Favor With God
The final piece of the model that Jesus was raised by according to Luke 2:52 is that of having “favor with God.” As you recall, Luke 2:52 states that Jesus grew in “wisdom, stature, favor with man, and favor with God.” What does it mean to have favor with God?
Matthew 16:24-26 gives us a great idea of what this looks like. This passage declares: “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”
Favor with God begins with a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It is our responsibility as parents to lead our children to faith in Christ. Psalm 78 clearly tells us to pass our faith to our children. Our children need to learn and understand what it means to give your life to and follow Christ as well as the futility that Matthew 16:26 describes of chasing the things of this world, which will pass away. For our children to have favor with God, it must begin with leading them to faith in Christ.
Once we have led them to Christ, this process continues with teaching them to grow in their relationship with the Lord. As 1 Peter 2:2 tells us, we should teach them “as newborn babies, desire the sincere milk of the Word that you may grow.” When our children were newborn babies, we had to feed them milk so that they would grow and be able to eat more complex food later.
As new Christians, we must teach our kids to develop their relationship with God into the most intimate relationship of their lives. We must begin them at an early age learning God’s truth so that they will later be able to handle deeper spiritual truths that will help them navigate their way through the storms of life. 2 Timothy 2:15 should be our guide in the spiritual development of our children. That verse admonishes all Christians to: “Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
My desire for my children is that they will grow up owning their faith, growing in their relationship with God, and being a student of God’s Word. This pursuit I believe will equip them to not only be able to make the tough decisions of life according to God’s truth but also will empower them to serve others and pass their faith on to the next generation. This approach will lead them to having favor with God.