**Updated Note: In the heat of my passion, I may not have clearly said that I am not against parenting tools or seminars. The point is that we can never think any methodology could ever be bigger than the power of the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit and relationship. These two things are THE main point!
Recently there was a seminar in our town on “parenting the smartphone generation”. Mitch and I weren’t able to attend, as we were on the road, but I’m sure it was really good. It wasn’t about denying the fact that’s the age we’re living in, just navigating it as parents. Good stuff, I’m sure.
But. A conversation with my husband on this and other thoughts, brought up a great case for my soapbox. Again. 🙂 If we think material things will make or break whether we have ‘good’ kids or not, we have. missed. the. point. So, here we go…
If my kids ever find themselves with a gun to their head, faced with the choice to renounce Jesus or die, it will not be whether they were allowed to have an iPhone or not, that will help make this decision. Oh hell no.
Whether your daughters wear leggings as pants or ankle-length skirts, whether your teens have a Snapchat account or they’re not allowed to have a phone at all, whether your sons have piercings and long hair or that’s looked on as the ultimate sin, none of these things are the point. I’m so nauseated at the majoring on minors as we watch so many of the younger generation slip into a lifeless, loveless existence without experiencing the love and the saving power of Jesus. Honestly, Believers, let’s get a clue!
The only thing, and I mean THEEEEE ONLY thing, that matters is if we are cultivating a place where our kids can meet Jesus. Not in the, I-said-a-prayer-at-Sunday-School kind of way. But in the way that they are getting to know Him and falling in love with Him.
It would be hard to turn your back on someone you are in love with. Nearly impossible to turn away from someone who loves you in such a way that it melts you and has radically transformed your life, over and over again.
Not many years ago, there was a season in my life when I wanted to pull away from Him (not turn my back, just distance myself a bit because I couldn’t figure Him out). And you know what? I couldn’t do it. He pursued me so intensely. Loved me so lavishly. That even when I told Him, Don’t even talk to me right now, He melted my heart with His love. Holy Spirit is so much bigger than we ever give Him credit for.
My friends, when this is the kind of love our kids have seen and experienced, we have no reason to worry. So don’t take away the phone or tighten the rules thinking it will be THE thing that ensures your kids follow Jesus. But love Jesus. Love Him and let Him love your kids. Cultivate the presence of God in your home and in your family. Set up moments for your kids to encounter His love. Let them walk through things that they NEED Him to show up. In adding these things, you are creating a foundation of a love relationship.
And you know what else? We don’t even have to do those things perfectly. I sure the heck don’t. Sometimes I absolutely suck at this parenting gig, but somehow, by His grace, at this point, my kids are all loving Jesus, pursuing Him. They are amazing kids that I’m so incredibly proud of. It doesn’t have much to do with me and my parenting skills but it has a whole lot to do with who my Jesus is and sometimes I’m intentional about being the connecting point between Him and each of my kids.
So let’s quit missing the whole d*** point, and make HIM the point. The One. The most important. The paramount point in the lives of our kids. If we do this, I’m confident we will have a generation that are radical lovers of Jesus who change our world. A generation ready to give it all for the sake of Him and His Kingdom.