The book of Malachi is often an overlooked book, but it presents us with profound questions about justice and God’s faithfulness, echoing the very questions that can resonate with us as parents. How do we navigate a world that sometimes seems unjust and where evil appears to prosper? Where can we find justice, mercy, and answers for our children? In this blog, I want to explore these questions to understand how they can shape our families and our connection with God and fellow believers.
In a recent sermon by Pastor John from Eagle Hills Church titled “What have we said against you?”, Pastor John spoke about the profound desire for justice felt by the people in Malachi’s time. They questioned God’s actions and spoke against Him, feeling that He wasn’t living up to their high standards or fulfilling His promises. They wrestled with the notion that serving God seemed futile, longing for tangible rewards and immediate gratification. Does this resonate with you? Do you sometimes feel disillusioned, wondering if your efforts in raising your children with faith and integrity will bear fruit?
Our human nature often craves instant rewards and a sense of control. We want to see justice meted out in the world according to our understanding. However, God’s justice operates on a different level—one that encompasses both restoration and judgment. As Hebrews 11:6 reminds us, faith involves believing that God exists and that He rewards those who follow Him. While we may desire rewards that align with our earthly expectations, we need to remember that God’s rewards often transcend the material realm.
This can be hard for us as parents to explain to our children, especially our younger children, but we can help them gain a deeper perspective by turning to other Christian literature. In “The Jesus Storybook Bible” by Sally Lloyd-Jones, we encounter the overarching message of God’s love and redemption through Jesus Christ. This beautifully illustrated children’s Bible helps us impart the values of justice, compassion, and God’s mercy to our children, offering them a foundation for understanding the ways of our Heavenly Father.
Another valuable resource for parents seeking to instill justice-loving qualities in their children is “Love Does for Kids” by Bob Goff. This book encourages children to live out their faith through love and action, inspiring them to make a positive impact on the world around them. It reminds us that justice and mercy are not abstract concepts but lived experiences rooted in genuine love and kindness.
Returning to the sermon, the mention of a holy remnant reminds us that even in a world seemingly devoid of justice, some fear the Lord and honor His name. These individuals engage in conversations that include God, seeking to align their hearts with His divine purpose. They understand the importance of repentance, the need to turn toward God, and the desire for right relationships within their families.
God hears the conversations of this faithful remnant. Malachi speaks of a scroll of remembrance, a record of those who fear the Lord and honor His name. This scroll signifies that God does not forget His people, ensuring that their righteous deeds and faithfulness are recognized. We may not fully comprehend how God’s justice will unfold, but we can trust that He sees, remembers, and will bring about a day of reckoning when all things will be set right.
As Christian parents, we face the challenge of imparting these truths to our children. We strive to raise them with a deep reverence for God, an understanding of His justice, and a commitment to live out His love. Just as the prophet Elijah prepared the way for the Lord, we are called to turn the hearts of our children to God and build bridges of love within our families. It is through these transformed relationships that the beauty of justice and mercy will be displayed.
So, how can we practically apply these insights to our families? Here are a few key takeaways:
- Teach the values of justice, mercy, and righteousness through age-appropriate resources such as “The Jesus Storybook Bible” and “Love Does for Kids.” These books provide engaging stories that help children understand and embrace these vital concepts.
- Foster open and honest conversations with your children, discussing their questions and concerns about justice in the world. Encourage them to bring their doubts and fears to God, teaching them that He listens and cares deeply for them.
- Model justice and mercy in your daily lives. Show kindness and compassion to others, especially to those who may be marginalized or in need. By living out these values, we demonstrate the transformative power of God’s justice and mercy.
- Pray for God’s guidance and discernment as you seek to cultivate justice-loving hearts in your children. Ask Him to instill in them a deep desire for righteousness and a passion for making a positive impact in their communities.
In conclusion, dear parents, let us embrace the questions that arise within us and within our children. Let us trust that God’s justice, though sometimes mysterious to us, will ultimately prevail. May we be inspired by the holy remnant who fear the Lord and honor His name, seeking to foster right relationships within our families and communities. As we navigate the challenges of parenting, may our children grow to be justice-loving individuals who reflect the character of our Heavenly Father.
May God’s grace and peace be with you and your family as you journey together, raising children who seek justice, mercy, and kindness in a world hungry for these virtues.
~ Written by Gene Bennett