Thursday, July 1, 2010

On Godly Parenting

My parents are good parents.  The older I've become, the more I've realized that fact.  Having children made me realize that fact.  Observing other parents made me realize that fact.  But rather than listing all the things my parents have done right, I want to zero in on the thing they have done right.

That thing, though certainly not a secret, is often a mystery for parents - even Christian parents.  Miroslav Volf, in an article called Will My Son Be a Christian? wondered aloud:
I'd almost rather [my son] be no Christian than an indifferent Christian, or, even worse, a zealous Christian manipulating faith to promote his own selfish ends.  But I want him to embrace Christianity as a faith by which to live and for which to die.  But how do I pass on that kind of faith?
After describing the fear he had in letting his faith "dribble away" as he tried his best to pass it on, and after pondering several solutions, Dr. Volf recalls:
Then I remembered my mother's prayers.  Right language about God matters; godly life matters even more.  Yet neither will suffice.  If the seed sown by word and deed is to grow and bear fruit, it will need the life-giving water of God's Spirit.  So I abandoned trust either in statistics about religious belonging or in the genuineness and strength of my own faith.  I vowed to pray.
Thank you Mom and Dad for also taking that vow. 

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