Editor’s note: Gu Junqing grew up in a Christian family and came to believe in the Lord at an early age. This is the fourth part of his story, and he shares how he and his wife are trying to establish a Christian home where their children can learn to follow Christ in their early years. Although he sees many churches and believers doing good work by sharing the gospel in society, he thinks establishing strong Christian families is the most important area where today’s Chinese Christians should focus.
This story is part of an ongoing series of interviews with Chinese Christians about how they came to know and follow God, and has been edited and condensed for clarity and length. Parts one, two, and three of Gu’s story can be found here.
Build the Right Foundation
China Partnership: You and your wife now have two children. What do you think will be some differences they may face regarding faith in the future?
Gu Junqing: Our family’s goal is to establish a Christian family that is set apart from the world. Although we live in this world, whatever we do is done for God. The important thing about establishing a Christian family is to let our children have a solid faith foundation so they can influence more people in the future. Others around me, including our church, also share this same vision.
In reality, I think the most important thing with a true faith is to preach the gospel within the family. There is still a big difference in the impact on the lives of those who grew up believing in the Lord and those who received the gospel later – for example, my wife came to faith in Christ after high school. We have a vision that more and more young Chinese families will help their children build the right foundation from an early age. Only after a few more generations will such a faith be truly influential. Although many are doing really helpful work now, I think it is just a sowing of seeds.
We have a vision that more and more young Chinese families will help their children build the right foundation from an early age.
CP: I don’t quite understand.
Gu: Maybe the real gospel growth will happen in the next generation because they will be more committed, and that is the only way to multiply. Of course evangelism is also important, but we increasingly feel that building Christian families is more important and more impactful, because all of society is family-based. The unfortunate thing about the current situation in China is that the greatest damage is done to the family, because so many fathers are so busy making money they don’t spend time with their wives and children at all. That is one of the greatest damages.
There are many thousands and even hundreds of millions of migrant workers who go to the big cities to work, leaving their children to be brought up in their hometowns, in the countryside. This creates all kinds of problems.
CP: These children are almost orphans.
Gu: They are almost orphans and have all kinds of issues – character and learning problems. This is a very serious problem for China. I think it will cause severe difficulty for China in the next few decades, including a higher crime rate and a slower economy, because we do not know what kind of people this generation raised without parental discipline will become.
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The Influence of Family
As Christians, we can only do what we should do: build a family, and have a different way of life. The most important things is that the next generation will be able to keep multiplying and reproducing.
People who are like us, in our 30s, all have a common impression that our children should give up public school education. We are instead looking more into how to do homeschooling. Many churches are currently faithfully running church schools, because we don’t want to send these children to public schools to receive the wrong methods of education. The main purpose is to strengthen their faith.
In the future I may practically have to work and provide for my family, but even more important than that is my ministry to my family, and how to help them become true people of faith. In the future this area – education – is one of the most important things. The greatest need for the future of China is this issue of Christian education and how to educate the next generation. We have decided they should not go to a public school.
I think the influence of the family is more important than the influence of any church organization. You might go to church once a week…Only in the family setting can you truly understand your children’s needs.
I think the influence of the family is more important than the influence of any church organization. You might go to church once a week. Nowadays, many people have become “Sunday Christians.” There are many believers, but they are nominal. Only in the family setting can you truly understand your children’s needs, how they think, and whether they are indeed saved.
I serve in our church now; I go to the Sunday service, share, and I even preach every couple of months. I tell people to truly study the Word of God. Besides that, I want to devote more of my time outside of work to my family.
Pray for God to bless and direct young Chinese families seeking to raise their children to know and follow the Lord.