TITLE: Family Matters 5-31-15
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“Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” (Proverbs 29:25 NIV)
When I told my young children I was considering leaving our present church, they began to whine. “But we like the games and doughnuts!” Despite my desire for my children to experience an intimate relationship with Jesus, the fear of offending others by leaving had kept me bound to that particular church.
Instead of doing it myself, I expected the church to teach my children the Bible. I felt convicted my kids were just clowning around and malnourished in the Word. “Teach them 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” (Deuteronomy 11:19 NIV). During the services, the church focused on performing mundane rituals, reciting apathetic prayers, and reading lean portions of Scripture. I realized that if I clung to those foolish practices, my children’s spiritual growth would be at risk. I felt those obstacles were as detrimental as when the disciples hindered others from coming to Christ. “Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these’” (Matthew 19:14 NIV).
One Easter service, my kindergarten son and his classmates sang about Christ’s resurrection with what God calls, “perfected praise” (Matthew 21:16). Rather than receiving a standing heartfelt applause like the one I had anticipated, the silent reception felt similar to how orphans might feel ... un-cherished, insignificant, and unloved. The portrait of the children taken at the end of their performance made me cry. Instead of my son smiling, he looked how I felt–horrified.
“We get hugs and sing songs about Jesus!” My children bragged about their “new” church. Fear of what others thought no longer concerned me, but raising children by His loving methods did.
Mary Toll has been married for thirty-four years and loves the Word. Contact
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