- Posted January 17, 2013 by
Kansas City, Missouri
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Why I Will Raise My Children with God
Notice I said “Will Raise My Children”. I do not have children yet. I’m not even married – or dating. Just your typical 22 year old college student on the verge of graduation.
But after reading a blog post earlier this week by TXBlue08 – and commenting well over 30 times! – about why she chooses to raise her children without God, I thought it’d only be fair to put up a Christian perspective on why, if I have children in the future, will choose to raise them with God. Afterall, if God has given us anything, it is the freedom to choose, think and make decisions for ourselves.
Understand that this post is coming strictly from my beliefs and what I believe the Bible teaches about the roles of a parent. Like I said, I’m not yet a parent, so I’ll probably have more to learn, but I am an aunt, a sister and an accountability partner to so many of my sisters in the faith. These are things each of us should be teaching each other in the body of Christ. Feel free to state your own opinions in the comments section.
1. It is my duty. Parents have a responsibility for raising their children and as a Christian parent you are to bring a child up in the way of the Lord with the hopes that they will not stray from it (Proverbs 22:6). Now this does not mean that I will force them to believe every piece of doctrine that a Christian can find or look at them with disdain if they ask questions concerning why we believe what we believe when they are old enough to comprehend. But as a Christian, the Bible commands to set the foundation. I’m fully aware that we are all free-thinkers and have free-will. We each have a choice. I will not raise my children to believe in God because “their parents forced them to” or because their parents dismissed the possibility of any alternative – whether believing another religion or dismissing the idea of religion together (atheism). They’ll know that there are many people with different beliefs and will be more than free to research each one for themselves. My parents didn’t make me believe in God. I grew up in the church, researched other religions (and the idea of no religion) and came to my own conclusion that the God of the Bible is true.
2. God is a loving parent and the perfect role model. If I was holy and created a being – a human – in my image in order to be in perfect fellowship with them for eternity, but they ruined that by falling into sin and disobeying my commands, here is something I don’t think I (being human) would do: I do not believe that I would have it in me to realize since I am the only being without sin – perfectly holy, I will send myself in human form, live a perfect life that my creation cannot live, die as the ultimate sacrifice for their sins, and rise from the dead proving that even death cannot hold down my holiness – all so I can get back to the perfect, flawless fellowship I intended to have with my creation. That is love – when someone who can crush you with just a thought still longs to be in fellowship with you and pay the price for your sins despite that fact that you, being His creation, deny who he is and, instead, try to use logic to disprove He is real. Regardless how much your own creation hates you, you still love them and would do anything for them! I can only pray that I am able to pour out even a fraction of that love onto my children.
3. God is not logical. Absolutely right! We cannot figure Him out. It brings me to the most humble state knowing that I can’t wrap my mind around who He is. I don’t want to raise self-righteous, “I know everything” type of children. The fact is, we don’t and we won’t figure it all out before we leave this earth. That’s where faith comes in. Sure, God has given us awesome tools like science, astrology, quantum physics, etc. to figure out some of which he created. The rest is rooted in faith. Sure, that is not logical, but you don’t need logic to prove or disprove faith. That’s why it’s faith! It’s the hope in the things NOT SEEN. And though I cannot not prove this faith, the results of my faith in God are far too tangible for me to believe in anything else. The results of my faith by no means can be explained through any logic.
4. God is fair, just and the only rightful judge. He is holy, we are not. End of discussion. I mean what else is there after that? You could get upset and say “Well, I’m a good person.” That’s great, but you’re still not holy. According to the Bible, ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). So no one is without sin. No one is perfectly innocent. No one is deserving of anything good – not even the gift of grace that God has given. But the great news is what I mentioned before. Despite that sin, He still died to pay the ultimate price for our sins, so that we won’t have to experience the consequences for sin for eternity – God poured that wrath on His son. Notice I said eternity. That does not mean since Christ died for our sins that we won’t feel pain and endure suffering now. We will. Turn on the news. Read a journal article. Talk to your neighbor. Everybody is experiencing some sort of pain as the result of sin entering the earth through Adam and Eve. However, that will not be for eternity if we have faith (in He who is not seen) that He did, indeed send His son to pay the price for that sin. If we have faith in God then we experience the real treasure – everlasting joy – in heaven. Earth is not heaven.
5. God does not teach children to be “good”. Because of sin, no one is going to be inherently “good”. As I stated before, we all have sinned – I sinned this morning on my way to work, because some folks drive not knowing how to use their blinker! What He does teach is dependence. If He is holy then there is nothing good outside of the goodness that He plants in us when we have faith in Him. Sure many of us will participate in many charities, social justice movements, Good Samaritan moments or whatever. But the bottom line is despite all of that, each of has fallen, is falling or will fall into some sort of non-good before this week is even over. We need Him! He is the ultimate standard of what is “good” and “moral”.
6. God does not teach narcissism. He teaches humility. But that humility can only come through the faith that (once again!), He came to earth to die for the sins of all humanity, reconciled us to the Father and rose again proving that death could not defeat His holiness. Through the relationship I have with God, thanks to Jesus paying that price, I am taught humility – not self-righteousness. I could not save myself from the consequences of sin, so Jesus did it for me? Wow. This is what I will teach my children. Christ, being equal with the father, did not consider that something to boast about, but rather, came to earth to act as a servant to humanity. A servant! If God teaches us anything it is how to be humble and have a servant’s heart towards everyone. Not just my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, but anyone who comments on this post, anyone I come across in the grocery store, in my classes, at work. Granted, I’m not always great at this (look at the example this morning), but I pray and have faith that God, who began a great work in me, will continue that work until I meet with Him in heaven (Philippians 1:6).
Mankind is going to fail us. That’s all a part of sin and all a part of our free-thinking, but this is earth, not heaven. Our reward is there, not here. So, no matter what may happen or how uncomfortable, ruthless, hateful this world may be, one thing that I will teach my children is that our ultimate reward is soon to come. “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see” (Hebrews 11:1).