Francis Chan has a challenge for the church, and it’s sure to hit you right where God needs it to.
Chan explains this cultural shift in the American church where married couples and parents have become so focused on their own families, and building up their own future, that they forsake the mission of God.
He narrows in on things he saw with believers of his generation: When they were young and single, they were on fire for the mission of God. They were ready and willing to do radical things that would further the kingdom of heaven. The shift that took place was, when they married and began having babies, they became more focused on building up their family instead of being willing to take the same risks to fulfill the mission.
Chan goes on to reference 1 Corinthians 7, where Paul calls those who are married to essentially live as though they are not. Those who are single are more determined to answer their calling than those who are family-focused.
And isn’t this the case more often than not?
Your mission with the Lord isn’t done when you’re finished dating. But bring kids into the mix, and there’s this sense of contentment. The mentality usually goes, “Yeah, maybe God has plans to use us there, but the kids—they have a school and friends, and a life HERE. We’ll focus on them while they’re young, and once they’re old enough or moved out, we can return to ministry.”
But it’s this inward focus that ultimately allows our family to become an idol to us. We live what Chan calls “a Christian version of the American dream.” But that’s not the life that God has called us to, and that’s not the example of faith that we should be setting for our children.
“Your children are missing out on life when you do that. That’s why so many of the kids when they turn 18, they just ditch God altogether—because they didn’t see anything real in your life.”
Chan claims that this non-Scriptural mindset parents adopt is why a lot of kids ditch God when they are adults. As they grow, they don’t see anything real in the faith-life of their parents.
“Not only are you missing out on life, but we are turning away our children by the droves because our lives are not the adventure they see in Scripture and they are not experiencing the Holy Spirit.”