God’s kingdom is the area where He has reign or authority. By that definition, where is your kingdom? I would say that I try to maintain authority in my home, therefore the people who live in my home are under my authority and protection, in my kingdom. They will have all the benefits that come with living there, i.e., clothes, food, and shelter will be provided; they will be loved and talked with; and they will be protected from any preventable harm. Obviously, there are requirements for living happily in my kingdom. If the residents of my kingdom choose to ignore those requirements, discipline will be administered. In many ways, God’s kingdom is very similar to that description.
Using the analogy of our home as our kingdom, why do we choose to grow that kingdom by having children or inviting others to join our family? Because there is something there that we want to share with others – something that would benefit them. It could be that we are overflowing with love and want to share that, or possibly, other resources like time and money. Whatever it is that we want to share, bringing others into our kingdom is the way to do that. Our hope is that by living in our kingdom, they will have opportunities for growth that they wouldn’t have otherwise had.
What is it about God’s kingdom that makes us want to share it? In Matthew 5-7, Jesus talks extensively about life in His kingdom and the blessings of living there. He talks about how welcome people will be (those who mourn, the meek, the merciful) even though they have been rejected by other kingdoms. He also talks about who we will become (salt and light) after we spend time in His kingdom. The opportunities afforded us because of our citizenship in His kingdom, though, are the most exciting. He says we’ll bear good fruit, that our lives will be built on a rock that can’t be washed away, and that we will spend the rest of eternity in His perfect heavenly kingdom.
Why wouldn’t we share that?! If we find a restaurant that serves delicious food, or if we see a movie that we like, we quickly tell others about it and encourage them enjoy it too. If being part of God’s kingdom truly offers us the “good life” of fulfillment and blessings, why would we not share it with anyone and everyone that we care about?!
From a parent’s perspective, the most crucial place to grow God’s kingdom is in our home. Raising our children to want to live close to God in His kingdom AND to want to bring others into that kingdom is our very most important job. We need to look for ways every day to make sure that our home (kingdom) is within the borders of God’s kingdom. Spending time with our families listening to God’s word and talking to Him through prayer will help us to know Him better and grow into a family that really is salt and light in our world.