Sunday, December 5, 2010

One of Many Duties of Parents

     ... [A]nother duty of parents is to constantly pray for the conversion of their children. God must open the child's spiritual eyes to be regenerated. The Spirit of God must enter the child's soul, thus turning him away from darkness and sin, and toward God and holiness. The impartation of the divine life in the child's soul is really foundational to true training in virtue. But please remember that regeneration is not the same as "saying the sinner's prayer," "walking the aisle," or even being baptized. How, then, do we know if a child has been converted? The same way we know if an adult has been converted - by spiritual fruit. This would include the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), love of others (1 John 3:1-24), a desire for God's Word (1 Peter 2:1-25), the practice of prayer (Matthew 6:5-13) and a spiritual understanding (1 Corinthians 3:1-23). These are just a few possible marks of conversion. If these are not present, at least in an immature expression, then it is not safe to presume that your child has been converted.
     Regeneration is the beginning of new life in the soul, and the rest of the child's life should show growth in grace or progressive sanctification. The parents must constantly and earnestly pray for this growth to take place, for it is, at its deepest level, a work of God in the soul. This point can hardly be overemphasized. One of the chief problems in Christian homes today is not that the kids don't know the Bible. The real problem is that while they know the truth, they do not love the truth. Why? Because they are either unconverted or unsanctified. The truth of God's Word is there, so to speak, but it has no attraction to the carnal soul. Thus, Christian teens will choose to listen to vulgar music or wear scandalous clothing because their hearts, that is, their real affections, love the world and not God. The condition of the soul shapes the life  in all its choices. Simply telling your daughter that an item of clothing is inappropriate is to miss the point. The point is, she likes it, even though it is morally ugly. That's the real problem. And more rules won't fix it. What is needed is a transformation of the soul by the Word and Spirit of God. When the soul loves God, it loves holiness, which means it also loves true beauty.
— David Vaughn & Diane Vaughan

No comments: