My son is very outgoing. He rarely meets a stranger. Or, in terms of “breaking the ice,” Bryce usually just skates on across!
That should probably scare me a little bit, but for now it just makes me smile. In fact, sometimes it makes me blush.
Several months ago Bryce and I were on a flight together. As usual, he was making friends and influencing people in the seats around us. When he got to know the young ladies sitting behind us, he could sense a receptive crowd. He started working his charm (I have no idea where he got that from).
After a while, I had tuned out his conversation with the ladies and I started back to reading a book. But then something caught my ear. A familiar sound –too familiar. It was my home address!
“So come on down to our house for a sleepover anytime!” Those were the last words he got out before I quickly interrupted.
“Um, Bryce, I think its time to work on your coloring book now!”
Our section of he cabin erupted with laughter. You had to admire his people skills, right?
I hope my son never loses his sense of welcoming everyone into conversation –just not always our home. I especially hope he will carry that enthusiasm over into a desire to share the gospel with all people.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…” (Romans 1:16). I imagine the apostle Paul had that same sort of charisma when he would initiate conversations with those who encountered. I can picture him eagerly and freely sharing the gospel with such enthusiasm that nobody could doubt his sincerity and love for Christ.
Of course for Bryce to grow up with that attitude, he will need to see it in his dad. I am the one with the God-given responsibility to “train up my child in the way he should go” (Proverbs 22:6), and to “bring him up in the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).
In other words, although I understand that God is the only one who can transform my son’s heart, I also understand that God has chosen to use me as a tool to accomplish the work. It’s part of the mysterious relationship between God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility –in this case, it is seen in the issue of Christian parenting.
Now the challenge before me is clear. I must be a bold witness of the gospel not only to my son, but also in front of my son. I have a feeling, he can give me a few pointers on breaking the ice.