Life can be tough. We all face challenges, each of us have our own hurdles to clear. We will all come into contact with those who think differently than us, which is fine, but we will each have experience with those who find is necessary to tell you, “you’re wrong” and why.
As a follower of Christ, and one without children, I hope that my home will be a place where I can build my children up. Everywhere else, whether it’s school, sports, Math club, the playground, the grocery store, and yes, unfortunately some churches, are places where our children are being torn down. It is part of life, there is little we can do about it. So our homes should be a place of peace, somewhere that our children can say what they are thinking and be themselves. Home should be a place where words are used to build one another up (adults included), not to tear others down.
Being different is difficult. Whether our child is physically handicapped, has braces, or doesn’t have the latest phone like their friends, being different can be rough. Growing up, I wanted to fit in. Unfortunately, that meant doing some things that I now recognize as dangerous, cruel, and otherwise ridiculous.
Now that I’m an adult, a Believer in Christ, and married, being different comes in other shapes and forms. I have family and friends who are single; their responsibilities and expectations for life are different that mine. I have family and friends who are not Believers; their responsibilities and expectations for life are also different than mine. It’s highly unlikely that we are surrounded by others who are at the exact same point in life as us, whether it be marital status, belief systems, financial status, educational background. That’s the beauty of life, we get to interact with those who are different than us.
Think back to your childhood, there were times in which you simply didn’t understand how or why your parents were (a) making you do something or (b) not letting you do something. Come on, we’ve all been there. You were mad right? Or maybe sad? Confused? Embarrassed?
While I’m not saying we owe our children an explanation for everything, for those of us who are Believers in Christ, and wish to pass that belief system on to our children, we may want to consider how we bring this up to them.
My husband, who was raised in a Christian home, has shared with me that his Mom tried very hard to make Christian things “cool”. For example, when all of his friends were listening to punk rock music, she would buy him Christian punk rock CD’s. For him, that didn’t really work. He felt as if he was “trying to be like the other kids”, but not really being like them. He says what he needed then was an explanation as to why, in his parents house, he was not allowed to listen to music that talked about drugs, suicidal thoughts, and other things his parents didn’t want him filling his head with.
Please note, I do not claim to know everything there is about parenting, if you read above you’ll note I’m not even a parent myself. All kids are different, I get that. What works for one may not work for the other, but I’m here to encourage you in your Christian walk.
This post is a result of a sermon shared at our church a few weeks ago. Our pastors are passionate about Christian parenting, and recognize how difficult it can be.
Scripture About being Different
“My son, do not walk in the way with them; hold back your foot from their paths.”
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.”
In regards to the commands of God, “Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.”
The Bible is full of scripture telling us that as followers of Christ we will be different, set apart. These are but a few of my favorite.
Questions to Ask Your Children
How many times have you asked your kids if they “had fun” at church? Did you get much of a response? Knowing how to strike up a meaningful conversation with our children can be difficult. The following questions may be used as a guide; our children’s responses may surprise you and lead you to further discussion. The most important thing you need to know, if trying to hold a conversation, is to ask questions that need more than a “yes” or “no” response.
What did you learn today?
How does this change the way you think?
How should this change the things you do?
What characters of the Bible did you learn about?
How are you similar to him/her?
What’s your favorite verse on how life as a Christian can be challenging or different? How do you talk to your children about church?