Friday, May 24, 2013

ignorant children

I'm just one of many who has, at some point in time, resolved to try to do better as a parent than my own parents did with me. Of course what that meant for me has changed a lot over the years.

As a college student I imagined that as a parent I would be sure to have family devotions every day, that my children would know, first and foremost, how important Jesus was to me. 

That changed.

Some of our friends had children around the same age as ours. I watched their children grow in "knowledge of the truth" and marveled at how such a large percentage of their funny-kid-stories were about how much of the Bible their children knew. Their kids talked about Jesus and knew the resurrection story and what that meant for their salvation. They sang hymns and knew Bible trivia and all kinds of stories. Two, three years old and they had it down pat.

Suddenly I saw how little of anything Bible my kids knew. We were still on the Seminary campus, still going to church regularly, still reading our Bibles, still immersed in Christian culture and the Word, still everything, or so it seemed. Husband and I told each other that we were just too exhausted to take the time to teach the children all the stories, to sing all the songs, to be *those* parents.

It was having three children in a year. Yeah. That's why.

I can't speak for Husband, but that wasn't why. I tried not to think about it, but when I did I realized that I really didn't want my kids to be talking or thinking about Jesus dying on the cross. I didn't care if they knew about Noah's Ark or David and Goliath and I didn't want them hearing stories of David and Bathsheba or Sodom and Gomorrha. 

Suddenly the stories I had heard and been told to love all my life seemed too disturbing and full of problems for my own children. Most especially the crucifixion - the heart of the entire narrative I had been given.

There was a time where this lack of Christian anything in my children bothered me a bit, mostly because I had been taught that it should bother me and that I wasn't a good parent without teaching my children, without bringing them up the way they should go.

Now all I feel about their ignorance is relief and a tinge of pride at what great children they are in spite of me and in spite of my failure to moralize and shame them into being who "god" wants them to be. 

And they know, first and foremost, how important they are to me.

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