Be Careful: The Kids Are Listening!
Monday, 20 October 2008 22:29
Our kids learn from us. Hopefully they learn good things from the positive ideals and examples that we set before them. Unfortunately, they definitely learn bad things from our sinful attitudes and deeds.
I once knew of a large extended family that always gathered for Sunday dinner after the worship services. The grandparents and parents were Christians, and there were a number of children in the group. It so happens that this family was very negative and bitter toward various other Christians and toward the church generally. Their family meals turned out to be regular and constant "gripe" sessions about the congregation and the people in it.
As time went on, not a single one of those grandchildren ever became a Christian. I've spent some time wondering why. There are, no doubt, a number of contributing circumstances. But, it seems certain that one big factor was the continual bombardment of negativism that these kids received from their parents and grandparents. After all, why would these young people want to be a part of something that was so "bad" (by their parents' and grandparents' description) Do you see it!?!
We realize that there are no perfect Christians and no perfect congregations. Problems will come up. These problems will have to be addressed. But let's be sure we handle these problems as the Lord has commanded (Matthew 18:15-17), being careful to avoid all malice, hatred and bitterness toward others (1 Peter 2:1, Colossians 3:8). And, take all precautions to shield your children from the negative attitudes that could, potentially, hinder them from wanting to take up their place in the Lord's church and in His service. Think!