RESCUE: What is at stake: The Goal of Goals
There are many goals that we need to establish for our children, but there is one that needs to be foundational and weave through every other goal. That is our children, as far as what depends upon us, attain heaven. For if our children do not, they are eternally under the judgment and wrath of God and all the things of this life will be meaningless. My children are in their late 30s and though I am by blood their father, our eternal relationship, which is far more glorious, is my son and daughter are my brother and sister in Christ. They will stand with me before the throne of God one day and we will all cry out together “salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” The pathway to heaven is through the cross of Jesus Christ so once again, all things in the home and in the life of our children need to be informed by the gospel or else, though they may grow to be good kids and adults, they are damned to a Christless eternity.
J C Ryle wrote:
Train with this thought continually before your eyes—that the soul of your child is the first thing to be considered. Precious, no doubt, are these little ones in your eyes; but if you love them, think often of their souls. No interest should weigh with you so much as their eternal interests. No part of them should be so dear to you as that part that will never die. The world with all its glory shall pass away; the hills shall melt; the heavens shall be wrapped together as a scroll; the sun shall cease to shine. But the spirit that dwells in those little creatures, whom you love so well, shall outlive them all, and whether in happiness or misery (to speak as a man) will depend on you.”
This is the thought that should be uppermost on your mind in all you do for your children. In every step you take about them, in every plan and scheme and arrangement that concerns them, do not leave out that mighty question, “How will this affect their souls?”
Soul love is the soul of all love. To pet, pamper, and indulge your child, as if this world was all he had to look to and this life the only season for happiness—to do this is not true love, but cruelty. It is treating him like some beast of the earth that has but one world to look to and nothing after death. It is hiding from him that grand truth that he ought to be made to learn from his very infancy—that the chief end of his life is the salvation of his soul.
A true Christian must be no slave to fashion if he would train his child for heaven. He must not be content to do things merely because they are the custom of the world; to teach them and instruct them in certain ways, merely because it is usual; to allow them to read books of a questionable sort, merely because everybody else reads them; to let them form habits of a doubtful tendency, merely because they are the habits of the day. He must train with an eye to his children’s souls. He must not be ashamed to hear his training called singular and strange. What if it is? The time is short—the fashion of this world passeth away. He that has trained his children for heaven rather than for earth—for God, rather than for man—is the parent that will be called wise at last.