Saturday, March 15, 2008

"Family values"

When John and Charles Wesley sailed for Georgia to serve Christ (though still deficient in their grasp of Christ), their mother said, "Had I twenty sons, I should rejoice that they were all so employed, though I should never see them more."

A. Skevington Wood, The Inextinguishable Blaze, page 104.

And when Adoniram Judson, headed toward foreign missions, wanted to marry Ann Hasseltine, he asked her father for permission with these words,

"I have now to ask whether you can consent to part with your daughter early next spring, to see her no more in this world; whether you can consent to her departure and her subjection to the hardships and sufferings of missionary life; whether you can consent to her exposure to the dangers of the ocean, to the fatal influence of the southern climate of India; to every kind of want and distress; to degradation, insult, persecution and perhaps a violent death. Can you consent to all this, for the sake of him who left his heavenly home and died for her and for you, for the sake of perishing, immortal souls, for the sake of Zion and the glory of God? Can you consent to all this, in hope of soon meeting your daughter in the world of glory, with the crown of righteousness, brightened with the acclamations of praise which shall redound to her Savior from heathens saved, through her means, from eternal woe and despair?"

John Piper, Don't Waste Your Life, page 158.

No family is perfect. We certainly are not. But God uses imperfect people who are yielded to him. And Jani and I make it our lifetime prayer, "Lord, let the whole world hear about Jesus Christ through our family." It is difficult to imagine a greater privilege. It is equally difficult to imagine that prayer being answered without suffering.

May Jesus Christ be praised, whatever the cost. For Jani and me, that is "family values."