It’s that one or both of my kids will walk away from the Lord – that they will take the faith we’ve diligently tried to instil in them through the years and carelessly trade it in for what the world unashamedly sells on every street corner.
Trade life for death.
The book has been lying on my shelf for months, recommended to me by a dear lady who has successfully raised two passionate followers of Christ.
But I’ve been afraid to pick it up.
Afraid it will tell me that what I’m doing now with my children in these crucial foundational years, is a sure recipe for rebellion.
And sure enough … only a few pages in I read this:
|There’s something about a Christian environment that can actually set a child up to become a spiritually mediocre adult. Kids from Christian homes often grow up going to church only if it’s convenient. They serve others if it doesn’t put them out too much, they tip God with the left-overs of their money, and they remain mute about their beliefs. These homegrown Christians can go for months, even years, on end without deliberately studying their Bible. They never graduate from an elementary understanding of what they believe. They may be Christians for fifty years and still feel unprepared to lead a Bible study or explain to those around them the hope within them … There are some dynamics in today’s Christian contemporary movement that can increase a Christian kid’s inclination toward rebellion. ~ Dr. Tim Kimmel (Why Christian Kids Rebel)|
I can understand Dr. Kimmel’s point. Religion without relationship, rules without the why, performance without passion, and a home void of grace are sure ways to produce rebellious kids.
He had said it in his message on Sunday. “There are Christians who pretend. But their kids know. Just ask them.”
Yes – my kids know. They see the sin that runs wild in me when things get chaotic. They see the pleasant smile I paste on my face as we walk out the door.
Kids know the truth.
I don’t want to move through the checklist of Christian parenting, naively believing the guaranteed outcome is good, godly kids. Instead, I want to live a passionate relationship with Jesus Christ in front of them so they simply won’t want anything less.
I want them to understand that we don’t memorize Bible verses every morning at breakfast so we can fill our minds with facts, but know the truth that if we don’t, our minds will be a mess. Truth will become relative and we’ll fall into deception.
I want them to realize that we go to church on Sunday mornings, not because it’s what the Christian culture does, but it’s a response to what God has done in our lives through the week. We go to worship and serve and encourage other believers. We go because we couldn’t imagine being anywhere else.
I want them to know that we not only pray before meals and bedtime, but we pray anytime. Our knees hit the floor at the first wind of crisis, our hands are raised in gratitude at the first hint of blessing, and our eyes are closed in silent, eager expectation of what He is going to do.
Yes, my kids see the worst in me. But thankfully they also know the regret in eyes brimming with tears as I kneel before them and ask forgiveness. They catch their mama on her knees as the sun is touching the horizon, and they stumble upon their parents at the kitchen table with their Bibles wide open.
So I’ll continue to turn one page at a time and face my worst fears with knocking knees.
And I’ll continue (by God’s grace alone) to live out a faith, that although not perfect, is as real as the God I point them to. And pray like crazy!
This is how I choose to conquer one of my worst fears.