Where to Live?

Douglas VanBronkhorst

READ : Proverbs 22:1-6

Train up a child in the way. (v. 6)

Kathy and I were guests at a family dinner. Jim and Marge also invited their two adult sons and their wives. They obviously enjoyed one another. The conversation was lively, interesting, full of good humor. The only unusual thing about this American family dinner was that it occurred in a central Asian country. Jim and Marge are missionaries, but the “kids” also live and work nearby! Most people who serve overseas don't have the ability to invite their adult children over for dinner. Jim and Marge are fortunate. However, as I got acquainted with their sons and daughters-in-law, I realized this situation was primarily the result of their commitment to mission, and only secondarily related to family ties.

Adult children often live near their parents, for many good reasons. Sometimes, though, parents “require” their children to stay close. The mere suggestion of a move brings opposition. Americans who want to serve overseas often find it is their parents who most oppose their plans. Jim and Marge taught their children to follow Jesus, wherever. That led (surprisingly) to living near one another, at least for a while, in Asia. The point isn't geography; it's faithfulness to God's call. Training a child “in the way” means teaching them to obey God, not where to live. We should be satisfied if our children serve Christ with all their heart, mind, and strength, no matter how often we can have dinner together.


Father, I want my children to follow you, wherever you lead.