What if I told you that Jesus grew up just like we did, or like our kids do? Some of you may question my sanity! And sure times were different then, but hear me out! Luke 2:52 says, “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” His growth and maturity sure seems to resemble ours. We grow in knowledge and wisdom as we learn. We grow physically, in stature, over the course of our developing years. We are spiritual people, and as we grow in our knowledge of God, our spiritual relationship to Him deepens. And, finally, God created us to be social people, to relate to others in every aspect of life, and we have numerous avenues for that today.
Jesus grew up and matured just like us. So what can we learn to help us, our students, and our families grow into the mature, well-rounded men and women that God created us to be? How can we better prepare our young people for success in life as they live it as citizens of God’s Kingdom?
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 says, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
This passage of Scripture is called “The Shema.” In Israel’s history it set the precedent for God’s pattern of personal and spiritual growth. It set the priority of love for God and relationship to Him in the lives of all the people, especially the youth. While its weight rested on the parents for spiritual leadership, their responsibility was not in isolation. They were part of a greater partnership which included the temple leadership or their “church” and the teachers which poured into their students’ lives inside and outside their home. It’s in that partnership together that the youth grew into maturity and in God’s purpose for their lives. It’s that partnership that spurred Jesus’ own personal and spiritual growth.
You and I are given this same partnership for the growth of our children. We have the Church, which should be a source of spiritual growth. We have the family, which should offer a place of unconditional love and security in a world riddled with chaos and uncertainty. In our case, we also have the school, a treasure to offer an education and also help us pursue God’s greater purpose for our lives. These shouldn’t function independently of each other, but should work together in God’s kingdom business to affect our students to become godly men and women.
So, how do you and I, as parents and as teachers, along with the ministers who lead us, impact our students for Christ? Here are a few ideas to challenge us and help us change the world for our kids.
- We must personally be transformed by Christ. Without God’s transforming work in our lives, we contradict the very thing we say we desire for our children. Our hypocrisy doesn’t bring them to God and His purpose; it actually pushes them away. They must see in us a move of God that is continual and growing stronger every day.
- We must prioritize the eternal. Our students’ spiritual lives should be our number one priority. That is the ultimate goal of this partnership God has given, far beyond just an education or temporary success. With so many activities and opportunities vying for their attention, we have to stand strong that their eternal lives matter most.
- We must invest entirely in the partnership. We all have something to contribute, whether that’s time, talent, or treasure. By the investment that we make, the gifts God has given us become instruments of worship to God and change in our homes and in the lives of our students.
At TCA, we want to do our part to invest in the lives of our students, to help them seek and find Christ and follow His leadership in their lives. Would you partner with us to help them grow “in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man”? Let’s come alongside each other and our churches to win the day and impact eternity in their lives. I pray that every TCA family will experience the powerful love of Christ as we partner together in Christ.