…being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ… Philippians 1:6
I am fascinated with butterflies! I always have been since I learned my name means butterfly. It’s amazing to me that something so beautiful can emerge from something so unattractive. Let me explain. Butterflies start as eggs and become caterpillars that eat constantly until they are 100 times their original size. Then they wrap themselves in a chrysalis for weeks to even years in some cases. The caterpillar stage is not very attractive, the chrysalis even less so. On top of that, it looks like nothing is going on inside a chrysalis when in actuality there is a lot happening! The caterpillar is completely transforming into the beautiful, dynamic creature we know as the butterfly. So why am I talking about butterflies?
The metamorphosis (transformation) of the butterfly is quite similar to the transformation that takes place in developing children, especially when they are believers. God sees His children as butterflies from the beginning so He has the advantage of “working backwards” as it were. From our vantage point, much of parenting is looking at the caterpillar and chrysalis stages wondering if a butterfly will EVER come out. I mean sometimes it seems like nothing is getting through to our kids despite our best efforts. If you can relate, I have a word of encouragement for us: God is at work in our children even when it doesn’t seem like it.
From the outside, the butterfly’s chrysalis seems like the most inactive time in its whole life; yet it’s his most active time. In the same way, it may look like all our love and the truth of God’s grace poured into our children has no effect on them. You wonder if you’ll ever see the transforming effect of God’s Word in their lives and it’s tempting to “fall from grace” and go back to the rules and regulations of a legalism. Well, God uses the Apostle Paul to declare that He is indeed at work in His children, yes even yours, and it is ongoing (just like the work He is doing in you). We tend to make more of our children’s tendencies towards works of the flesh than we do God’s ability to make them righteous. The key to patiently waiting for results is confidence in the quality of the food we feed them in the caterpillar stage and in God’s ability to completely transform them into the image of Christ.
From the time they are born, even into those pre-teen years, and beyond, feed them the good news of the gospel: all that believers have access to, though undeserved, because of their faith in Christ’s payment for their debt at the cross. If they’re believers, never stop reminding them they are the righteousness of God in Christ regardless of what they do; it’s simply by faith. At the same time, remember the limited scope of your role in your children’s outcome. We are to train them up in the way they should go; not make sure they get there! Let’s just be confident in the precision and power of God’s Word and that God is at work in them to perfect their walk. He‘s also equipping them with everything they need for doing His will while producing in them all that is pleasing to Him. So keep on fattening them up on God’s Word and trust God to do what He does best…the gloriously unimaginable!
SOUL FOOD (Scripture References)
1 Peter 1:23
Romans 4:5, 13
Philippians 2:13, NLT
Hebrews 13:20, 21, NLT
© Vanessa A. Harris and The Legacy of Faith, 2012.