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Christian Union
September 9, 2019
Justin Woyak
Ministry Fellow
Christian Union Caritas


As a novice parent trying to figure out how to raise three young children (and making many more mistakes than I thought I would!), I often find myself saying inside my head, “What matters most in my relationship with my kids is that I love them, and that they know it.” Until recently, I found myself focusing on that first element: that I love my kids. After all, that’s the element in my control, right?

But as my children grow and parenting gets more complex, I find myself focusing more and more on that second element: that my kids know I love them. While love that is not known and welcomed as love is nevertheless good, it could be better. A young fruit tree is good; but a fully grown and healthy fruit tree is better still, for it produces more and sweeter fruit! Likewise, any action of love is good and beautiful regardless of whether it reaches its full aim; but we ought not ignore the fact that the full aim of love is to be known, welcomed, and enjoyed by the recipients that love.

I think this is the burden of Paul’s heart when he prays for the Ephesians:

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:14–19 ESV)

Paul doesn’t simply thank God that he loves us and stop there. He knows that God’s love for the Ephesians will reach its full aim—it’s full ripeness and sweetness—when the Ephesians have their capacity to understand and enjoy the breadth and length and height and depth of God’s love. God’s love is so great that the Ephesians are not yet equal to the task! They need more strength in order to get to the next level of knowing and enjoying God’s love. So that’s what Paul prays for. Click to Tweet  
Please join us in praying the same for Christians at Stanford and at all the universities where Christian Union operates: that God would give them the kind of strength they need to reach a new level of understanding and enjoying God’s incredible love for and acceptance of us in Christ. And please pray that more and more students, faculty, and staff would, for the first time, come to understand and enjoy this love. Who knows what could happen on these campuses and through these students were they strengthened for such incredible and fulfilling knowledge—knowledge of the love of God!

Justin.W2018Justin Woyak is a Christian Union Caritas ministry fellow serving students at Stanford. 

Justin grew up in Pensacola, Florida, where he came to know Christ at age eleven. In 2009, he graduated from Princeton magna cum laude with a degree in Classics. While at Princeton he served as Christian Union's student president and then as a ministry intern for a year. In 2014, he earned a masters of divinity from Bethlehem College & Seminary in Minneapolis, where he also taught college students as an instructor in Bible and theology until 2016.

Before serving as a Christian Union ministry fellow, Justin was the digital content editor for Christian Union Day and Night. He is blessed with a wonderful wife, Kate, and their two young daughters, Keira and Joy. Justin enjoys tennis and golf, J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, Settlers of Catan, good food and root beer, time with friends and family—and seeking God!
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