Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Lie No. 31: We Are Not Responsible For How Our Children Turn Out

So, it's been a while, but here's the last lie in the parenting chapter. DeMoss says in her book, "When children rebel, it seems that Satan often causes parents to swing from one [lie] to the other. They are either overwhelmed with shame or they escape into irresponsibility. Both lies are actually subtle distortions of the Truth and can leave parents with a sense of despair and hopelessness." p. 183

She goes on to give a few examples from Scripture, and I think the story of Lot is extremely relevant to our culture today:

"The story of Abraham's nephew, Lot, illustrates the influence of a parent's example and values. Lot opted for a lifestyle of ease, affluence, and popularity. His worldly values led him to move his family to a city characterized by arrogance, immorality, and perversion.... The New Testament tells us that Lot was a 'righteous man.' Lot did not personally participate in the outright wickedness of Sodom; in fact, he was 'tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard' (2 Peter 2:8). But though he was a believer, he did not guard his heart; he had an appetite for the things of this world. Lot tried to live with one foot in the kingdom of God and one foot in the world. By his example, he led his family into a love affair with the world." p. 184

This story could be rewritten today with a large majority of Christian parents' names inserted in place of Lot's. We have convinced ourselves that we can live in the world and not become part of it. The line between the world's values and God's values has become so gray that we can't even see it anymore. The idea of being set apart, of being salt and light, has all but disappeared. We read the Bible to our kids, but then we behave as if we don't really believe any of it ourselves. We tell them that beauty in God's eyes lies in the heart, but then we idolize the shallow, empty approval of whoever is behind those ridiculous fashion magazines as we desperately try to look like the model on the cover. We tell them that our treasure is in heaven, but then they see us drooling over the latest gadgets and trying to figure out how we can manipulate the budget so we can go buy them. We tell them that it's what we do to further God's eternal kingdom that measures success in life, but then we demonstrate to them by our own thirst for "success" that if they don't go to college, make money, climb the ladder, and live the "American dream," they have failed somehow to live up to their potential. Is it any wonder, then, that our children are doing as we do rather than as we say?

We need to get our own heads and hearts into the right line of thinking and then we need to pay attention to the words we're reading in Scripture, and begin truly living them out. This is not our home. We are aliens here, and we need to live like it. WE'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO FIT IN. We're supposed to be a little weird, maybe a lot weird. The world should be able to look at us and KNOW that we are Christians. Our children need to see that in us. They need to see that we are unashamed of the gospel, that we are proud to follow Christ and ALL that he commands. And we need to be praying for our kids. We need to remember that our battle is not "against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." (Ephesians 6:12) We need to be on our knees, FIGHTING for our children. You are in a real, honest to goodness, battle, and if you don't think so, you are playing right into the enemy's hands.

Give your children the foundation they need in order to stand firm in a world that wants nothing more than to see them get down in the mud with the rest of humanity. FIGHT FOR YOUR KIDS BECAUSE NO ONE ELSE WILL!

"Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ." 1 Corinthians 11:1

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