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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Saddled With Burdens Too Heavy To Bear

Why are there those who burden parents with the idea that if they do not do everything in a certain way, their children will be doomed?  The way is usaually the way the Author of the book, or the speaker of the conference tell you you should raise your children.

"You must use this method!" "You must use these steps!"  and..... when you look into scripture, it isn't there.

RUN! From these kinds of teachings!  FLEE into truth!  These "Law Driven" teachers who insist you must Punish for every simple infraction, and then punish if the child doesn't respond to your liking about being punished are just plain DANGEROUS!
If you read a book that says if you follow their method and your kids will  follow God, throw it out!

Scripture says in Matthew that the pharisees placed heavy burdens on the people and did nothing to help them.  He said that the Pharisees shut the kingdom of heaven in people's faces .... "You neither enter yourselves, nor allow those who would enter to go in. Woe to you hypocrites! For you travel arcoss sea and land to make a single proselyte and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as you. You blind guides!....... Woe to you, you are like whitewashed tombs which outwardly "appear" beautiful, but inside you are full of dead mens bones and all uncleanness.
(This is in Matthew 23)

Why do I mention this in a post on parenting?  Because there are those who saddle burdens on people telling them that their children's salvation is up to THEM!  That is a lie from the pit!

Now, I am not saying, to let your children run amock and not to teach them or correct them.  Of course we are to teach truth to our children. But the burden of their salvation is not one for me to bear.  The Holy Spirit is the one who draws, not me.   I can lead by example, with humility and meekness, showing my kids that even good words can come out of a donkey.  :)  I can lead them and teach them, but the ultimate response is theirs and between them and God.

The very best way, I find in teaching the gospel to my children, is by living it.  God has forgiven me, and I forgive them.  God Loves Me, and I love them.  God is patient and kind and long suffering with me, and I in turn am to be patient and kind and long suffering with them.  All the while, teaching them treasures of the Gospel truth.

It makes no sense to hold them to law, punishing for each infraction, or for their inherent imperfections,  when I myself hold to grace and mercy for my own imperfections.   As I have said before.... "Why do we insist on grace and mercy for ourselves, yet hold to LAW for our children?"  How does this teach the gospel to them?
To be clear, Jesus did not take away from the law.  We do believe that the Law is good. It is a tutor. It is perfect and pure.  We teach our children this very thing.  But we cannot "discipline the law into them."

One of the dangers of "law based parenting", is that you may wind up with a bunch of mini pharisees!
They know how to follow the law externally, but inside they are dead.
They may know how to externally  play the game....quote the verses, answer the questions and have the cathechism memorized, but it does not save the soul.  We come to Salvation through Faith ALONE through GRACE Alone! Through Christ ALONE!

Another thing I have noticed is what "fruit inspectors" we are.   Our children tell us they have trusted Christ as Savior.  I believe them.  We have actually had people say something like, "Are you sure?"
"Do you think they should be taking communion? How do you know they are saved?"    Honestly, these questions shock me.

Why would I question my child's simple faith?  Why would I not let them take communion?  A believer is supposed to take communion!   What message do we send our believing children if we refuse to allow them to participate in the very practice of the believer?  What does that tell them?
That their faith isn't good enough? That they have to "prove it" to me, in order to pass?
This isn't in scripture either.

What IS in scripture is that the Gospel is simple enough for a Child to understand.
And whoever trusts Christ, will never be cast out.

Romans 8:31-37

5 comments:

Annie said...

Goodness! Jesus said, "Let the children come to me and do not stop them." I try to be charitable myself with people like that and consider that they would only deny a child communion because of the value they place on it. Still....

The way you write makes me glad that neither in my Presbyterian Church, at the church associated with our school, or in our Catholic Church, I've not run across quite this tone. I wouldn't sit and listen to it long, though. Your points are so well taken.

We did used to have a deacon, though, father of 9 who would suggest, in the sermon he did at baptism, that if the parents did such-and-such (not punishment, praise God! - but example, prayer, etc.) then they would have holy children.

I'm just not so sure of that. I think we are each very individual and have our own path to walk. I've seen families with many children where some love God, others turn away....and likewise, parents with no faith at all, who somehow end up with faith-filled children.

I think it is simply an "inexact science" - both that of evangelization and parenting. You can influence, you MAY make a difference, but it might not even be when or where you can see. God uses us as He pleases.

danandkeren said...

Thanks for sharing this, and for your comment on my blog. It's good to here this from older women with many children! :)

Hevel said...

Now, even in a religion that can be quite rigid about the Law... G-d doesn't work like that. There is no set service book, no child raising algorythm. There are guidlines, and parents are trusted to follow the inspiration of G-d.

Once again, a wonderful post. Thank you.

Happymom4 aka Hope Anne said...

Good stuff. . . God has given me ideas to help teach my children and train them that NEVER would have been likely to show up in a parenting book--and they sure were a lot more effective than yet another spanking would have been. God is a creative God. Why do we try to put Him into a box?!

Mike and Christie said...

This comment is from my dear friend JJ. :) Thanks JJ

John MacArthur wrote in his book Successful Christian Parenting that our job as parents is to point our children toward God...and that their salvation between the child and Him. That idea lifted a HUGE burden I had carried, off of my shoulders!

Praying for you!!!

JJ

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