Ok, I'm only a few more pages into the book Revolutionary Parenting by George Barna that I mentioned in my last post, but I'm already under conviction. I think I'm a fairly decent parent and I really want and pray for my children to love God and follow Him. Since they were brought up in church, they know all the "Sunday School" answers. They've heard the Bible stories. My prayer for years has been that it would be heart knowledge and not just head knowledge.
In part one of the book, Barna gives a sort of checklist of parents just like me. A few of the items listed are: provide basic needs, successful in school, good home life, involved in church & church activities, not doing drugs or alcohol, not promiscuous, and without criminal activity. (Barna, 5) That would describe our situation. Here's the kicker -- those are fine standards, but they are as measured by the world's standards. As compared to the world those are really great standards, but they are not God's standards. Our job, as Christian parents, is not to raise our children to "be all they can be" by the world's standards, but to aspire to godly and biblical standards.
Barna goes on to write that we are to raise "spiritual champions." We don't do that by neglecting physical or intellectual or emotional needs, however. Those aspects are vital to the development of our children, but how often do we place those areas above the spiritual aspect? Guilty! Sending our children to church and activities and Christian camps (one of mine went last week & two will go next week) is simply not enough. It's our job, our job primarily, as Christian parents to be the spiritual nurturer of our children.
I'm moving on to part 2 of the book which is the research section. If you are at all familiar with George Barna, you know that's what he does. He researches all sorts of topics as related to ministry and Christianity and then evaluates. I'll be back with more later...
*Barna, George. Revolutionary Parenting. BarnaBooks & Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2007.