7 Dec 2009

I think I might be guilty

I want my kids to have Christ-like character traits. I want them to be Christians. But sometimes, I am conforming them to Christianity, rather than letting Christianity transform them.

I read this over at Kristen's blog, We Are THAT Family, over the weekend, and it rather has me thinking that maybe I might be guilty of this too.

It is our role as parents to train our children both for this life and for the one that is to come, but we do it for the sake of their souls; not for the comfort of other people. I think I somehow lose sight of that.

Have a look at Kristen's post and then tell me what you think. Are you guilty of conforming your kids as well? I'd be really interested in your opinions on this one...I persecuted my poor husband with my thoughts about it all of yesterday.


  1. thanks for that link, Jeanne and your encouraging comment.

    sometimes I think we put undo pressure on ourselves to conform our children to a specific christian or church culture, yes. sometimes that pressure is external as well, which is very sad. thank God that he is bigger than all of us and can do amazing things despite our sinful selves. He is always faithful. Always always. Even when we make mistakes. That we even consider these things is evidence, I think, that we are at least trying our best to be faithful to him show his ways to our children. I dunno.


  2. Just as each child has an individual learning style so too is each child called individually to follow Christ.

    I know when our non~denom church fell apart & we began church hunting that I quickly realised meeting my needs for fellowship would not meet Dearest's & his would not meet Liddy's & her's would not be the same as Ditz's. I chose to meet the girl's needs first because I am old enough to adjust to anything that is not a salvation issue.

    We chose a Baptist church with a strong emphasis on missons & excellent preaching. I rarely attend any more but both girls go to the evening service. Both also attend our home church in the morning. I remind myself often to listen to how God has called my children, which is very different to how he has called me. Ditz & Liddy couldn't be more different & when Liddy goes we'll have to rethink how we best meet Ditz's needs for Christian fellowship that will help her grow & strengthen her faith.

    I think I've rambled ~ again. I've really struggled with how best to deal with this one.

  3. Too much thinking for me!! You know I am now an old lady!! Anyway, this is certainly thought provoking and I'll have to chew on it awhile. HMmmmm, I certainly know I am guilty ofit but what to do???

  4. Well, I'm still way behind most of your readers as I only have one at the moment and she is 5. However, I read a great book called "Shepherding your child's heart" a couple of years ago and it gave me some great tips - that as a parent I need to point Rebekah to Christ - help her understand her need for a Saviour. That's something I've tried to follow esp over the last year or so when certain character issues have started popping up:)
    I grew up with an outward pressure to please which is so wrong and have let God correct me and heal me of that (it's still a work in progress) and I don't want her to fall into that trap. We only need to please God!
    Having said that, seeing that we're going to stay with in-laws soon for a length of time, I've had to work on her please and thankyous more than ever so that she will be seen to have good manners esp with nana and grandpa! So, there, I think I'm guilty:)

  5. Jeanne, as usual an excellent food for thought post!

    Yes, I have been guilty of this myself. When we have people staying with us, I "jump" on our chidren for the least little thing. Perhaps it should be Jesus that convicts them, not me???

    Thank you for sharing.

  6. I'm certainly guilty of this at times. Thank God that as Jeanamarie said that He is always, always faithful even when we make mistakes. Recently we were at a get-to-gether with some people, most of whom I didn't know or who I didn't know very well and my little one had a pretty major meltdown. I was more embrassed for myself than empathic for the fear my little one was feeling that caused his meltdown. Classic example ......even if people were judging me for what happen as per my embrassment.

    I think though that this training and influence changes as your children grow. When they are little it is all about training and teaching and building trusting relationships so that these are in place when they begin to frame their belief and practises for themselves and their own relationship with their Lord. If you can discuss something and then let them make a discision that is different from the one you would make and give them room to do so then you may be gettting there. But one can only do this when they are old enough to make those discisions anyway so the training has to be in place.

    Do you think this might be a bit contrary with your quote from, 'Ryle on discipling'? IMhO it was all good until the end when he said, "I do believe none of your would dare meet 'me' before Christ's tribunal in an unregenerate state" I hope that my children will pursue Him because of who He is and what He has done for them and the relationship they have with Him. Not because of who I am, have done or the relationship I have with them even those these are important in their training and hopefully life. Does that make sense?

  7. Love the blog post! The terminology is a little different to what I would use but the concept is the same.

    Believe it or not but we cop a bit of flack from fellow Christians...we don't want our children to be 'churchified'. Yeah maybe a little weird for two people who have both been in ministry, but actually that is the reason that we are now not churchified.

    To behave like a Christian, to do Christian things, to be a good person, to behave like a church go-er are not things that we speak to our children about! They are all external things- not matters of the heart. Any fruit we display should be an overflowing of the heart, and if Jesus is Lord of our life then He *will* overflow. So if that is the starting point then why bother starting with the outward when training our [especially our older] children?

    My 18yodd has greater influence with unsaved people than what I ever did at the same age- but I was in the church and being churchified...not building real relationships with the unsaved. Oh I have much to learn from my own daughter...about relating to the unsaved and about being a drawcard to them. In her they don't seem to see her goodness, but they are seeing Christ...which is The Point!

    My children would probably not know how to do many of the actions at church. I know they'd look at me for direction. But they know Christ and His redeeming grace that saves us and transforms us...and that's more important.

  8. yep. been there, been that. thanks for the reminder. I am constantly battling with this. Being in ministry (or even if we weren't for that matter), it is important that our family honor Christ, yet NOT just on the outside. It is important that Christ be the heart remodeler (in all of us, not just the kids), not us implementing behavior modification techniques. This requires a delicate balance.


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