Monday, February 25

The Gospel and Parenting

Has anyone else noticed the older one gets, the more care it takes, and more fear and trembling is involved in walking out day to day in one's faith?
upload She gets those #babyblues from her papa. Bookworm My Valentines. #bestfriends Grandpa and Addie.
I don't know if it is that my generation is taught to question authority more, or has been so abused/neglected by those in father/church positions that we are wide-eyed scared rabbits when it comes to things like standing against culture, trusting a heavenly Father, or submitting to anyone but ourselves.  I really don't know.
I do know I question everything and I think that's okay.  In fact, I'm sure it is.

"And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul's message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth. "Acts 17:11

It is good to question what we're taught but we're not called to question it in light of culture or politics or any branch of religion or our feelings. I'm sure we all have seen or experienced running to google to see what popular authors, media, speakers have to say to decide what we believe.  Our comparative must be the Word of God.  In a rapidly growing Christian culture that pegs the Bible as inspirational ancient stories or half made-up stories/half truth, or all stories except for the red letters, instead of the infallible Word of God this is not popular.   I'm writing about this because I've been thinking about its application in my parenting. 

We'd like to shoot the messengers for "stealing" the youth raised in church, whatever form those messenger takes (book, websites, peers, secular college, etc.) but I think more responsibility lies with parents.  Not that there is any special formula for pumping out Christians because faith doesn't abide by a formula by by the workings of the Holy Spirit.   In my parenting, these are some ways I'm trying to be purposeful. and mindful.

1)Teaching my children the history of the Bible as a document and proof of its contents as historical events.  If you're like me and weren't raised knowing the evidence and the historical ties, research it together.  I was raised viewing the Old Testament and New as completely separate; the Old Testament was angry stories of an angry God and the New Testament was when God decided to be nice. :)
John MacArthur has a great line, "Jesus quoted or referred to the Old Testament roughly 180 times – about 10% of everything recorded in the Gospels. He thought the Old Testament was error free. If there were errors and He knew about them, that would have been evil. If there were errors and He didn’t know about them, then He wasn’t God."

2)We do our children a disservice when we hold ourselves in higher esteem than our children instead of in a manner cognizant of our mutual need for Christ's atonement and grace.  Can I expect myself to be 100% obedient to Christ 100% off the time?  No. Way.  I'm thankful for his grace and admonition.  Neither is it realistic parenting if I expect my children to obey me the first time 100% of the time.  The goal for obedience for both them and I is in place but just as God doesn't hammer the law onto my shortcomings, I can't slam my kids with how they've failed to live up to the law.  Does this make sense?  Instead of yelling at my kids about how they've failed and how often they've failed, I want them to know we all fail, and that this points to our need for a Saviour because we can never attain the perfection/righteousness required.

3) Teaching our children to pass over mans flashy TBN-esque attempts to make the gospel attractive when what is really attractive is realness and character and not *things* at all but the gifts of the spirit at work in our lives, ala Titus 2.  A FB friend posted a recent article on why youth leave Christianity and it could be summed up to a distaste being put in their mouths with churches trying to mimic culture.
 
I'd love to hear your thoughts...
(As always, these are my personal views and may or may not reflect the church we attend and in which my husband serves as an elder.)

4 comments:

Missy said...

well put!

Googs said...

Your thoughts are wonderful. Thank you for them.

We study history. The words of the scriptures are historical documents, just like any other biographical or autobiographical work. So, we study them in line with the history that we learn. There is no difference. I try hard to not separate, in any way, the Lord from our life and that includes through study and learning.

I also agree with your view on making religion or church more wordly by introducing a bit of culture into our religion with the guise of "making it more appealing." I went to a youth event that had a "Survivor" theme. The youth knew more about Survivor and all things it involved than they did the scriptural teaching trying to be expressed. Very sad.

scarborough2 said...

You are "right on" in your thinking! I have just attended a presentation by www.answersingenesis.org and it is amazing how we have bowed to cultural change in our country!

scarborough2 said...

Continue to stand on the absolute truth of God's Word! I applaud your stand as a parent to educate your children the Biblical way! Check out www.answereingenesis.org