The dreaded words for any parent at Christmas…Batteries Not Included. The crestfallen face of your child as you tell them they’ll have to wait. These words on the toy’s package tell you that the toy can’t do what it was designed to do without its power source.
Similarly, as Christians, our faith (belief, trust and relationship) in God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) results in an empowering by the Holy Spirit through the work of Jesus Christ on the cross to live a life that outwardly shows Whom we trust. We are not bound by our past but are free to express a life of faith in Christ… so, in a way, the Christian’s packaging reads Faithful Action Required.
Some Christians get in arguments about where faithful action comes from. The hinge of the door from which the conversation swings is on free will and God’s sovereignty. Do we act from free will? If so, doesn’t that mean God is not all-powerful or sovereign? In describing the role of will, is God’s power detracted from? When does God’s sovereignty mean one no longer has free will and vice versa? In many ways, both sides argue about where the “battery” is placed and forget the outward response that an inward transformation in Christ brings. This is best shown in the irony that, in the midst of the discussion, both forget what Christian living looks like as they treat one another in less-than-holy ways.
Regardless of where you land on this discussion, when we read the Bible (the authority for Christian living) we see an invitation—a calling—to live faithful lives…Faithful Action Required (not for salvation but the calling to “live it” is clear). If we are a Christ-follower, we should look like the one we follow: Jesus Christ (e.g. 1 Cor. 3:18). We won’t be perfect (not in this life) but it should show up in our habits and practices, how we treat others, the generosity of our giving, how and when we pray, and, most certainly, in how we parent.
To help you with faithful action in your parenting, this week’s activity section in Faith Begins at Home: the Family Makeover with Christ at the Center gave some ideas for connecting Christ-centered adults with children so as to encourage growth. Ideas were developed for: Dedication/Baptism Sponsors, Prayer Partner, and Faith Mentors [with some good resources for equipping someone to be a mentor]. If you don’t have the book, stop by and pick one up to learn some practical steps for getting these started.
THIS WEEK’S DISCUSSION: (Join the conversation below in the “Comments” link.)
How have you seen “faithful action” by adults investing in your children’s growth? What did they do?
OR, when you were young, how have adults been a part of your growth?
For Next Week: ALMOST DONE! Read Chapter 5 on the Church Makeover and join us here next week!
 See Colossians 3 for an example of faithful living as part of faithful belief.