I have attended many tea parties in my life. You know, the fancy ones with feather boas, imaginary tea and crumpets, and stuffed elephants that wear tutus. These sorts of luxuries are just everyday life when you hang out with four-year-old girls. I have noticed that no matter what is going on in the seen world, there is always the anticipation of the unseen, pretend world at teatime. During teatime, you get to be a princess.
What if this unseen world is not as “pretend” as it seems? I mean, have you ever wondered why it is so natural for children to pretend that they are royalty? Perhaps it is because God has set eternity in the hearts of little girls and boys around the world. We long for God’s kingdom, and the kingdom longs for us.
One of God’s greatest dreams is to see the kingdom of heaven invade the whole earth. Our job is to help our children see how their lives are designed to be part of this God-sized dream. If our children are called to be part of something as large as becoming agents of reconciliation to the nations, then let us do our part to nurture the royal, eternal hope that is already wired in their DNA. Practically speaking, we can do this through three things: prayer, radical obedience, and embracing our position.
- Prayer- Jesus’ disciples do not ask Jesus to teach them how to do many things, but they do ask Jesus to teach them how to pray. In Jesus’ response He tells them, among other things, to pray “Your kingdom come and Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10) If Jesus instructed them in this way, then it must be possible. It also must be a value worth teaching our biggest disciples … our children. Interestingly enough, Jesus does not teach His disciples to pray for the world, but to pray for laborers for the harvest. (Luke 10:2) Perhaps this is because the world is more than ready to hear the message of Jesus. Will the generation that we are discipling be ready to tell them?
- Obedience- Acts 1:8 tells us that we will “receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on [us]; and [we] will be [Jesus’] witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Our families are called to bear witness of Jesus in our communities, our nations, and in the whole world. May we find the courage to obey the Holy Spirit’s prompting to pray for people and tell them about Jesus.
- Position- I am talking about our physical position on the planet, yes, but mostly our position as children of God. God “marked out [our] appointed times in history and the boundaries of [our] lands.” (Acts 17:26) All around us, right now, there are opportunities to share the good news of the kingdom. Because of our position as children of God, we have received an eternal inheritance and the authority of Jesus over the Enemy. God just might use this inheritance and authority to make impossibilities possible in and through our own families.
So, maybe our children are really on to something with these royal tea parties. After all, a kingdom has been set in our hearts. A kingdom where every tribe and nation and tongue is welcome … so let us never miss an opportunity to invite a friend!