Monday, August 13, 2012

How to make our kids 'gods'

I was preaching in a church last month when I heard my mouth say: "One of the greatest gifts we can give our kids is that we love Jesus more than we love them". Well you can imagine how that went down. The placed hushed to a pregnant silence, as folks tried to process their revulsion at the thought that anything would be loved more than their kids and a vague recollection that maybe that is what Jesus spoke about somewhere in the sacred text.

So many decisions made by parents, however leave their children with the misperception that they are the center of the universe. The problem is that they are not. Then, when they engage this God of the gospel, he is certainly not placing them in the center of his universe and they end up in endless combat with the Ancient of Days as a result.

However, if you do with to make your child a 'god', here are some helpful tips:

1.   From when they are born, ensure that there is only ever silence in the house so as not to disrupt their sleep in anyway,

2.   Make bed time a set time that cannot be broken under any circumstances - of course that makes going to evening life groups and the like impossible,

3.   Never let them sleep anywhere but in their bed as that may be very inconvenient and disrupt their rhythm, - or in your bed, so that if you and the missus don't make love for weeks, it is not a problem as the 'little god' is not inconvenienced,

4.   Only let them eat what they like. The notion that they must 'eat what is set before them' is fiercely anti their rights to choose,

5.   Clean their rooms for them all the time. They must be served as they are royalty

6.   Always tell them they have done well - even if they haven't. These are not lies but pleasant encouragements. Honest debriefs and assessments are to be discouraged because they may reveal faults and flaws when what we really want to do is applaud all the time [surely that is what God does with us isn't it?]

7.   It is never their fault - I mean we know a poor grade is the teacher's fault, the distracting child in the other seat, or it may even simply be the school, so we need a new learning environment,

8.   They got drawn into the wrong crowd - of course they are never the wrong crowd, it is those other kids,

9.   We must certainly never give them chores nor even expect that they fulfill these duties - they are tired, [from late night TV or video games] and this has no bearing on how they will shift from job to job as adults,

10.  They must definitely never let them acknowledge wrong doing, apologize, make right, pay for the damage...

I am sorry if my humor is not very funny. However, my desire is not to poke fun at nor belittle - I simply want to take daily mistakes we all make inadvertently letting them believe that the universe spins around them. Then, when they come to faith or even simply have to deal with life, they are floored by the fact that neither God nor humanity are there to serve their needs and they spend their life, angry, grumpy and disillusioned. There is only one God - and it is not them.


  1. Of course there are more examples one can use - like "When my kiddo throws a tantrum in the mall", they are not naughty nor freaking out because they are not getting their way. They are overtired and need a nap

  2. Hey Chris, how about when we are more engaged with our children than Jesus during worship. Great post...

  3. Being a new mommy, I have to constantly remind myself about this! It's so hard though. I've an ache in my heart about how I've missed sitting in our church meetings and being part of worship these last 7 months. But its not always my little girl's fault; sometimes I've done exactly what Cliff says, and just stared down at my baby girl in awe of how lovely she is...missing precious moments of interacting with our awesome God.

    1. Shine I know people are telling you that you can make your child part of worship but It can be dangerous and that thought can deeply effect your worship time with God. Romans warns us that we cannot worship created things in front of him and this at some level is a form of Idolatry. Idolatry comes in many forms and I am a better father for the fact I put GOD first. At first people will not see it but as my daughter grows and matures and knows her place in God's plan for her life and as we move forward living and loving his Gospel it becomes evident that what people think is not important but what I am convicted of through his word is. I know you do I am just encouraging you that you do need your time alone with your father in heaven and worship to ADORE HIM is important. Just an encouragement and hopefully a confirmation.

  4. Hey Shine, turn it to worship- thank God for the gift He has given you, thank Him for the love in your heart, see the parallel between your heart and God's heart for you! Don't beat yourself up about it, turn any distraction good or bad to worship!!

  5. @Shine...oh my word. Don't be hard on yourself. Your child needs you at that young age and don't you think your adoration of her face is God given?! You are not missing precious moments of interacting with God at ARE interacting with God in adoring the beautiful child in your arms. He is all about family and relationship and love. Loving your daughter is a beautiful act of worship.

  6. Love this Chris being a single papa I realize I at times have done this with with my own daughter. I suffered for it dearly and I am thankful you wrote this. It is an eye opener and it really is something that is important if we want our children to serve the Kingdom of God. Because it is hard to serve a Kingdom of God when they think they own it. :) Great stuff Chris..Thank you.

  7. Love this Chris, Children are a blessing and are apart of our God story as an individual and as a family. We have strived for so many years to not fit into our children's world/schedule, but rather they fit into our world/schedule. People criticize, but the truth of that matter is God gave us these children to raise because we were the perfect parents for them- to raise, teach, discipline etc.