Hello, I have a deep desire to see family walking with the Lord in an obedient and florishing way. I feel like discipling my wife and kids is my first priority in my walk with Christ. I believe a strong foundation in apologetics is the key to equip them. Should I plan to start taking class with RZIM or are there other resourses that can help me equip my family and others in my sphere of influence with the truth?
Awesome and God honouring to want to see your family following the Lord. Before I respond however I was wondering if I could get just a little bit more information. What age and how many children do you have and how long have you been married. Would you mind telling me how you came to know the lord.
I will be asking our Lord that he give you courage and wisdom as you lead your family.
Good afternoon! Thank you for those prayers! My kids are 4, 2, and 8 months (two girls and a boy). I’ve been married for 5 years
I’ll try my best to condense my journey with with Lord.
My mom began taking me to to church constently when I was about 14. I was not one to get envoled in church programs (choir, retreats, camps etc). I do remember taking note of my mom’s change of language (not cursing as much among other things). She also began praying out loud. Bottom line, I saw that she seemed to be becoming a quote on quote “better person” because of Jesus. I can remember feeling that I should try to read the Bible and try to do the things that “christians” do but the pull of popularity, status, peer pressure amoung other worldly things were too great. I do remember saying the “sinners prayer” and inviting Jesus in my heart at some point before college or maybe before high shcool but Jesus was definitely not the Lord of my life. Fast forward to my years in college, I had 2 remates in particular who would challege the christian faith with great conviction. When asked if I was a christian I would sheepishly say, “yes”. They would often mock the christian faith as the “white mans religion”. Deep down I knew Jesus was real because I saw what He had done for my mom as well as other things I now believe He had deposited in me so I would not refuse Him or the christian faith. But I often felt bad in these discussions because I knew my behavior (sex alcohol and marijuana usuage) as a so called christian did not line up, leaving me unable to speak up for my faith as they did theirs.
Change came some time during my junior year of college when one of those roommates was baptized and began proclaiming the same Jesus who he had rejected months and years prior. I was deeply convicted. Knew I should have been living the way he began to live and speak. I began attending a weekly bible study with my converted roommate where the Word was preached with so much conviction (turn or burn type of preaching) that it forced me to seek the Lord with great diligence. I was baptized in April of 2007 at the age of 22. I continued to go to the bible study and the church but soon found that there was a lot of misconduct which angered and confused me. There were a lot of of people my age who I saw the Lord touching deeply but were also confused at the behavior of the “pastor/phophet” that preached with so much power and conviction. These things pushed me to study the Word with even more fervor as I saw those same students icluding my converted roomate begin to question their belief in the church, leadership, prophecy, the purpose and power of the Spirit etc.
Now, almost 13 years later (all glory to Jesus) I still have a burning desire to know HIM better and more intimately. At the same time I’m often grieved when I see and hear of those students who I saw converting while in college seeming to have lost their passion for the Lord. Hence my question.
I just want to know HIM well enough to introduce HIM to others in a PURE way. But I also believe it starts at home. Yesterday was the second time my four year old asked could she be baptized. My wife and I aked here a few questions to see what was “really” going on in her 4 year old heart". She seems to be gaining some understand of salvation and I want to help her and others walk with HIM in a healthy way.
By the way, I met my wife while in that
ministry during college. She too experienced confusion during her time of conversion but her faith has remained as mine. We are working together to build upon the good that was started in our early years of redemption.
Hello, @Win4Him! Thanks for your question and for sharing a bit more of your story with us. It’s beautiful to hear of people who are striving to understand what it means to follow Jesus!
Outside of Bible study, RZIM classes are always a great place to learn and be challenged. (I realise I’m biased. Ha!) The Core Module is the gateway to all the other courses that the RZIM Academy offers, and I would highly recommend it as a resource that gets one thinking about how to apply faith to life and share the Gospel…esp. if you are interested in engaging with people of other faiths…or no faith.
There are loads of people on here who have taken numerous Academy courses, so I’m wondering they can weigh in. Maybe Keldon and the @WelcomeTeam could tag some other folks they know of who could speak to what the other Academy courses offer?
