We live life based on the Ideas that we have. Sometimes we pick up those ideas consciously and sometimes unconsciously. This week’s article will help us look at the #2 myth that intentional Christian parents believe. The following is an excerpt of page 20 from The Disciple-Making Parent.
Are You Believing this Myth?
Myth 2: The ultimate goal of my Christian life is to have my children follow the Lord. Some parents need the reminder of the beginning of this chapter, that they themselves are primarily responsible to disciple their children. However, at the other end of the spectrum are the parents who would do anything for the spiritual well-being of their children. They would sacrifice their own walk with God, their emotional health, and even their marriage for their children.
If their children turn out well, it spurs pride and boasting. If they turn out poorly, it becomes a source of shame.
When this happens we have moved from worshiping Jesus to worshiping our children. We have become child centered rather than gospel centered. Because we live in a fallen world, our parenting is clouded by our own idolatrous hearts. Often, we want our children to fulfill our dreams, or we want them to succeed so that we can feel good about ourselves.
Rather than looking to Christ for affirmation, we look to others. While having godly children is certainly a good desire, it can be turned into an ultimate desire and start controlling us. In that case, raising perfect Christian kids has become an idol. That leads us to our second truth.
Truth 2: You should not make an idol out of having perfect Christian children.
I love my four children more than life itself. But I cannot love them more than I love Jesus (Luke 14:26). I cannot love them more than I love my wife. I cannot find my identity in my children. My identity is in Christ only.
Moreover, I refuse to judge myself by my children. Too many parents, especially mothers, try to find their core identity in their children.
Like concentric circles, my first priority is to walk closely with the Lord himself. Then my spouse is my next priority. My children come after that, and then my church family and the world. As my children realize that I love Jesus more than them, they will realize their place in the order of the universe.
Our Lord said his kingdom is more important than the family (Matthew 11:35-37, 12:49, 19:29). Rather than curling in on ourselves, I will invite my children to join with me as I love and serve Jesus.
Having these priorities in order will keep a parent from neglecting his own walk with the Lord, a spouse from neglecting her husband, and a parent from neglecting the church. It will lead children out of their natural self-centeredness.
It will keep us from child-centered families and child-centered youth groups. It will allow us to release the results to God. And it will allow parents to have a confident alertness toward their children not a fearful smothering of them.
May the Lord help us make him, not our children, the bull’s eye of our Christian walk.