Friday, November 04, 2011

Parents: Let Your Kids See Your Dependence on Jesus

"Christianity is mentored, not learned." (John Schroeder)

The simple truth John points to here is why the charge we Lutherans give to parents of children being baptized is more than just a collection of words:
In Christian love, you have presented this child for Holy Baptism. You should, therefore, faithfully bring her to the services of God’s house, and teach her the Lord’s Prayer, the Creed, and the Ten Commandments. As she grows in years, you should place in her hands the Holy Scriptures and provide for her instruction in the Christian faith, that, living in the covenant of her Baptism and in communion with the Church, she may lead a godly life until the day of Jesus Christ.
Later in the same service, we pray for the parents of newly baptized children:
O God, the giver of all life, look with kindness upon the father and mother of this child. Let them ever rejoice in the gift You have given them. Make them teachers and examples of righteousness for their children. Strengthen them in their own Baptism so they may share eternally with their children the salvation you have given them, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Parents have two jobs:
  • To prepare their children for adulthood.
  • To prepare their children for eternity by letting them know the One Who opens eternity to all who believe in Him, Jesus the Christ.
Providing for their children's instruction in the faith is only part of what's involved in that second job. The most important part is in living your own faith in Christ--humbly, without pretending to be perfect, letting your kids see that you face life and eternity not in your own strength, but in the strength God provides to believers in Jesus.

Another way to say what my friend John Schroeder says about Christian faith is mentored, not learned, is that Christianity is more caught than taught.

Parents: Let your kids catch your authentic dependence on Jesus. That authenticity will make all the difference for them both in their adult years and in eternity.

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