The Orange Factor

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Contributed by Tim White, Next Gen Pastor at Image Church

I grew up disliking the color orange, not for any particular reason than it was a color I didn’t care for. It was definitely a color you did not see me wearing. I am more of a dark-colored guy, and orange was too bright for me. I never liked standing out in a crowd, and the color orange would certainly cause me to stand out. My feelings about the color orange are beginning to change, as I have been opened to a purpose behind the color.

So what is behind this color orange that has changed the way I feel about it?

I’m currently reading the book “Parenting Beyond Your Capacity” by Reggie Joiner and Carey Nieuwhof. In this book, they use orange to symbolize what it means to parent beyond your capacity. They are taking the color RED (unconditional love of family) and the color YELLOW (light of the church or community of faith) and combining them together. So how does this help us as parents in raising our children and why is it so important?

1. As parents, we have unconditional love for our children. We desire the best for our kids, and as Christians and followers of Jesus, we should desire that they grow in the knowledge and love of Christ themselves. We take them to church with us on Sundays so they can learn about Jesus, and we may even expect them to live out what they learn. What we need to understand though is that no one has more potential to influence your children than you. Teachers, Pastors, Coaches, and others will never have the same potential to influence a child’s life the way a parent does. Your influence as a parent will be permanent. Just think about who had the most influence in your own life. You may or may not want to agree with it, but deep down we are a lot like our parents.

2. Parents are not the only influence a child needs or will receive as they grow. You can also look at your life and see where others have influenced you, both good and bad. There are times when we needed to hear from someone other than our parents. Your children will one day seek acceptance and approval from someone other than you as well. What would happen if you decided to become intentional about inviting other leaders into your children’s lives?

3. Combined influences from the family and the church will make a greater impact than two separate influences. When the family and the church begin to think orange and work together, there will be a greater impact in the lives of our children. We will have a greater impact in the church today and a greater influence on the next generation.

The influence and teaching of our children should be important to us because it is important to Jesus.

Matthew 19:13-14Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, 14but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”

The kingdom of Heaven belongs to the children, just as much as it belongs to us. Jesus invited the children to come to Him, and we should continue to do so today. We can’t afford to sit back and allow the world to have the greater influence in the lives of our kids. We all have a major role in the influence of the next generation of the church.

As parents, we are to be the church in our homes – live like Jesus, as an example for our children to follow. We are all broken people and mess up, but God loves and forgives. He uses broken people to show His Grace and mercy to others. Are you spending time with the one that gave you grace and forgiveness, and giving your children an example to follow?

As the church body, we have the responsibility of working with parents, by helping them grow as Christians and investing in the lives of their children as well. We cannot think of the next generation as someone else’s kids to worry about. We need to be looking at the next generation as Jesus does – those who belong to the kingdom of Heaven and future leaders of the church.

Imagine the impact we could have on the church of tomorrow, if the family and church worked together today. 

Think Orange!

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One Response to “The Orange Factor”

  1. Layla-Elizabeth Gonzalez Says:

    That was beautiful. I also believe that Image Church and the parents there are already living this out. I am honored to bring my son to Image. I can trust that the will receive the Word of God as it was written and intended to go forth. Also, what our son learns at church is in sync with what he learns at home, which is vital for any child to learn and grow there must be cohesiveness and consistency.

    We do mess up as parents but the Bible is our guidebook to life and how to live life according to the Word of God – to live as Jesus did. I also believe if our children see our shortcomings, but see us use those shortcomings by turning them into assets to help others, to show Jesus’s love, to walk the way Jesus would walk, then our children will emulate us.

    We do influence our children. My son knows what is and is not acceptable in our home because we are Christians. This is really important for kids to understand that our decisions need to include our Lord – pray, faith and hope. We all must give the children a good foundation because without it they surely will fall and become confused.

    I am just happy that the core beliefs stated here can be adopted by all of us and be put to work for the next generation!

    Thank you for this timely posting.

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