Pastor Thomas Smith   -  

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.”┬áIII John 4

What is the reward of the true Bible teacher, preacher, mentor, or spiritual leader? This is a great part of it – to see those we have taught walking in the truth. This is the greatest satisfaction and fulfillment for those of us who have invested our lives into others. There is “no greater joy.” This is the goal of the spiritual leader, whether in the home, in the church, or in the ministries of the church. We want to see people walking in the truth.

We teach the truth that others might hear and believe the truth. Having heard and believed the truth, the next step is to appropriate that truth into our daily lives. The truth is to be applied to the practical decisions and priorities of our lives. Next, we want to see them walking in the truth on their own as they live for Christ and obey His commands.

It is one thing for them to obey in our presence or under our direct supervision; it is another thing for them to follow the right paths when we are not there to guide. To hear that our spiritual children are continuing in the direction we helped steer them toward is the greatest encouragement we can receive. For the parent, there is “no greater joy” than this. The joy of seeing our children living for Christ is the greatest fulfillment we can have.

Christian parents who are serious about serving the Lord will have spiritual goals for their families and children. Accomplishments in athletics, academics, music, finances, and the like are never to be compared with the importance of seeing our children “walk in truth.” If our desires and objectives for our children are only physical or material, we are no different from the world. The most important thing they can learn is to “walk” in the truth that they have been given.

When we see our children give evidence of wanting to obey God and showing respect to their elders, etc., we can certainly rejoice. When we see our teenagers making the right decisions, having the right friends, and demonstrating the priority of serving the Lord, we can greatly rejoice. When we see our adult children leading their families in a godly way, training their children to love and serve the Lord, our hearts are filled with thankfulness. Nothing can compare to the joy of seeing our children and grandchildren growing in the grace of God.