They are all children of the Sovereign.
My kids (and yours) claim royal titles in God’s kingdom. They are children of the King of heaven, yes? Every human was created by God and can, in one sense, consider themselves children of God. Christ-followers, those devoted to Jesus and trusting in his substitutionary atonement on the cross, “are God’s children, and if children, also heirs—heirs of God and coheirs with Christ” (Romans 8:16–17). We share in the inheritance of God’s Kingdom, just like William and Harry share in their father’s inheritance. Fittingly, IMO, the British rules of primogeniture recently changed, allowing female heirs to inherit the throne in order of birth, rather than being displaced by younger brothers. In setting aside ancient traditions that no longer apply to modern society, the royal family actually mirrors the gospel: women and men reflect God’s image equally, both having been given dominion over the earth. As Elizabeth II has so deftly demonstrated these past sixty-seven years, women can reign effectively just as men can. (Look at that little princess! Still fourth in line.) Embed from Getty Images
The nature of our inheritance is quite different from the royals, of course. Don’t push the analogy too far. And judge your own children—could they handle it if you called them “your royal highness”? Consider wisely . . .
They represent the Crown.
The queen and her children, who are now themselves grandparents and parents, have spent most of their lives serving their country. Each chooses duties that suit their interests, to a degree. They serve on boards for charities, tour national sites of interest to the economy, vocally support the arts, health, and history, visit wounded servicemen, etc. The queen acts as a focus for national identity, unity, and pride; gives a sense of stability and continuity; officially recognizes success and excellence; and supports the ideal of voluntary service. When she or her family members participate in an event, people expect them to show interest, speak confidently, and represent the organization’s interest. The princes and princesses are her emissaries, doing business on her behalf.
Like their royal cousins, our kids represent a noble family. They’ve heard “Remember who you are” more than once as they set off to an event. We parents do the best we can to raise them to contribute responsibly to society, to work hard, respect others, and help those in need. Sometimes we wonder if anything is getting through to them, but then another parent or a teacher will reach out with a word of praise for one of the kids. I think we aren’t alone in this pattern of development.
Even more importantly, believers act as God’s representatives to the world. The Mathews kids love Jesus and have made their faith known, so now they publically represent the Kingdom of God. “We are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf: ‘Be reconciled to God'” (2 Cor. 5:20). When they go to school, to ballgames, or even the grocery store, they represent Jesus. The better they know him, the more they act like him. As they grow in their faith, they’ll come to reflect him so well that outsiders will be drawn to Christ because of them. Royal ambassadors live here!
They support the church.
The ruling monarch, Queen Elizabeth II at the moment, holds the title “Defender of the Faith” and acts as head of the Church of England (Anglican). Her duties are largely symbolic, and individual royals’ depth of spiritual devotion varies. But they use their influence and position to help the church flourish. My children have expressed their own faith in Jesus, three of them following their declaration of faith with baptism. (Our youngest is not quite ready for that step.) As members of the body of Christ, the church, they also are committed to using their gifts, talents, and resources to promote the well-being of God’s family. Each believer has a personality, natural talents, and spiritual gifts that must be utilized for the good of the church. We were blessed to be a blessing! “Now as we have many parts in one body, and all the parts do not have the same function, in the same way we who are many are one body in Christ and individually members of one another. According to the grace given to us, we have different gifts . . .” (Rom. 12:4–6).
We all enjoy keeping up with “the cousins,” especially in recent days when the news has been more joyful (a new baby, an upcoming wedding). Embed from Getty Images Related through the queen’s commoner (non-royal) mother, my children don’t have royal blood. Maybe your family connects to them even more closely than ours. Regardless, remember that every man and woman is a child of the King, believers in Jesus are heirs of the Kingdom, and we are all his ambassadors to the world. Let’s invest our gifts and resources to build up his church, his family.