I can just hear you now… “aren’t you a Pastor or something?”
Yes, I am a Pastor. Yes I am married to a Pastor. But despite that, I am not going to raise my kids to go to church. Let me explain to you why…
I was having a serious conversation with a dear friend a few months ago and the story they shared with me has caused me to sit and think over this topic daily. Let’s call my friend, Leslie… just for fun.
This is what Leslie told me, “I am struggling with being the one I am supposed to be for my family and my job. The more I have thought about it the more I have realized that my parents didn’t raise me to be a strong follower of Christ, they raised me to go to Church.” Leslie continued to share with me that both her parents held leadership roles in the church, her siblings all were active in church growing up & just about anyone in the congregation would tell you that this family was healthy and thriving. Leslie says, “I would have told you we were healthy and thriving until I got married and saw some bad habits. It was easy to be committed to attending church on Sundays and volunteer at a high capacity when needed but then it was just as easy to live for self-fulfillment the rest of the week.”
Leslie’s says her parents didn’t teach their children the priority of daily devotionals, discipline, or constant commitment to the Lord. She knows her parents love Jesus and volunteering in the church, she loves her parents so much… she just wishes they would have taught her disciplines that would help her succeed as an adult. Watching this incredible person struggle with some daily disciplines due to how she was raised has taught me so much about the mother I will be.
My husband, Kyle, and I read a Children’s Bible to our son, Paxton, and pray before bed. Even though Pax (just one) has no idea what we are doing, we know we are developing a discipline that we pray will last through his life. God has entrusted him to us and we have committed to do our very best to prepare him for life as an adult, today and every day we have him in our home. Kyle and I are creating an environment in our home where it is safe to talk about struggles and hardships. We will listen to what our children have say and process hard things with them. We will ask them questions to help understand who they are. Kyle and I are committed to raising our son to be a follower of Jesus for the rest of his life. We want our children committed to church because they love Jesus not because it’s something you have to do to be a good enough person. However, don’t hear us wrong, we prioritize the habit of going to church weekly in our home.
Kyle and I are teaching Paxton how to express what he is feeling and experiencing. When Paxton throws a fit because he can’t reach something, we explain to him that he is frustrated since he can’t reach rather than just getting it for him. When Paxton wants something that isn’t good for him, we explain to him that he can’t have it because its not good for him. We know that our son is just one and he might not understand all of what we are saying. Our goal is to teach our son to understand what he is feeling so he can know how to express that to other people one day.
We are focusing on raising our son to be the church, not to just go to church.
We are committed to pray daily for the relationship my son (and future children) will have with God.
I invite you to do the same for your children.
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