Sunday, October 27, 2013

Don't teach 2 yo Christian Education - DON'T

I should have learned this lesson in middle school.  Don't do it.  Not for the normal reasons of having a ton of kids who really need naps and should be having lunch when you are trying to share with them about God. No, don't do it because the simple lessons that are repeated OVER and OVER again might actually seep into your soul and require you to change and become more like Him.  You can't hide behind fancy words and complex ideas in preschool.  I came to really understand who Christ is helping teach preschoolers and I guess I still am.

Today, we went "off the lesson plan" because of a scheduling issue.  So, I had to come up with my own lesson.  I had boxes (from all the cleaning I have been doing) and we are in Genesis - so the Tower of Babel seemed appropriate.  The main lesson of the day "You can't build a tower or doing anything to get to God - he comes to us through his son, Jesus".  We said this as we built and re-built towers today.  Simplicity and repetition - they will get you.

Tonight, I read this article which is an interview of the man who wrote Gospel Powered Parenting (which I intend to read soon).  It touched on a few things that I have been struggling with and honestly it seems like maybe he was listening in on a conversation I had with a friend of mine about raising kids earlier this week (maybe she has read the book).   My issue is MORALISM.  I have tried very hard to build my life on good deeds, doing my best, trying to be pleasant to others, etc. Basically, moralism.  As I read through this article it helped me to realize what some of my main issues with my kids are.  Here it is in a nut shell:
The gospel also protects parents from “moralism,” the idea that well-behaved children are the main thing. New Birth is the main thing. The morality of Christ imputed to your children is the main thing. It is not what our children do for Christ but what Christ has done for our children that is the main thing. Ironically, without aiming at it, gospel centered parents get godly behavior from their children.
This made me think of an excerpt I read from a book called The Danger of Raising Nice Kids. Later, in the article, he offers this humdinger:
Therefore, and this is crucial, pleasing God is the most important thing a parent can do to move God to regenerate their child. This means that effective parents are God-centered not child-centered. Their focus is always on God, not their children. Fearing God is one crucial way that parents can please God. We learn this fear at the cross. That is why I call it gospel powered parenting.
Did I mention I am putting together a presentation on discipline in after school situations so I have also been revisiting Give Them Grace?  Her manage, nurture, train, correct and promise are powerful ways to help children think about who God is, how he made them and how they can live in His story of grace.  It is much more than just applying the right Bible verse to show kids how they have missed the mark.   Do you think He is trying to help me figure these things out?

In high school we used to talk about God's holy wrecking ball.  Sometimes he uses it to destroy a lie or false thinking in your life. Today he used his wrecking ball to knock down my tower of babel parenting.  I have been building a parenting tower based on my own strength and ability in an effort to make my kids "good enough" for him and so others will approve of them (moralism).  All the while saying that He created them, loves them and will renew them if they come to him (Gospel).  I know the right message but my actions and attitudes betray something very different (hypocrisy). My kids have been smelling it from a mile away.

So, I don't really know how to be different in the way I parent day to day - l need to rely on his grace.  A good first step but a hard one for a good moralist who is used to relying on her own wits and good thoughts.  I am going to let the tower fall and trust that He is sufficient for me and my kids.  He has been trying to give me hints for a while - thanks 2yos for helping me finally get the visual about building our own paths to God for ourselves or our kids.

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