I love your story @Win4Him. And your desire to share and help your family is very laudable. I would strongly encourage you to take at least the core module. The foundations laid in that course are so good. The course provides a framework for understanding origin, meaning, morality and our destiny. Juxtaposing that against all other world views becomes very persuasive as Christianity really is the only one that in my judgment has rational basis for all 4 of those areas of understanding in that framework. The electives are also excellent especially The Bible elective and the why suffering elective. So many challenge the authority of the Bible and question why a good God would allow suffering. These 2 courses delve deeply into those challenges to allay concerns and to provide foundation for responding questions and concerns posed by those we meet, including family members. Please reach out if you have other questions or want additional detail. God-bless you and your journey. I have included some other members for their input if different than mine or @KMac. @iDan, @sig, @HopeforLife1, @eminikel, @WorshipGod.
I am with @KMac and @Keldon_Scott on the RZIM academy courses. The core module was a game changer for me. That is where I would start. I admire your desire to guide your family and I trust the Lord will bless that desire. I will be lifting you and your family up in prayer this morning
Welcome back Tramel, @Win4Him
Thank you for sharing an intimate piece of your story with us here at Connect.
Your declaration tells me God is moving and working in your heart, to will and to do His good work, by having you lead your household in a true understanding of who Jesus is. It is no coincidence that God has brought you back to Connect and I am so happy He did.
I can attest to the invaluable knowledge you will obtain when you go through the RZIM Academy Core Module. I will tell you, when I started taking Academy course I would not have imagined I would be teaching the H.S. apologetics course, or that it would help me in counseling women who are facing unplanned pregnancies. The humble and kind approach to the questioner is, like I said, invaluable information for life
I have heard Ravi say many times, “the task of Christian apologist, whether it be in debate, whether it be in defense, whether it be in confirmation, is ultimately to present the person of Jesus Christ and who He is.”
“Set apart that Christ in your heart and always be prepared to give a reason for the hope that is within you and do that with gentleness and respect.” I Peter 3:15-16
In order to accomplish those statements above it takes intentional study, and you can see here at connect, many of us are Academy Alumni, yet, we come from different backgrounds, countries, ethnicities, economic class, career choices, so, what lead us to the Academy?
I believe for some of the same reasons you have mentioned below.
After you take the core module you will be more confident in the instructions you give your growing family.
“We, as parents are the most important apologists our kids will ever know.” ~ J. Warner Wallace
You can see the truth in this statement, in your own life, with the example of your mom.
In addition to the Core Module, here are some resources for you and your wife as you parent your young children.
“Mama Bear Apologetics” ~ Hillary Morgan Ferrer
she also has a blog mamabearapologetics.com
“The Merchant and the Thief” ~ Ravi Zacharias
Please come back and let us know how God is directing your path.
Thank you for sharing your testimony. I would agree with those that have already responded to your original post. The core module is a great place to begin.
One of the great things about these courses is that they help you to listen and hear what lies behind the question that is being asked. My kids are grown now but this tool was invaluable to us as a family as they went through a very secular school system. It taught me to ask and to challenge my family with the question of WHY. Why do you believe this of that? What critical logical proof is there for what you believe to be true. Why do you suppose that person did this or that?
When children are young, they are constantly asking the question of why. As they get older it seems that often that question fades away. We begin to believe all the stuff we hear and see around us, without question. As a father it was my privilege to drive my kids nuts asking them why. To instill within them the ability to do critical thinking. To explain why they said or believed something. To dig deep into the why of life and of scripture.
As your children are still quite young your first priority must be to your wife and to them. I know that sounds obvious, but ministry and learning can easily become the focus your attention. By all means take the core module but not to the neglect of your family. Play with them, read with them, laugh with them and pray with them. I cannot encourage you enough. The responsibility you have as a father is huge.
Be encouraged. The task of fatherhood is fraught with challenges. But it is all worth it when you see the fruit of that hard work.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.
I would encourage you to be very prayerful about how you want to discipline your wife . I am a Christian man who wanted the same thing for my family however my wife did not agree and walked out and took our daughter with her . Please pray for me and my family as I am suffering greatly from this !