A friend of mine sent me an article published by an organization called Restore Ministry. It describes itself as “Offering hope to men, women and children in need of relational and spiritual restoration.” Now, I don’t have the time to vouch for anything on the website, but I did find the article sent to me fascinating: “How to Raise a Pagan Kid in a Christian Home.”
Do you teach your kids “be good because the Bible tells you to” or do you teach your kids that they will never be good without Christ’s offer of grace? There is a huge difference. One leads to moralism; the other leads to brokenness. One leads to self-righteousness; the other leads to a life that realizes that Christ is everything and that nothing else matters.
I want my kids to be good. We all do. But as our kids grow up, the truth of the gospel can easily get lost somewhere between salvation (where we know we need Jesus) and living life (where we tend to say “I’ve got this”). My experience is that the vast majority of parents are encouraging moral behavior in their kids so that God will bless their (usually self-centered) pursuits. It’s the American Dream plus Jesus. And it produces good, moral pagans.
A definitely fascinating perspective, that certainly has some traction in my mind. How often do we, in one form or another, hear a homily that goes something like, “Be nice to each other”?