29 Oct Protecting our children (and ourselves)

Parenting humbles me. 

There, I admitted it.

Despite all the classes I’ve taken about children, and notwithstanding the extra effort I’ve made in becoming a better dad, I…

Still.

Fall.

Short.

But be that as it may,

By God’s grace I keep trying.  And, just like you, I always will.  Thankfully, whenever I start to “get off track,” the Lord lovingly points me in the right direction.

For example, at the recent ACSI conference, Christ lovingly challenged me via Sean McDowell’s presentation.  I was astonished as McDowell shared that…

According to the respected Barna Research Group, professing Christians, in general, act no statistically more pure and holy than non-believers.  Thankfully, among evangelicals, there is one subset that leads markedly more Christ-honoring lives:

Those folks whose families don’t compartmentalize their faith into Sunday mornings and once-a-week Bible studies… people who purpose to filter their daily decisions through a Christian Worldview.  To make this happen,

McDowell wisely suggested basing a chunk of our day-to-day interactions on a key truth from God’s word—Deuteronomy 6:6-9 (MSG):

Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates.

As I processed that information, I realized that I have not been bringing Christ into very many moments that I share with my own family.  Thankfully, our King provided the enthusiasm for me to break this pattern.  How so?

1) Recently, after my sons and I watched an interview with Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, I asked them to talk about ways that Wilson honors the Lord.  One thing we identified is Wilson’s humble faith.

2) On a Sunday afternoon I gently questioned my middle school daughter about how the true spiritual realm—and the fairy tales presented in one of her new favorite shows—are alike and different.  With a little borrowed wisdom from the faith-focused “Plugged In” website (side note: great for checking the appropriateness of songs, movies, television shows, and video games),

We agreed that there is evil in the world, and that darkness continues to battle against Light and Truth.  Thank God we know Who wins in the end.

3) While my youngest and I watched a YouTube cartoon about Jesus’ life, I was able to question preschooler Sarah, “Why did Peter start to sink in the waves?”  Her answer?  “He got sked [scared]!”

4) And one night I asked Abby what she thought of a TV actress’ immodest choice in attire by inquiring “What kind of attention would she get from men?” and, “How would that be a problem?”

I wanted to gently reinforce the idea, before my precious tween (far in the future) begins to date, that some men act loving in order to pursue physical intimacy, and some women flaunt their figures to try and find “love.”  What I didn’t find the heart or courage to say—not yet, anyway—is that I desperately pray she’ll never be one of them.

With conversations like this, I have great Hope that she, and each of my sons and daughters, will be part of the increasingly smaller portion of society that honors God with their daily lives.

Yes, there’s still a lot of work to be done in my parenting.  And, sure, it’s going to be a challenge to remember to keep imbuing my children’s everyday lives with God’s wisdom.   But you know what?  It’ll be worth it.

For all of our kids.