Pointing My Kids To Jesus?
November 6, 2008, 10:48 pm
Filed under: family, parenting
Isaiah And Lydia at the park   Isaiah And Lydia at the park

 

So, since the weather has been incredible these past few days, we took Isaiah and Lydia to a park near our house so that they could run around at the playground.  One of the first things that happened was that another little boy, a little bit bigger than Lydia but probably around her age, came up to Lydia and just pushed her in the face and knocked her down.  So, I go over to pick up and console Lydia (who is on the ground crying), but while I’m doing that, the little kid then goes after Isaiah.  So now, I’m carrying Lydia while trying to keep this little kid off of Isaiah, who is now looking at me very confused.  I couldn’t spank or yell at the kid, so I just restrained him until his father came over to reprimand him.  I kind of laughed it off and just went back to playing.

Later that night, I was reading a Christian parenting book called Shepherding A Child’s Heart, and I came across the following :

Parents sometimes give children a keepable standard.  Parents think that if their children aren’t Christians, they can’t obey God from the heart anyway.  For example, the Bible says to do good to those who mistreat you.  But when children are bullied in the schoolyard, parents tell them to ignore the bully.  Or worse, parents tell them to hit others when they are hit first.

This non-biblical counsel drives children away from the cross.  It doesn’t take grace from God to ignore the oppressor.  It doesn’t take supernatural grace to stand up for your rights.  To do good to oppressors, however, to pray for those who mistreat you, to entrust yourself to the just Judge, requires a child to come face-to-face with the poverty of his own spirit and his need of the transforming power of the gospel.

The law of God is not easy for natural man.  Its standard is high and cannot be achieved apart from God’s supernatural grace.  God’s law teaches us our need of grace.  When you fail to hold out God’s standard, you rob your children of the mercy of the gospel.

After reading that, I was really challenged : if and when my children experience conflict or even bullying at school when they get older, how will I teach them to respond?  Will I teach them to love their enemies, as Christ commands us to do, and even as Christ has exemplified for us in his life by dying not for his friends but for us, who in our sin were his enemies?  Will I be able to instruct them at the level of the heart?  Or will I just teach them ways to “get by” that basically avoid the way of Christ and avoid confronting the cross and avoid the need for God?  I know it’s not wrong to want to protect my children, but will I be unwisely protective, to the point where I am protecting them from the gospel?  It’s easy to think about what “should be” right now while they are really young and can’t understand a whole lot…But God give me grace to love my kids by helping them to see Jesus…

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