We had house guests recently, the kind that stay a few days, overnight even.
This always makes me nervous.
I worry about my cooking, if the bathrooms were clean enough…if there’s extra room around the table, you know how it is. It can be stressful for people like me (straightening the fringe of the rug at odd hours of the night-not really-but nearly).
This time (maybe because I was trying to impress?) I caught myself over-correcting my kids. Closely watching for bad attitudes, micro-managing their every move and expecting them to be perfect little Christian children.
By the end of the weekend, I was exhausted, not from the company or the extra work that goes with it, but from me. I was tired of me.
I was trying too hard to make my kids into what I thought they should be. They couldn’t let their hair down and just act as they normally do.
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’ve seen kids raised in Christian homes, sent to Christian camps, schools, surrounded by “Christian” things, only to go wild and delve into sinful activity when those restraints are lifted.
I’m not against any of these settings. I think they all have their place. But in every child’s life, at some point, there will be testing. And if they’ve only conformed to Christian practices and standards without being transformed by Christ, they will fail.
My greatest desire is for Jesus to be real to my kids. I want them to turn to Him, even before they come to me. I want them to know Him, to fellowship with Him, to touch the scars in His hands and tremble at His holiness.
And this won’t happen because I demand behavior that I deem “Christian.” I honestly think that making them conform to Christianity at every turn is harmful.
It’s my job to lead them to Him. But then I have to step back and let Him move in their hearts.
I’m raising my kids to be Christians.
He will turn them into disciples.
“Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
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