When my kids were younger I’d pray about them finding good jobs, a good spouse, and become productive members of society. I still pray for those things, but I also pray for more now. I pray my children will be citizens of heaven and that God will use them to lead others to be part of this heavenly family. So how has God led guided my husband and I in doing this?
1. Look ahead.
“We are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives,” Philippians 3:20 reads. “And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior.” This verse reminds me that this world is not our home. All our planning, decisions, life choices need to be based on not this world, but our heavenly citizenship. John and I consider this when we’re making family decisions and we talk to our kids about it.
2. Reach out.
We had the door open to go on two mission trips to a country that has less than 1% of Christians. Walking the streets I’d tell my kids, “Look around … most of those people you see need to hear the good news of Jesus.” Being there–seeing their faces–changed my children’s hearts.
3. Open our doors.
We take it seriously when the Bible says to care for the widows and the orphans by taking in old family members and adopting new ones.We also regularly reach out to teen moms. If we believe people matter–their souls matter–we need to live as such.
4. Model God-seeking.
My children often wake up to see me reading my Bible and praying. They hear my husband and I reading the Bible together. We worship together at church. We tell them about the things God is asking us to do. We explain what seeking God is like. We try to live obediently in our own lives.
If my family is going to spend eternity together, I want to make sure we bring a crowd.
That is my heavenly dream and it’s my kids heavenly dream, too. I think that’s just the way God likes it.
Thank you for my family. Show me ways I can implement these ideas in a caring and compassionate way. Let me have open arms and open doors. Give me an open mind to consider the heavenly implications of my prayers and ways I model life and love to those around me.
Tricia Goyer has written more than 35 books, including both novels that delight and entertain readers and nonfiction titles that offer encouragement and hope. She has also published more than 500 articles in national publications such as Guideposts, Thriving Family, Proverbs 31, and HomeLife Magazine.