If your goal in parenting is to raise ‘good’ kids, then your bar is way too low. The world wants ‘good’ kids. As a Christian parent, what makes you any different? I had too many conversations as a youth pastor with parents of teenagers, where they would describe their goal in parenting: they wanted their kids to be ‘good’ kids. By ‘good’ kids, they meant that they wanted their teens to be well behaved, get good grades, get a college education, find a nice spouse, settle down and chase the American dream.
Is that really what we want for our kids? If our kids turn out like the rest of the world, have we really done our job as Christian parents? A third tension that parents face today is raising good kids vs. godly kids. Everyone wants to raise a good kid. For Christian parents, our bar is set much higher. We are to raise godly kids. There’s a subtle but unmistakable difference between the two: good kids are raised to be like the world, godly kids are raised to change the world.
This mindset becomes critical for parents, especially as you direct and manage your kid’s time. A few years ago I was at a church when a Sunday School teacher came up to me and told me that she wasn’t going to be able to teach Sunday School anymore. More than that, she said her family would be dropping out of church for awhile. Why? Because, in her own words, “My 6th grade daughter just made Select Soccer. It’s a traveling league with games on Sundays, and that’s our priority right now.” My heart broke, not because I’m a legalist or think church attendance is mandatory, but because the message that 6th grader was being raised with: church is important, as long as you don’t have anything else going on.
If you want to raise a godly kid, not just a ‘good’ kid, that will mean saying ‘no’ to a lot of ‘good’ opportunities. But remember, your goal is not to raise a kid that will just succeed in this world. Your goal is to raise a kid that will change it through the power of Christ.
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