"And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless." Philippians 1:9-10 (NRSV)
Any parent will attest raising children can be one of the most challenging yet most rewarding things you will ever do. Nothing really prepares you for the job, and at times you feel quite lost and at wit’s end. You can read parenting books, and they may provide help, but each child, home, and situation is different. Conversations with other parents, our parents, and professionals can be helpful, but likely what you find that works for you and your child is unique. It is a combination of the new knowledge you gained, personal experience ingrained from your childhood, and prayer -- lots of prayers, mostly that you don’t mess up too badly. You do this because you love your children and want the very best for them, and you desire them to learn and continue to make the right decisions as adults.
Paul, while in prison, wrote this letter of love and encouragement to his spiritual children in Philippi. Like a good parent, he desired only what is best for his children. His prayer that they may increase in their knowledge of Christ, and by using discernment, make the right decisions. Indeed, much of this letter’s focus is on insight, focusing on those things that truly matter. His wish, that they experience this in abundance and that it be a continuous growth, and that they may be pure and without blame when we meet Christ. The same wish God has for all of us today.
Loving God, we give thanks for the knowledge found in your word, Jesus Christ our Savior, and for the insight found in the Holy Spirit. Please help us as we seek to grow as your children, to become pure and blameless. Lord, make us ready for the coming of Christ. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.