I’ve been reflecting on the most important thing my parents did for me and my siblings. I grew up in a church culture, a catechizing culture, and a family worship culture. Each of these was a tremendous, immeasurable blessing. I’m convinced that twice-each-Sunday services, memorizing the catechisms, and worshiping as a family marked me deeply.
I doubt I’ll ever forget that my only comfort in life and death is that I am not my own but belong in body and soul, both in life and death, to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ. Or that the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. I can still sing many of the psalms and hymns of my youth. And I have precious memories of my family bowing our heads around the kitchen table.
Reflections on the Most Important Thing My Parents Did
What was true of my family was true of many of my friends’ families. They, too, grew up around churches and catechisms and rigid family devotions. In fact, in all the times I visited their homes, I don’t think I ever witnessed a family skip their devotions. It was the custom, it was the expectation, and it was good. Our church had near 100% attendance on Sunday morning and evening. It was just what we did.
But despite all the advantages, many people I befriended as a child have since left the faith. Some have sprinted away, but many more have simply meandered away. An occasionally missed Sunday eventually became a missed month and a missed year. Not all of them, of course. Many are now fine believers who serve in their churches and even lead them. But a lot—too many—are gone.
Why? I ask the question from time to time. Why are all five of my parents’ kids following the Lord, while so many of our friends and their families are not? What is the most important thing my parents did while raising us?
Obviously I have no ability to peer into God’s sovereignty and come to any firm conclusions. But as I think back, I can point to one great difference between my home and my friends’ homes—at least the homes of my friends who have since walked away from the Lord and his church. Though it’s not universally true, it’s generally true.
Living Faith Out Loud
Here’s the difference: I saw my parents living out their faith even when I wasn’t supposed to be watching.