Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Peaceful Parenting: Gotta Give it to God

Talking about Christianity lately has become almost taboo. Many parents would rather have their children believe in nothing than give them guidance and teach them about religion. It may be because they do not have faith themselves, or simply because they are full of doubts. Sometimes maybe they would rather “wash their hands” of the whole matter than have their kids complain to them later in life about the faith they were taught.

            So, children grow up with no spiritual guidance. All they hear in school and the media is: “All religions are right.” “We need to be inclusive.” “We cannot offend others by sharing our beliefs!” And so on.

But this is not the right approach because it suggests there is no need for us to pick one! Some people think all religions are right, but they should at least realize that all the religions do not have the fullness of the truth. The fact that some believe all religions are right does not mean that we should stay lukewarm and not go deeply into our Christian faith. We need to be on fire, full of love for God. If we are not, in the long run we will have a void and feel a deep emptiness within us.

            Someone once said, “If we don’t teach them, someone else will.” When children and adolescents grow up with no spiritual guidance, it is almost guaranteed that they will lose their path. We must teach what is pleasing to God. We need to be the light of the world, just as Jesus asked us to be. We need to teach obedience and self-control; after all, Christ calls us to obedience. Just as there are laws that rule the universe and the world, so there are laws that rule us¾laws for which we are accountable to our God and to our neighbor. The Bible reminds us: “So then each of us shall give an account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:12)

Why do you think there are so many problems today with children and teenagers? Why do you think there are problems such as school shootings, gang violence and teenage pregnancy? Why should we be surprised at how easy it is for children to pull a trigger if we have never taught them that there are just some things in life that are absolutely wrong? What stops a child who has never been taught the way to live a good life? What stops a child who has not learned any boundaries and is not afraid of anything? What stops a child who has never been taught that there are consequences to all our actions? Christianity is our only hope because it teaches the truth. We cannot underestimate the danger of not teaching what is right and what is wrong and, most important, what pleases God.

            We must not be indifferent to our Christian religion. Our religion contains the story of our salvation. Our religion is us acting on God’s gift to us. Our religion is our compass to Christ, and Christ is our way to heaven. Through our religion, we learn about God’s love; we learn to trust Him and respect Him. We open our hearts to Him when we learn how Jesus Christ came to this world and died for our sins on the cross. We understand that He rose from the dead, and so today we can truly rejoice and sing a song that says, “I am saved. I have been rescued by the arms of Jesus.” Thinking about God’s gift of everlasting life to us transforms our lives. Knowing that He loved us first and not because we deserved it or because of any merit of ours but simply because He is love itself and we are precious to Him this makes all the difference. This amazing truth is enough to make us people of joy, people of love, people of truth, people of obedience, people who belong to Christ. So vital a truth should not be hidden, suppressed or kept for later. We must investigate it, study it, share it and make it part of our life.

So many people become complacent, living a life that is empty. They feel this emptiness, so they try to fill it with many things, only to find out that they still feel this void inside. Until we soothe our spirit with God’s goodness, until we fulfill our spiritual need by finding God’s saving love, we will not be able to find true happiness.

            Many people go to a psychologist, putting all their faith in the services of a professional caregiver. And the psychologist does his or her best, trying to find a psychological cause for the problem. The doctor finds a logical reason and prescribes a medicine. But if the soul is not healed, the medicine will give only temporary relief, a temporary fix. We must go to the root of the problem. If we want to permanently find happiness, joy and peace, we must first be embraced by God’s healing love!

Wisdom to contemplate:

“‘Everything is lawful for me,’ but not everything is beneficial. ‘Everything is lawful for me,’ but I will not let myself be dominated by anything.” (1 Corinthians 6:12).

“But you, man of God, avoid all this. Instead, pursue righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness. Compete well for the faith. Lay hold of eternal life, to which you were called when you made the noble confession in the presence of many witnesses. (1 Timothy 6:11-12)

“Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.” (John 6:47)

“Tell them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous, ready to share, thus accumulating as treasure a good foundation for the future, so as to win the life that is true life.” (1 Timothy 6:18-19)