Raising our children to be those of whom the world was not worthy (part 3)…

37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated 38 (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground (Heb. 11:37-38).

Of verse 38, the Puritan pastor John Owen writes:

Of this world it is said, that it was “not worthy” of those sufferers. It was not so in the ages and seasons wherein they lived; nor is so of them who suffer in any other age whatever. The world thinks them not worthy of it, or to live in it, to enjoy any name or place among the men of it. Here is a testimony given to the contrary, — that the world is not worthy of them. Nor can any thing be spoken to the greater provocation of it. To tell the great, the mighty, the wealthy, the rulers of the world, that they are not worthy of the society of such as in their days are poor, destitute, despised, wanderers, whom they hurt and persecute, as the “offscouring of all things,” is that which fills them with indignation. There is not an informer or apparitor but would think himself disparaged by it. But they may esteem of it as they please; we know that this testimony is true, and the world one day shall confess it so to be.

Reflecting on this verse, Owen makes this observation:

It becomes us to be filled with thoughts of and affections unto spiritual things, to labor for an anticipation of glory, that we faint not in the consideration of the evils that may befall us on the account of the gospel.

Parents, how are you cultivating the above mindset in yourself and then in your children?

Yes, of course, you pray earnestly (perhaps) that God would give spiritual understanding born of a regenerate heart. Without that, there will be no “anticipation of glory.”

Beyond our prayers (perhaps), what do we talk to our children about? Do we obey Deut. 6:7? What example do we put before them? Do we talk to them of the “evils that may befall us on the account of the gospel”? Are we raising them to be pleasing to God and world-unworthy or pleasing to the world and God-unworthy? Do our children know more about the pleasures of the world than they know about the wickedness of the world? Have they seen us “filled with thoughts of and affections unto spiritual things”—Give me Jesus. You can have all this world? Or have they seen us loving the world and seeking her approval, goods, philosophies, and entertainments?

When the world turns hard against us and our children, will we respond like shunned lovers or will we joyfully sing Psalm 2, laughing along with God?

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