The danger of living for your children.

Posted on August 27, 2013 · Posted in Culture, Parenting, Worldview

We live in the age of the Child. Children are to be accommodated. They become the center of family life. So instead of training children, our modern world seeks to idolize them. Education can become a means to serve children rather than to teach them to sacrificially live their lives for God. Parents live for their children instead of for God. When this happens, nothing good is accomplished. Marriages are weakened because of this wrong-headed focus. Children can never meet the expectations of parents who worship them. Divorce and child abuse increase. In the end, all that is left is relational rubble.

 

It is this relational rubble that can also lead to children becoming cynical and disaffected by Christianity. Children who have been the misplaced objects of worship by their parents cannot bear the weight of being parental idols. Children who are a means to their parents enjoyment and personal fulfillment will often despise the beliefs of their family and church. Children who have been relationally abandoned in the service of the god of performance will find no comfort in a gospel that appears to  be rigged in their parents favor.

 

These are among the reasons children turn from God. Perhaps they are even the underlying reasons for the departure of youth from church. Parents, love God, love your spouse, and in love, prepare your children for the dangerous world that is waiting for them. Doing anything other than this will make your faith appear self-serving.  God deserves better than to be represented this way. The self-serving idolatry of living for your children will ultimately destroy your marriage and your children. Attempting to save your life through your children will consume you and them. Do not live for your children. Live for God!

Jay Younts
John A. (Jay) Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger, and is a ruling elder serving at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He has written Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, Finding the Right Track, the In Touch With Paul stewardship series, and What About War. He has studied and taught about biblical childrearing for 30 years. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.