It has been quite awhile since I last wrote! The fall has been quite the whirlwind, all positive but very busy. This post has been on my heart and mind for sometime. It steams from two different situations…
First Situation – A daughter of a close friends of ours gave her life to Jesus at a young age. Although they were happy about her decision they were also worried. They were worried that she had made the decision too early and had hoped she would have waited until she was a bit older.
Second Situation – A friend on Facebook liked a picture that read (or something to this effect as I can no longer find it) ” Religious indoctrination of children should cease as of today. Allow their minds to be free to learn without bias.”
These situations came to shock me in some way; how could a parent not be overjoyed with their children choosing to give their life to Jesus, and how someone thinks Christians indoctrinate their children to the point that they don’t have any opinions/thoughts for themselves.
I take my responsibility as a parent very seriously and these situations made me think more into how I would like to raise Callum. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the first time I’ve thought of this but these situations made me stop and think a bit.
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.
“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.Deuteronomy 6:4-9
I think these verses clearly state what God would like us to do with our children. He wants us to teach them about loving Him with every part of our being, in everything we do. I think the key word being diligent; it is something that every day as a parent I must work on. It must be shown to them in everything I do. That is an overwhelming task but at the same time, I know that Christ will help me do it. It is through simple things; reading to Callum from his children Bible, praying before meals, having Christian music playing throughout the day or during car rides, and the way I interact with him and others on a daily basis (to name a few simple examples). Our friends with the young daughter do this in their home and this is most likely why she has come to faith at such an early age. They taught her about God in a diligent matter and I know they will continue to do so in hopes that she continues to grow in her relationship with Christ. So even though there is some concern about the age in which she became a Christian I know she is in a great family that will feed her faith.
It can be so challenging to know how to speak into children’s live, or at least I have that problem. How do you develope age appropriate, teaching but engaging activities? Mark and I have been watching a series “It start at home” by Matt Chandler that give simple fun family activities to teach children about Christ. I would encourage you to look at some of these activities if you don’t know where to start.
That’s all fine and dandy until my second situation came up. I was really angered by the picture on Facebook but after some time cooling off I came to understand where they might be coming from. To be completely honest, that is one thing I am truly afraid of. I don’t want to “make” Callum a Christian. I want it to be something HE decides for himself. A decision that HE makes, without any pressure from his family, friends and any other influences in his life. I will gladly teach him why I am a Christian, why I value my relationship with Christ, teach him about Christ and why I would be overjoyed if he made the decision to be a Christ follower like his parents. I have seen children and peers who have been pressured or “pointed” into becoming “Christians” and later on in life denounce the faith. That is the last thing I want for my son.
I want my house to be safe, where discussions are held, where different opinions are respected, and where discovery is allowed. I want Callum to ask hard questions, and to wrestle with the things in Christianity that do not make sense. I pray that he will be able to make that decision to be a Christ follower but then stand firm in that decision until the end. Some may feel this is indoctrination but I would like to politely disagree. My son will be allowed to think differently than myself (regardless if it breaks my heart).
So as I continue on this journey of parenthood, I pray that God will continue to guide Mark and I into raising a Godly son. I pray that we have the courage to raise him in this manner no matter what the world tells us.
Jude 1: 20-21But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.