December 14, 2017

Kiffin Letters: To a brother with a wayward child

Note from P&D – the following article is a letter from a concerned friend to a couple with a child who has fallen into sin. The author has requested anonymity to protect personal relationships. Since this is unfortunately not a totally uncommon experience, we believe the advice is worth your attention.

Dear Brother and Sister X,

Most people do not want advice, even if they say they do. For that reason, I am reluctant to give it, especially since you have not asked for it. Nevertheless, I will offer my counsel, based on the Scripture and my experience.

I know of very few people who take the Great Commission as seriously as you do. My respect for your dedicated service to God is immense. Unfortunately, your strength has become your weakness. However, I believe that, if you follow your own reasoning to its logical conclusion, you will come out right.

The behavior of your son has cost your ministry dearly. Yet his fall is not fatal. He is God’s child and, given time and God’s help, he will recover and become a useful servant of Christ. But what happened did not have to happen. Furthermore, your other children do not have to repeat his mistake.

Think about the situation you are in. God placed a group of pagans in your home for you to evangelize and disciple. Your zeal for discipleship ministry is unparalleled. My advice to you is: show even greater zeal to disciple your children than you do to disciple others. You don’t have to feel guilty about neglecting your ministry when you spend time with your children. Your family is your most important ministry.

Spending time personally interacting with them will show that you care. Listen, listen, listen, just as you do with people you are trying to win to Christ. Ask questions. Find out about their hopes, fears, and ambitions. Make time to give them your undivided attention. Have fun with them. Eat at least one meal a day with the whole family together. Take them with you when you visit people. Plan to spend time with each one individually. Check up with them about their walk with God. Share your own heart.

You may think that if you take care of God’s church, He will take care of your children. The truth is the opposite. Take a little time out from taking care of God’s church in order to take care of your children and He will take care of His church.

As you know, I have had my share of problems in my family due to my own failures, but I can testify that God is gracious. He has compensated for my weakness and given me the kind of family for which I can be very grateful. He will do the same for you if you will let Him.

Rest assured that I am praying not only for your church, but also for you and your children.

Yours in Christ

William Kiffin

Note: Pastor X is a church planter.

Although Proclaim & Defend is the blog of the FBFI, the articles we post are not an expression of the views of the FBFI as a whole, they are the views of the author under whose name they are published. The FBFI speaks either through position statements by its board or through its president. Here at Proclaim & Defend, we publish articles as matters of interest or edification to the wider world of fundamentalist Baptists and any others who might be interested.

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