One (More) Guideline To Keep In Mind When Preparing Your Kids To Stand Firm In Truth
In a previous parenting tip article, we covered a lot of ground!
But there’s one more thing that’s really, really important--one that is easy to overlook and miss, especially in today’s fast paced and busy suburban environment.
It is something that we tend to underestimate: consistent church attendance.
This is something that you might dismiss, but it is a “small” thing that communicates a big message, especially when a potential conflict looms.
“But I already go to church!” You say. Great! Here’s the thing though: make it a weekly priority, and don’t let anything get in the way.
“But I already….”
Most of us say this, but when junior’s soccer game is on a Sunday morning, do you skip the game or skip church?
Most of us say this, but when your family--or just you!--have had a late night previously, do you sleep in?
Most of us say this, but when your kid has that gnarly AP History test the next day, do you let him skip church so he can study?
A good number of us Christians *say* church is a priority, but when push comes to shove, what we *do* is another matter--the suburban hustle easily overshadows worshipping the Lord on the Lord’s Day with the Lord’s people.
“But the church isn’t a building..it’s the people. I worship God the whole rest of the week.”
That’s great! But if things like the sports games and this and that take priority instead of church attendance sometimes, consider the message that is sending to your kids: that when sacrifice is called for, the real priority is the suburban life with its varied busy-bee events, not the Christian life in community. You are teaching them by example that God is less important than those other things.
Is that the message you want to send?
So, if you want to prepare your kids to stand firm in the Truth, make Truth a priority, even when it hurts…especially when it hurts. Church must come before Sunday morning sports, before test scores, before lots of things that you’ll be tempted to put in front.
Here as with so many other things, how you actually spend your time says more about your priorities than what you say.
Do not look at the institutional church in consumerist terms. Embed your faith in actual practices, one of which is weekly corporate worship, and stick to them.
Get up and go to church on Sunday. When the sports leagues conflict, choose church, or choose a sport that doesn’t conflict.
If you are not faithful in the “little” things, how can you expect to be faithful when the chips are down? How can you expect the same from your kids when it’s big if you don’t when it’s small (and church isn’t small! We just think it is)?
Author Rod Dreher puts it very starkly:
“We American church people like to tell ourselves that if the secret policemen were to show up at our door to arrest us for being Christians, that we would bravely go to our fate, as the martyrs and confessors of the past did. What crap. Many of us won’t even say no to soccer on Sunday morning. If the secret police in some distant dystopia were to come to our door and ask if we are Christian, we will already have answered that question many times in the past, by the quotidian choices we will have made.”
Your kids need to see it cost something, even (especially) in the little things that middle class life tempts us to minimize. If it doesn’t, don’t be surprised if they later conclude it is not worth standing for at all.
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