Monday, February 3, 2014

Am I Raising Pagans?

My mom sent me this excellent article regarding raising pagan children.... without even knowing it.  It really resonated with me and has sat on my heart, lingered in my mind, and pinched the tip of my tongue since I read it.  I've had it all wrong since becoming a mother and am hell bent.... excuse my language.... on fixing it....NOW.  I have encouraged, pleaded, and made my children obey and make good choices "because the Bible says to" and "because it makes Jesus happy" and "because that's what you do if you are a Christian."  Eeeeek..... do those motivations keep me turning to Christ?  No, unfortunately they might even frighten me.  I would dare to say I am embarrassed by the Christians who beg our society to "behave" for those same reasons.

 But I'll tell you what motivates me- Christ's love and grace.  That I am never going to be "good" without Him.  I know that I wake up and need Him, crave Him- or else I will have a loss of a day.  I want my kids to know that kind of love and dependence and they learn it from yours truly.   I have to model this daily. I have to model asking for forgiveness and grace and mercy in front of my girls. {Talk about being broken.... in front of an audience}  I have to model welcoming the Spirit into my heart to guide me and equip me with those wonderful fruits to be able to be Christ-like in a pagan world.  I want my kids to grow up and be an example of Christ's love and joy to others that they meet rather than a recording of Biblical laws and rules.

So I asked myself the real question- what can I do to provide opportunities to be joyful and loving rather than having a fire and brimstone sort of life? I can be joyful when we bake together.....and half the flour is spilled all over the table and our birthday cookies turn to crisp.  I can allow them to love on each other and help each other.... even when it takes so much longer than me helping.  I can provide opportunity encourage friends, teachers, and ministers through cards and hugs.  I can show them how we clean out our gently used items for fire victims in our community.... even when this is a taxing project with miniture pack rats who throw fits to see their hardly ever used things given away.  I can let them be the light and smiles with elderly, even their great grandparents.  And I can give them the reason why..... not because the Bible says so..... but because that is how He loves us.  And the most promising part, when we miss an opportunity to be joyful and loving Christ's grace is enough to wipe that slate clean and try again. 

It's my goal, my heart's most strongest desire to never again use the Bible or my own Jesus as a scare tactic to motivate obedience from my girls.  But rather teach them that our only need is for His love and grace, because without Him we can never be "good."

5 comments:

  1. One of my favorite posts yet. Love you!

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  2. I read the same article...and have been convicted in similar ways. I fear I have spent way too much time controlling behavior and far too little time helping my boys fall in love with Jesus. gulp. Thank God that He is full or mercy...even for mommies.

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  3. I read the article a few week ago as well and I did enjoy it and thought it some very valid points. But I don't really like how it makes light of Word of God like it is useless in our day to day walk and how it can't motivate us toward obedience. I know that Christ is enough and there is nothing in me worthy of HIS love and grace. He took upon death for ME and it is a such a unfathomable, beautiful, mystery. But now he calls me towards obedience, toward a life rich in abundance as I walk toward holiness because of what HE did. All of because of HIS work on the cross. He can use His word to refine and refuel me, to mold me, to transform me.

    I guess that is what is confusing to me. God says His word is "living and active" that it is "God breathed" and I believe the whole Bible from beginning to end points us to Christ. I want my kids to know the word of God and to hear it daily and to write in on their hearts because I want them to know their maker. That HE loves them SO much. The Bible most certainly has convicted me and lead me toward repentance and into obedience.

    I think it is also confusing on what and how to parent our children before they know God as King Savior? Do I not raise my younger children to know the word? Do I not teach them to obey me because I actually have their best interest at heart? Do I expose them to the truth and the words of scripture even though they might not grasp it in its entirety yet?

    Don't get me wrong, I get the point of the article. I don't want to raise pagans either! I want my kids to be madly in love with their maker, I just think the Bible is so vitally important in knowing Him and learning what it means to walk with Him.

    OH my goodness, I will stop rambling! So glad you are still blogging, miss you on fb. How has that been by the way?

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    1. I was just assuming that everyone knew I still will be learning scripture with my children. I didn't mean to imply (or didn't read the article in that way) that I would abandon Bible teaching. I totally agree with you and I think teaching scripture is so super important!! I think the article convicted me because I forget to model Christ's love, grace, mercy, etc way too often. Without that I am afraid my kids will forget to fall in love with Jesus and let Him be their motivation to love others. They will be too into the rules rather the relationship.

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    2. I totally understand that! I want to make sure my kids are falling in love with Jesus and are not just following some checklist because they think that is what I want!

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Thanks for your encouragement as I travel through this season of life called mommyhood!