14 July, 2024

I’m Next, I’m Now, I’m Ready: Embracing the Call to Co-Parent with the Divine

by | 1 July, 2024 | 0 comments

By Rudy Hagood 

Paul wrote, “I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service” (1 Timothy 1:12*, emphasis mine).  

As parents, have we not all been appointed to a blessed service to disciple, minister, and shepherd our children in a similar fashion to Paul’s appointment to disciple the Gentiles? Eternally speaking, our children are God’s children. Think about that. God has entrusted his children to us. Wow! I pray that this article will challenge and encourage you to commit, or recommit, to taking up the call to disciple your children. After all, we have been entrusted by God to nurture and train the next generation of disciples.  

Friends, this is a parent-to-parent encouragement to embrace the call of raising up our children to take up the call. As a parent myself, I want to remind you, there are no experts at parenting, and there are no perfect parents. We’re all just practicing and stewarding the best we can.  

Say it with me my friends, “I’m next, I’m now, I’m ready.” Let this be the anthem we parents pass down to our children for the journey onward! Parents, let us be reinvigorated so that our children will be diligent in their pursuit of godliness and truth. 

A Profound Responsibility 

In the overwhelming rhythm of contemporary life, amid many obligations and distractions, it’s easy to drift away from the profound responsibility we bear as parents in shaping the future through raising our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. We’re not merely shepherding children; we’re sculpting disciples and shaping lives to ripple through eternity. So, parents, let me hear you: “I’m next, I’m now, I’m ready.” Take up the call. 

As Paul reminded us so eloquently, “The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith” (1 Timothy 1:5). Our mandate isn’t just to nurture, but to cultivate a love that springs from purity, goodwill, and unwavering faith. So, when it comes to our children, we are merely co-parents in God’s divine mission. We are Christ’s catalysts in the transformative journey of the souls that have been entrusted to us. 

The essence of what we believe isn’t a stagnant set of verbs and adjectives, but a dynamic process, a journey of growth and refinement. These are not just words on the pages of our Bibles. We’re commissioned as parents and as disciplers, not to a static state of “it is what it is,” but to an ongoing transformation in ourselves and in our children. This charge moves us toward a gentle, yet firm pursuit of godliness in ourselves and in our children, the disciples who share our faces. 

In 1 Timothy 3, Paul considered the true meaning of godliness, which is paradoxical to our human understanding. Paul wrote of the enigma of faith that is godliness by saying, “Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory” (1 Timothy 3:16). In 1 Timothy 4, Paul confronted the truth that godliness isn’t a destination but a disciplined pursuit, a commitment to continuous elevation and freedom. As parents who are stewards of souls, God calls us to a work beyond high school and college graduations. Our job is more than assisting our children in attaining great jobs. Parents are called to raise disciples. Say it with me: “I’m next, I’m now, I’m ready.” 

Standing Firm 

In a world overwhelmed with counterfeit truths and alluring deceptions, we’re encouraged to stand firm in the face of spiritual decay. Paul’s passionate warning in 1 Timothy 4 rings true in our present age; it’s a clear call for us to be vigilant, even as we face thunderstorms of falsehood. 

“For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come” (1 Timothy 4:8). This reminds us that while social skills, education, sports, etc., hold some value, the cultivation of godliness yields eternal rewards. Discipling our children is a gentle, yet firm journey of self-discipline, an unwavering commitment to spiritual tenacity in a world demanding our allegiance when our citizenship is in heaven. 

Paul’s encouragement to Timothy echoes over the centuries of time as a charge for disciplers and parents to embody the transformative power of godliness in every aspect our lives. We’re called not to a passive existence but to an active demonstration of the living testament and the surpassing truth that we profess. 

In the sometimes crushing crucible of parenting, amid the noise of our internal doubts and external criticisms, we’re still called to fan into flame the gifts of our children. We are called to boldly proclaim the divine inheritance entrusted to us, which is his very Spirit. Say it with me: “I’m next, I’m now, I’m ready.” My friends, this is not an exercise in false humility, for not one of us is an expert. This is an admission we are in over our heads if we function in our strength; yet we are fully capable in his strength. This is full acknowledgment of our dependence on God as the ultimate Father, and we are merely co-parents with the divine.  

As we navigate the maze of life, let us heed Paul’s timeless counsel and persist in our pursuit of godliness to immerse ourselves in the transformative power of truth. For in our steadfastness, we not only safeguard our own souls, but we take out our flashlights to shine a path for our children.  

So, let us embrace the beautiful charge placed before us. It is a charge to embody lives of holiness and godliness, not merely for our sake, but for the sake of our children. Let us hasten to the close of this present age (whenever you preach, you have to find a way to say hasten. I’m just saying, it’s a rule). For in our faithfulness to our divine call as parents, we become lighthouses of hope in a world our generation could never imagine would or could exist. 

Let us persist, my dear co-parents, for our success in godliness is forged through the faithfulness of repetition and discipline. Let us not merely raise children but also nurture disciples who are bold, committed, and ready to embrace the call themselves. 

“I’m next, I’m now, I’m ready.” My friends, let this be our anthem as we move forward, steadfast in our pursuit of godliness and truth. We know we are having success when our children are able to shout the same anthem, for they are truly next, they are truly now, and they must be made ready

*All Scripture verses are from the English Standard Version

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