As a parent it can be difficult to navigate the sometimes tumultuous waters. Not only as a Christian do we have the typical parenting issues to get through but we add another dimension to it when our faith becomes involved. Our faith is often what dictates the way we parent, the choices we make and how we raise up our children.
As a Christian parent, however, we have to be careful that we don’t make Christianity a list of do’s and don’ts. This can be a fine line to walk. There are definitely some standards that come into play which must be abided by. However a standard should be just that. It is a way of living, not a rule.
By nature people don’t particularly care for rules. Children may not like rules either but they need them. Rules help to govern. However there is also a time and a place for rules. Living as a Christian is not the time or place. Too many children have the mindset that rules are made for breaking. So if they begin breaking what they consider to be “Christian” rules they could be heading for danger.
Instead, as a parent we should create a lifestyle that influences our children. I personally don’t believe in telling a child the reason they can’t do something is because “we are Christians.” While being a Christian most certainly may drive our choices and decisions, it is more than that.
What example are we setting for our children? While we are creating rules, are we breaking them? If we spent more time turning to the Word and putting guidelines in our children’s lives according to that, we would be doing them more service. When children ask “Why not?” it isn’t the time to state, “Because we are Christians.” Open up the Word and direct them to a passage of Scripture that speaks to the situation.
If there is nothing in the Word to back it up, you may need to re-evaluate your decision. Not everything fun is bad. Not everything that isn’t basked in religion is wrong. If we make Christianity all about what you can and can’t do it may cause our children to question if it’s a lifestyle they really want to adopt when they are out on their own.
Make your lifestyle an example for your children to follow. Let faith and the Word of God guide you. Your children are more likely to stay on the path.