Monday, June 3, 2013

Raising Kids with Christ-like Character

I like to listen to Focus on the Family (on my laptop) while I work in the kitchen.  This morning I was listening to a broadcast from May 30th called "Raising Kids with Christ-like Character," featuring marriage and family therapists Paul and Virginia Friesen. 

This part really resonated with me... 

JIM DALY:  The thing that I notice with our Christian parenting, particularly, is this ideal for perfection. I mean, Jean and I experience it; we want our kids to act correctly all the time, and if they get out of line we get nervous—somehow it reflects on us.  And we’re doing far better with that now that they’re a bit older. But I think that’s normal for parents. In that regard, when we’re looking at our parenting style—again, especially as Christians—how do we relax that desire for perfection, [and] at the same time understand that we can please the Lord even if we’re not perfect?

VIRGINIA FRIESEN:  I think that the Christian community through the decades has been more committed to appearance management than to heart-driven pursuit of Christ. That probably sounds like a strong indictment, but I will level it at ourselves as well as anyone, because it is true—especially when our children were younger. We just so wanted to look good as parents; we wanted to make sure that we were doing the right thing, ostensibly so that we would help them find Christ.  But there’s an awful lot of our own insecurities that end up being wrapped up in that, and if our child behaves, we can feel better about ourselves as parents. And I think for ourselves, raising our children in the ministry context from the very beginning, we discovered that if we focused on appearance management we would miss their hearts, and our own hearts would probably move away from what matters most to God.


Karen Hossink said...

Appearance management is the pits! I pray we will come to the place where we truly find our value in Christ - and in looking like HIM, rather than in looking like some random form of worldly (albeit spiritual) perfection.
Thanks for sharing these words, Sara.

Sara K. said...

Totally agree, Karen!