Thursday is for Discipleship
My love for my children, all four of them, borders on idolatry. I would die for them without even giving it a second thought. I am unashamedly proud of them, excited by them and their potential as well as their present. Their protection and joy, in many ways, has been my life’s work. I have three daughters, one son, one daughter in law, one son in law and each contact with them, every phone call, text message, email is a deepening joy to receive.
But I am also convinced that I will never love them best if I love them more than Jesus. To love them best, to live for their joy in the best possible way, I must love Jesus more than them so that he will give me the wisdom and the ability to love them as I should.
So what would I do if a young man asked for my daughter’s hand in marriage with a letter like Ann Hazeltine’s father received from Adoniram Judson, sent to Ann’s father? Here’s an excerpt:
“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 see her departure to a heathen land, and her subjection to the hardships and sufferings of a 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 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 a crown of righteousness brightened by the acclamations of praise which shall redound to her Savior from heathens saved, through her means, from eternal woe and despair?”
What would I do if such a man, with such a knowledge of the call of God upon his life, with such a desire to take one of my precious treasures into such a tumultuous future?
What would I say? What would I do? Knowing that I might never see her again this side of heaven?
After a flood of tears, knowing that my tears would not be abated for the rest of my life, knowing that there would be nights of worries and heartache and longing for our precious treasure, flesh of our flesh, born out of my wife’s womb, nurtured in the home that we made — I hope I would say,
“Yes, you may have my treasure of a daughter, and may both of you be deliriously happy in fulfilling your destiny for the glory of our God.”
Because Jesus is worth that much and a million times more.
Because I have been bought with the price of His blood.
Because I am His servant and He is my King.
Because I am a disciple of Jesus.