Jan5MonJanuary 5, 2015
Dr. James Boyd
Parents are the number one source from which teens glean their values. Parents can blame the television, the friends, or the culture, but the truth is that children who spend the majority of their formative years with parents esteem that which their parents esteem. 2Corinthians offers believers, which includes parents, an exhortation concerning how their lives reveal what they value to be the greatest "treasure." Paul begins 2 Corinthians 4:6-7 saying that believers have "this treasure in clay jars." But what is this treasure and how can parents give it to their children?
6 For God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 Now we have this treasure in clay jars, so that this extraordinary power may be from God and not from us. 2 Corinthians 4:6-7 (HCSB)
Paul concludes the previous section by stating that God has given us the "knowledge of God's greatness (glory) in the face of Jesus." This awareness of how amazing God is, shown to humanity in Jesus, is THE treasure. The God of glory and splendor is what humanity was created to serve (2 cor. 4:5). The more one becomes aware of God's amazing greatness, the more one treasures Him. But how are parents to relate this treasure to their children?
First, parents must become convinced to the core that knowing God is the greatest treasure. This knowledge must shape schedules, priorities, leisure time, and every other part of the day. Matthew 13:44 shows how the person who treasures God's kingdom is willing to sell everything in order to get that treasure. Do you truly treasure knowing God so that your life is built around attaining that treasure?
Second, we do not have to worry about producing "teachable moments" through which to communicate to our children the valuing of knowing God’s glory. God has taken care of that. Verse 7 says that God has given this treasure of knowing God's greatness to humans who are helplessly frail and weak "so that this extraordinary power may be from God and not from us" (emphasis mine). Although parents feel as "chipped" and fragile as “clay pots,” it is this very weakness that God uses to reveal his power. Only the perfect parent will have to develop “teachable moments” to relay God’s greatness. God will use the frailties of all non-perfect parents as His tool for teaching His glory. 2 Cor. 12:9 clearly teaches that God's "power is perfected in weakness."
How have you allowed God to display His greatness to your children through your weaknesses lately? Are you transparent enough as a “clay jar” for God’s power to be recognized by your children? If we are not living to know God’s greatness in our weaknesses, the best possible expectation is to exist as a weak, breakable clay jar. Would your children say that you are week? They should. Would your children say that God is strong? They should. Would your children say you treasure His power? They should.