Monday, February 3, 2014

Impressing Jesus on Them: Why I Want My Children to Be Broken


In November I shared a blog post called "Seven Major Blindspots of Homeschooling and Parenting." (click underlined link to read)  The post contained comments to an article that I read written by Reb Bradley.  Not long after, I read another similar article by Barrett Johnson called "How to Raise a Pagan Kid in a Christian Home."

These two articles put my brain in a whirlwind of thoughts which lead to many weeks of pondering, searching, and praying for wisdom. 

Both articles discuss the desire of parents to raise "good" kids.  What parent doesn't want their child to be kind to others, respect authority, and stay out of trouble? Isn't this a good goal?

Mr. Johnson shared these thoughts to my questions.
The only problem with this goal is that it runs in stark contrast to what the Bible teaches. The gospel is not about making bad people moral, but about making dead people alive. If we teach morality without the transforming power of the gospel and the necessity of a life fully surrendered to God's will, then we are raising moral pagans. 
To further this point, Phil Vischer (the creator of Veggie Tales and our favorite What's in the Bible? series) added this point.
I looked back at the previous 10 years and realized I had spent 10 years trying to convince kids to behave Christianly without actually teaching them Christianity. And that was a pretty serious conviction. You can say, "Hey kids, be more forgiving because the Bible says so," or "Hey kids, be more kind because the Bible says so!" But that isn't Christianity, it's morality. . .
Suddenly I realized that my objective of raising "good" kids is seriously missing the mark.

In his article, Mr. Johnson continues:
Do you teach your kids "be good because the Bible tells you to" or do you teach your kids that they will never be good without Christ’s offer of grace? There is a huge difference. One leads to moralism; the other leads to brokenness. One leads to self-righteousness; the other leads to a life that realizes that Christ is everything and that nothing else matters.  

Sounds like a demented goal for a parent.  But, I see that it is only when my children realize their need of a Savior that they can love unconditionally and serve selflessly.  Brokenness allows them to be Jesus' hands and feet to our dying world. 

Isn't that the goal that I really desire?

Tomorrow's Post - Molding Godly Children:  Where to Start?

Read more:  Impressing Jesus on Them


  1. This is a great post because it explains how important it is to be careful what you say to people. Thank you for sharing this and making it plan so that a mother like me will not give up but press on knowing that it is not too late. Thank you God for your word and those who continue to teach so that we get it.

    1. The older I get the more I realize I have a lot to learn. Amazing how God uses little children to teach us so much.

  2. This is something that I have been confused about for a while. Saving grace is a very difficult concept for a preschooler to grasp, and even more so is the idea that Christ lives in you. The best I can come up with on some topics is just what you mentioned, "because the Bible says so". Great article! Thank you for sharing, and I hope and pray that the Holy Spirit continues to guide your work. Awesome topic of discussion.

  3. Thank you for allowing me to work through my own confusions! I hope you will join the discussion on Facebook.


The Our Out-of-Sync Life blog focuses on encouraging women to deepen their spiritual life, simplify daily tasks, and impress Jesus on the children around them.