Thursday, December 17, 2009

Who Wants Pancakes?

So how’d you do this last Sunday?

I know, I know. It was a big hurdle of mine for some time, but I eventually got over it when I allowed my faith to grow a bit and realize the absurdity of my objection.

Do I really believe that the spiritual fate of my children rests in the hands of their Sunday School teacher?

You would think so if you saw how I wrestled with the question, “What about the kids?” when it came to the consideration of leaving the Church As We Know It. What would the kids think if you stopped going on Sunday?

Maybe they would think the same as you.

Would they enjoy being home as a family together, getting to make a big breakfast that you normally would never have time to do because you are rushing everyone to get dressed and get in the van so you can get to church and color?

Believe it or not, your kids get more definition from you about God, faith and the meaning of life than any other source of input. Yes, more than friends, MTV or the Internet. That doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy, or that they may put up a fight against you, but hold your ground and don’t yield your role as parent in the equation.

Taking your kids to Sunday School or Youth Group is fine and dandy and certainly there can be positive influence there, but these two things are way down on the list of importance when it comes to the key source of impact.

Kids pick up more than you know, and certainly more than you want them to. Once while driving I was listening to the Christian porn station with my very young daughter buckled in her car seat in the back. She asked, “Daddy, do we have to listen to the angry man again?” She discerned more about the message than I could have ever imagined. Yes, we switched stations and turned on music, and no, I don’t subject her to the angry man again.

You might need to give your kids more credit. In their innocence, they are capable of detecting righteousness without pretense that you as an adult have learned to express gracefully. Do they see Mommy and Daddy putting on a face for church that they don’t see any other time during the week? If so, this should terrify you more than the thought of not going on Sunday.

Your kids are little people. They are not extensions of you. They have minds of their own and will eventually make their own decisions apart from you. Are you reinforcing a sense of insecurity in them because of your own fears about what is required for faith? And when they get older, will they understand what freedom and liberty looks like because of you, or in spite of you?

It is for freedom that we were set free.


Barb said...

Kevin, I simply love this series. When you finish it, please put it on your sidebar and I'll direct those that read my blog to it as a whole.

Spirit Flower said...

Have you considered how not doing Christmas might fit into your philosophy?