As many of you have heard this morning, Billy Graham has passed away at 99 years old. If you don’t know who Billy Graham is (and yes, I use is here purposefully) I would encourage you to google him and learn more about the greatest evangelist of our time.
I am extremely introspective at the hearing of this news. I find myself being sad at his passing, but also joyful because he is now in the presence of his Lord and Savior. He is quoted as saying…
“Someday you will read or hear that Billy Graham is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it. I shall be more alive than I am now. I will just have changed my address. I will have gone into the presence of God.”
That is an important quote to hide in the heart of an christian. When we die, we do not cease to be, but rather change addresses. I think there is another very important thing we can take away from the life of Graham as parents. Billy Graham lived his life in honor and service to the One True King, but it wasn’t just his life that was changed by Jesus. Graham left a legacy of other people who were changed by the Gospel through his faithful ministry.
This isn’t unlike what we do as parents who believe in Jesus. Our call is to share the Gospel with our children throughout their lives so that, “even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6. Our goal as parents shouldn’t be only to see our kids succeed at sports, academics, or be a good person. We need to have a higher goal for our children and by extension, our parenting. Billy Graham’s goal was to faithfully share the Gospel so that others would be adopted into the family of God. We should have the same goal as parents with our Children.
Billy Graham shared the Gospel with millions of people, but God has given us a family as a mission field. Yes, you are called to share the Gospel with all those around you, but your first mission field are the people who live under the same roof as you. Being a parent isn’t easy. Your children will rebel against your leading. You will fail miserably at times, but God calls us to something higher in Titus 2:7-8;
“Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, 8 and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.”
Life will squeeze you and leave you exhausted, but the mission doesn’t change. You are called to lead, disciple, and be a vessel for God to use to win the hearts of your children to Him. It isn’t easy, but God will sustain you through good times and difficult times.
After looking at the legacy of changed lives that Billy Graham left behind on this world the question we need to ask ourselves is what kind of legacy are we leaving behind in our children? Are we faithfully leading them towards Christ? Are we doing the hard things as parents to win them to Christ? Billy Graham was faithful to God’s call on his life to share the Gospel with millions, but are you being faithful to share the Gospel with your family?
I encourage you to leave a Gospel legacy in your children
Yours in Christ,