Thursday, January 20, 2011

How parents can distort their children's view of God (talking points)

Looking for something to teach this Sunday to parents I ran across these talking points for parents. As a Father each of these points still resonates with me. I hope it helps / encourages those of you with the privelege of shepherding parents. These are just talking points not necessarily complete thoughts.

I have always wanted to clearly display who God is to my children. One of my life passages is this Psalm. Look at how many times the Psalmist speaks of his role in proclaiming God clearly to those who are younger than us.

Ps 71:14-18

14 But as for me, I will always have hope;
I will praise you more and more.
15 My mouth will tell of your righteousness,
of your salvation all day long,
though I know not its measure.
16 I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, O Sovereign Lord;
I will proclaim your righteousness, yours alone.
17 Since my youth, O God, you have taught me,
and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds.
18 Even when I am old and gray,
do not forsake me, O God,
till I declare your power to the next generation,
your might to all who are to come.

Growing faith in our children comes by communicating to them a clear view of the character of God. As parents we communicate more with our lives than our words. Our children view God through the window of our lives.

God is the one who pursues and changes hearts but I want to be a part of the process not a hindrance. So with all this in mind I was thinking through ways parents can distort or limit their children’s view of God.

Ways to distort or limit your kid’s view of God…

Pretend everything is great…(horrible headwound harry) (communicates that he isn’t involved enough)

o As parents we can have the tendency to act like everything is ok when it’s obviously not…we don’t want to add stress to our kids. It steals from our kids an opportunity for them to see us depend heavily on God…

Point: Don’t be afraid to have wise transparency with your kids…
o Admit failure and ask for forgiveness
o Let them know about financial struggle

Protect Your Kids From Everything (communicates that he isn’t strong enough)

o We have a responsibility to provide and protect our children, but we should always look for ways to wisely put them in dependence on God. We could get into a long discussion on what we should allow our kids to be exposed to as far as media…
It steals from our kids an opportunity for them to depend on God…

Point: We must be intentional about putting our kids in situations where they need God.
o Mission trips
o Public schooling?
o Extra curricular school activities

Practice Idolatry (pepsi commercial) (communicates that he isn’t satisfying enough)

o What would your son are daughter say is most important to you? They will view God with the same passion and focus you do. When we live our lives for everything else but God and still communicate that God is most important in our lives, our kids will not understand how to love God with all our soul mind and strength. He is supreme and worthy of all our lives.

Point: Ask God for the grace to love him preeminently

Prioritize performance over heart (communicates that he isn’t gracious enough)

o I’ve always tried to teach my kids that effort is more important than the result. God honors our hearts. (Lady who gave a penny) If we are always focusing on the performance of our kids they will try to perform to please us and God.

Point: God of grace. Our kids should never feel they must earn our acceptance.

Deut 6:6-9
6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.


  1. Man those are great.
    I would add "Portray arrogance", especially in light of while reading those I found myself thinking first of all the ways I don't practice these bad traits, rather than all the ways I do.

    Portray arrogance. Lack of humility. Always spewing out answers. Constantly trying to fix everything.

  2. i'm so glad you're still one of my pastors (even from far away) as I navigate the challenges of motherhood! this is good stuff.

  3. ah, thanks Ashley. And tell your daughter happy birthday for me!

  4. Yep, arrogance seems to be a big deal with parents. Sometimes I'm so quick to "teach" my kids I forget to listen and understand. Thanks for the comment and yes, I'm a little convicted myself.