulfilling the Great Commission. Do you want to grow the Church? Cast your seed into fertile and deep soil and tend it daily for two decades.
The simplicity and ease of the system that God put in front of us to bless the world has been cast aside for the silliness and ineptitude of lesser activities. We either don’t have the children in the first place or don’t dedicate ourselves to disciple them. Instead, the Church leaves its own children to minister to the children of others but for far less time and with much less effectiveness.
We can be poor teachers and always feel a failure, but because of the sheer time involved and the powerful love we have for them, our children can be well discipled. Twenty years of prayers with and for them, of sweet talks and hard lessons and laughs and acts of repentance and forgiveness make up the slow and steady drip, drip, of God’s holy water on their stony hearts. “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6).
The Christian family is the light, the Church made up of Christian families is the light. The culture that we create in our homes that spills out into our businesses, the streets, the neighborhood is the salt. The modern way is to learn a few verses and peddle Christianity door to door. God’s way is for us to be about the business of being His children and then having children of our own and living in the blessing of His kingdom where He rules over all our days. These mini-kingdoms spread their influence and destroy and absorb the dark and lonely and hopeless kingdoms of the enemy.