2. My wife and I portrayed Jesus as a grand and glorious God and not some mean and nasty, old, petulant Deity who measures dress hems and hates beer. A lot of kids rebel against God not because they hate him but because they hate the way their parents have painted him as a small and petty cosmic killjoy. If you want to guarantee your kids will walk away from the faith, just make it an obnoxiously narrow, fastidiously legalistic, life-sucking, skull-numbing guilt trip. Personally, I think people who make God and the gospel boring and miserable should be first to be tossed into the lake of fire. How someone can take the greatest story ever told and make it suck is both beyond me and unforgivable.
3. Christianity to us equated adventure. Y’know, when I read the Bible I don’t get that the characters it lauds loathed the path they trod but actually delighted in it and found it exceedingly and abundantly beyond all they could ask or imagine; and Jonesed for it, versus the crap life of separation from the life of God.
My wife and I showcased a Christianity that was rich with the unknown, adventure, risk and reward. Quite frankly, what they saw and what we touted to them was something that was pretty sweet, and only an idiot would want to rebel against it. And they’re not idiots.
4. We never isolated ourselves. Our friends were everyone. Our house over the years looked like a Star Wars bar scene of rock stars, diplomats, Fox News contributors, strippers, New York Times best-selling authors, the gay, the straight, the successful, the homeless, AIDS victims, doctors and the demented of every imaginable stripe. Our house was wide open to those who were wide open to Him. Please don’t dismiss this little ditty.
5. When I was a pastor, I made certain that I wasn’t married to the church. I never bought into this crap that my church came before my family. Man of God, if you dump your family for “ministry” they’ll return the favor later on in life and dump you and the “God” who took their parents away from them in their formative years. If you don’t believe me then just plow on and see what happens.
6. Lastly, our Christianity wasn’t anti-intellectual. My kids grew up on Clive Staple’s musings, Os Guinness’s and Tolkien’s tomes, philosophy and philosophers; and I often brought them to seminary with me where they got to hear, up close and personal, Dr. R.C. Sproul, Dr. D. James Kennedy and other esteemed theologians who didn’t have three teeth and an IQ of 50.
That’s what we did, folks, and it worked.
Our kids are our greatest joy. It hasn’t been easy, but then again, so what? That’s life. It’s ‘spose to be messy. However, now, as young alpha females conquering the planet, their faith, their tenacity, their successes, their work ethic and their love for God and this country beats anything this world has ever offered this redneck; and for this we’re forever grateful.
I pray God blesses you and yours like he has my wife and me.