Alright parents, time to take a break. Let’s all step back from our parenting perches for just a minute and take five. Big breath, in… hold…let it out. Okay. What’s the big picture look like for you…? What’s the point of parenthood anyway, is it creating kids who dress, talk and act like we do?… No way.
What is it we really want for our kids ?
It’s a fair question. Is the goal to create another “mini-me”, to re-brand our Christianity into a franchise of superficial behaviors and outward compliance? Or… is it to shape, build and prepare our young adults to enter life confidently, settled, secure.
To help them discover and follow their unique God-given value, identity and purpose? That’s as great goal in my mind. If that’s your goal, if its your desire to really engage your kids, really empower them to follow your faith and values and principles… won’t those just become natural concepts for them to gradually understand, appreciate and eventually pick up for themselves, if they see it at home?The bible seems to say so…
Proverbs 22:6 in The Message translation says this…6 “Point your kids in the right direction—
when they’re old they won’t be lost.” (biblegateway.com)
I mean is it possible, we’re holding onto the proverbial parenting reins just a bit too tightly? Really pulling back in fear or anger on the leads, twisting and holding on for dear life, trying to direct our kids into the next tight corner that life is throwing at them… desperate to keep them on the road and out of a ditch…, careful to keep them from the path of pain and turmoil and confusion and loss. If your honest, you’ll recognize that there are days, even weeks or months when we do. I do. My wife does and I’m confident if you really consider it…we all do.
Here’s the truth… living out your faith isn’t just a church thing, it isn’t just a devotional on sunday thing…it’s not just praying before meals or avoiding the use of bad language without fail. NO! It’s got to be more about our hearts and theirs. If our hearts are regularly lingering in the presence of God, our lives will be ridiculously difficult to ignore. I mean, we’ll have a huge surplus of “Life” in us, hungry to learn, to explore to discover! We’ll have a greater capacity to “Love” and be loved, to be compassionate and patient… and we’ll re-discover our dulled sense of “Humor” ! (well that’s not exactly in the bible…but I believe it’s true 🙂 – especially if you substitute a genuine sense of humor with the established biblical concept of “Joy”)
If we as parents were to really “Live, Love and Laugh” through our lives with our kids, the principles and beliefs we claim to have will start to be their own… and we’ll actually enjoy being a family together. Our lives will be like a prime time “commercial” for the Kingdom of God.(side-note: I don’t mean to imply… a perfectly photo shopped, not a care in the world, always euphoric dinner commercial, but an honest -“reality”of life commercial with a setting of genuine faith,hope and purpose) People around us will want to “know” what we believe and how we can be so content with the lives we live.
The conversations will be natural, unprompted, un-characteristically simple and sincere… and they will be potent with the authentic power of genuine faith. Faith that believes what the bible says, faith that holds onto the promises of God to guide, and provide and protect us through life. It’s better than what Allstate guarantees, more comprehensive than State Farm’s coverage and it will satisfy way more than a Snickers, it’s the faithfulness of God…and it’s priceless.
I think in the end… our kids will “buy” that.
Peace out RTP friends,