We recently had house guests, the kind that stay a few days.
This always makes me nervous.
I worry about my cooking, if the bathrooms are clean enough…if there’s extra room around the table, you know how it is. It can be stressful for Type A people like me.
During conversations, over dinner, and in general, I kept catching myself over-correcting my kids. I was scrutinizing their every move, closely watching for bad attitudes, micro-managing their behavior and wanting them to be perfect little Christian children.
I’m not sure if it was just a lack of grace or a desire to impress our company, but I didn’t like what I was doing.
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 the invisible pressure.
I was trying too hard to make my kids into what I thought they should be.
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 raising our kids in positive settings. I think they all have their place. But in every child’s life, at some point, there will be testing. 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 waved goodbye to the guests and determined to bestow grace on the people in my house.
I’m raising my kids to be Christians.
But 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
by Kristen Welch, We are THAT family
ABOUT KRISTEN WELCH
Kristen writes at her parenting blog, We are THAT family, and offers an honest mixture of humor and inspiration. Her first book, Don't Make Me Come Up There, a book for busy Moms, will be in...