In Church…Or, in the Lord

In Church…Or, in the Lord

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4 KJV)

I am by NO means an expert in this area, but I am clearly seeing a difference between raising a family “in church” as opposed to raising them “in the Lord.” Now, don’t get me wrong…Raising children in the Lord requires a disciplined church life, but when the disciplined church life becomes the “focal point” rather than the Love, Grace, and Mercy of God things can get quickly out of balance and the results are not always what we had hoped for…

I recently read a story about a pastor who confessed to a close friend regarding his prodigal adult daughter that he had faithfully raised his daughter in church, but had failed to raise her in the Lord…Wow! Instead of blaming the church or other church leaders for his daughter’s behavior and decision to leave the church, he accepted full responsibility and discerned where things had gone array…Obviously, he had allowed rules, regulations, duties, and unreal expectations to exceed the “light yoke” of the Lord’s Love and Compassion…Sadly, I have witness this type of thing happen in several, pastor’s families as well as other committed church goers. Where both duty and expectation exceeded Grace and Mercy.

When our three daughters were in public high school, they were very involved in activities. Our twins were members of the band’s color-guard and rifle team and our youngest daughter was a cheerleader. Even though my husband was a pastor of a local church, he and I made sure that we were in attendance every Friday night for their ballgames. My husband always said, “Well they support me on Sundays, so I’m going to support them in what they do.” I loved his attitude back then even though he was greatly criticized by many “legalistic” pastors in our area who thought attending ballgames was simply “beneath” them and their children’s spiritual walk…I even watched as one of our daughters’ closest friend had to quit the color-guard when her pastor preached that young ladies had no business wearing short uniforms. Her family not wanting to rebel against their pastor’s teachings insisted that she quit the team…

People can get caught up in man-made rules, regulations, and duties and forget that GOD has a purpose and plan for everyone’s individual lives when we make HIM our final authority. Believe me when I say that our daughters were not perfect growing up and we faced a few trying times along the way, but I can graciously and thankfully say that they never left God and today now in their late 30’s they are still committed to God, church, and raising their own children in His ways…

Children need to witness and experience Grace and Mercy along the way…Too many rules can make God seem distant, cold, and uncaring…Our own children need just as much time to grow, mature, and develop in Christ as the next person…It’s hard I know to find balance…It take lots of faith to forsake man-made rules, rituals, and routines…But, thankfully the Disciples did just that when they abandoned the teachings of the Pharisees and Sadducees to experience the marvelous works of Christ!

Oh, how our children need to be brought up not only in church but in the Love of the LORD! Amen…

Remember, God Loves You
Lin T Rollins, Author


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