Living not striving…

Random thoughts and daily adventures in my life

Raising “safe” kids August 28, 2008

Filed under: Random stuff,Uncategorized — erikaivory @ 7:54 pm

Okay, more from Grace-Based Parenting. The following are some excerpts from a chapter on “A Strong Hope.”  Developing a strong hope within our children.  The author Tim Kimmel makes the point that Children develop a strong hope when their parents lead them and encourage them to live a great spiritual adventure.

Let me preface these excerpts by saying that many of the examples he uses (that I do not include) pertain to older children and when he discusses “safety” he is not talking about health and safety issues particularly regarding young children.  This section offended me initially but as I read and reread it, now I am challenged and fired up!  I would love to hear what some of you think and I hope this pushes you to pick this book up and read it through for yourself.

You may not want to hear this, but raising safe Christian kids is a spiritual disaster in the making. Your effort will produce shallow faith and wimpy believers. Kids raised in an environment that stresses safety are on track to be evangelical pushovers. They will tend to end up either overly critical of the world system to the point where they won’t want anything to do with the people of the world system – an idea that comes directly from Satan’s playbook. Or, they will become naive about the world system, which ultimately makes them putty in Satan’s hands. He chews up these kinds of people like they are spiritual McNuggets and swallows them whole. When they’re finally confronted with the full thrust of the world system as young adults, few know how to turn it into an opportunity for spiritual impact.

Safe Christianity is an oxymoron, like “jumbo shrimp.” Living your life sold out for Jesus Christ has never been a way to enjoy a safe life. It may be a way to enjoy a good life, but not a safe one. That’s because Jesus isn’t safe, but He is always good. On the inside of His goodness (read “grace”), He offers a safe haven for a dangerous life to be lived out. That’s what a grace-based home can offer, too – a safe set of parents and siblings around whom a child can make life-changing decisions such as who’s going to be the master of his life.

These types of homes have families who rest in the confidence that God loves our children. The best time to begin building this kind of confidence in our children is when God gives them to us as babies. They need to spend the early years of their lives watching their parents live on the front lines of culture. But as your children get older , you need to allow them to experience spiritual dilemmas that enable them to trust in Christ and strengthen their hope in His goodness.

There are risks. We must put our confidence in a God who would not bring anything unpleasant into our children’s lives except for those things that He deliberately desires to use to mold them into His image. This overriding certainty should guide us as we make decisions on how to grow our children’s hope into a strong hope.


2 Responses to “Raising “safe” kids”

  1. Great post! So true for those of us with older kids who have watched this happen!!

    A huge praise to Jesus….Josh is growing so much spiritually….dropped out of “the band” because he said it was not a good environment for him…..started a bible study for his friends, started attending Sandhurst…really making huge steps back toward God! THANK YOU JESUS….and thank you all my bible study friends who prayed for this specific senario!

  2. jenny pruitt Says:

    whew! This is a hard hard thing for me. Something I struggle with. Something i fork out the money for so my boys can go to a Christian Preschool..etc…and the Lord has really convicted me of this ..this year. I must believe that God is bigger than their influences…i must believe Christ loves my children MORE than I do…It is the Holy Spirit who ultimately know I was reading last night (and now I can’t find the passage)… but Jesus asks, I think Peter, who does He think Jesus is.. and Peter says..”You are Christ” and Jesus responds with something like “you did not learn that from man… God revealed that you.” That was very comforting for me… through prayer and power of the Holy Spirit in us we teach our children.. but I also believe that Christ interprets things for them and has the power give them clarity and perspective. This at least is my prayer.
    Sorry for the extra long comment. It’s just that from the moment Will(my first) was born, I’ve wanted to shelter and protect….I’ve come to realize this is detrimental to his spiritual development. So instead of a “caged in” mentality…I try to have a “road and I’m helping guide him” mentality.

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