When Steph and I first got married, we planned on taking the slow approach to growing our family. We wanted to have kids, but we also wanted to wait a few years before we got the ball rolling, so to speak. Well, lo and behold, God had other plans. If you know anything about our family, you will know that we now have 4 kids all under the age of 6. Having kids has been a wonderful blessing for Steph and I and we are grateful to God that “the heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).
One of the many blessings of having children is that you get to watch them grow and develop simultaneously. Our youngest, Jeremiah, is just started walking. Our middle-man John just started to ride his bike. And our twin daughters have both started to read. Steph and I are thrilled with each of these new developments, but it’s also a reminder that kids grow up fast. It wasn’t all that long ago that John was at the stage Jeremiah is at. So too, it seems like yesterday that the girls were at John’s stage. Children grow and develop rapidly and we know it won’t be long before the kidlets are all grown up and leaving home.
I believe that just as God gave us marriage to be a picture of Christ’s love for his bride, the church, so too, God has given us children to be a picture of our need for growth in Christian maturity. For believer’s, our growth in godliness and Christ-likeness should mimic the rapid development of our kids. That is not to say we won’t have setbacks along the way, but it is to say that growth over the long haul will be steady and consistent. One of the things that I lament over is the swell of professing Christian’s who are stagnant – they never seem to grow in sanctification. What they looked like in 1995 is not all that different from what they look like now. Dear friends, may it never be! The desire of every true believer should be to grow and mature, and look more and more like our Savior, Jesus Christ. “For this is the will of God, your sanctification” (1 Thessalonians 4:3). I could marshal 100 more verses that speak to this truth, but suffice it to say that God never intends us to stay at the same level of spiritual maturity. He intends for us to grow as he prepares us for heaven. “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).
What about you – are you growing in your Christian walk? Do you look more like Jesus each and every day? Don’t be content with a nominal faith that produces little (if any) growth. Strive with all you might to add to your faith (2 Peter 1:5-11). Strive for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14). And like newborn babes, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it your may grow up into salvation” (1 Peter 2:2).