As I was preparing for our Sunday School class (Getting to the Heart of Parenting) this past week, I came upon this great quote from John Calvin on Galatians 4:19. “my little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you!” Paul is of course speaking here of the Galatians believers, who he considers his children. But how much more should we take this to heart as we consider our own children!
Calvin’s quote below addresses Christian ministry, but we can easily insert parenting as a Christian ministry and apply it to our own ministry in our homes.
“This is a remarkable passage for illustrating the efficacy of the Christian ministry [parenting]. True, we are “born of God,” (1 John 3:9;) but, because he employs a minister [parent] and preaching as his instruments for that purpose, he is pleased to ascribe to them that work which Himself performs, through the power of his Spirit, in co-operation with the labors of man. Let us always attend to this distinction, that, when a minister [parent] is contrasted with God, he is nothing, and can do nothing, and is utterly useless; but, because the Holy Spirit works efficaciously by means of him, he comes to be regarded and praised as an agent. Still, it is not what he can do in himself, or apart from God, but what God does by him, that is there described. If ministers [parents] wish to do anything, let them labor to form Christ, not to form themselves, in their hearers.”
May God continue to use us as parents to accomplish the task of forming Christ in our children.