Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Christian Parenting: Guts and Gospel

If you enjoy living life by the seat of your pants; half guts and half gospel then parenting is the adventure for you. From the moment they hand you the baby you are inundated with child-rearing suggestions. Early on I realized that raising my kid was going to have to flow from who I was not who people told me I needed to be.

As a Christian I knew people that had their children memorize tons of scripture. We knew kids in elementary school that couldn’t do the three B’s; Barbie, Bratz or Britney. Looking at all the options the gospel oriented camps fell on one side or the other; grace or legalism. Rarely was there an appropriate balance.

I came to Christ in my twenties without the benefit (or curse) of a Christian home. I had no preconceptions. I just knew that God’s teaching in Deuteronomy was to teach children ‘when you rise up and when you lie down.’ Ooh boy! Not growing up in a Christian home meant I’d made many mistakes. There was a good chance I’d make more.

I chose the light handed approach. Much grace and little legalism. I figured that God got hold of me despite my parents and my background. Certainly He was capable of adjusting the trajectory of my little arrow.

One chooses the principle and follows it. There’s a lot of slop in-between. Parenting is like that. Seems the thing to do is balance all the wisdom and advice out there with how you are wired.

My daughter and I have had a number of good conversations about following Christ and what that looks like. I try to be realistic about my story and focused on the heart of God. Living as a Christ follower doesn’t come with an instruction manual. It is half guts, all Gospel and a heart set in the right direction.

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