If I’m honest I believed that when I had kids there would be certain things I would just stop doing, and certain things I would automatically start doing. Why? Because haven’t you heard, “kids change everything.”
While in many ways that is true, “kids do change everything,” there are many ways in which folk think their kids will change things, but ultimately, “Kids have changed nothing.”
Before I was a parent I said, “once I have kids we will have family worship every day.” Well I’ve had kids for four years now, and we don’t have family worship every day. We do read our boys individually the Bible each night, and we do pray with them many times throughout the day, but sitting down as a family unit for worship on a daily basis consistently, it hasn’t happened.
I’ve heard future parents say, “I’ll quit drinking,” “I’ll quit smoking,” “I’ll go to church regularly” etc., “once I have kids.” But I’ve discovered in so many cases like my example above, it usually doesn’t happen.
Grandparents will say, “I think you’ll see our kids a lot more involved in church once they have children of their own.” And yet so often this isn’t the case.
Because if a person is waiting for a kid in their life to change them, more often than not they aren’t going to change, at least not drastically!
If I could give expecting parents or folk that are contemplating having children one day a little advice: If you want to be different for your kids, then CHANGE NOW!
You see ultimatley kids can’t change us, we are inherently selfish, impatient, angst ridden individuals. Yes kids can temper those things some, but they can’t ultimately change us.
There is only one source of change and that is through Jesus Christ–
“For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,” –Titus 3:3-6
It is not through a relationship with our children that any of us will be saved or changed, but through a relationship with Jesus our Savior.
Even if a person “changes” for the sake of their kids, if these “changes” are simply in the context of having children then these changes are deceiving and of no ultimate value. They are prosthetic changes
If the premise of an individuals changes are “their children” then that is not a change that is lasting it is in fact the height of hypocrisy.
The term hypocrite in the Bible came from the Greek word “hypokrites” which was an individual that was an actor, “playing a role” for another.
Isn’t a parent that sets standards and goes through the motion of being involved in church and practicing certain Judeo-Christian principles simply for the good of their children without truly embracing them in their own hearts are they not playing a role? Hypokrites? Actors?
How many parents have raised children being involved, active in the church, setting high standards in their homes, only to see their children go off to college or begin their own adult lives and those same parents are no longer involved in church, no longer practicing the standards they had practiced while raising their children? Was the change then through Jesus or the children, and if it was through the children then couldn’t we term that hypocrisy–playing a role for another?
And then the question has to be asked what is being communicated to the adult children, when the parents that had rasied them one way are living a completely different way? They’ll think their parents have changed, but the more probable reality is that their parents were never truly “changed from the inside out.”
I’m discovering in myself that I can’t change for my kids, nor can my kids change me. If I do change in these ways then it is just hypocrisy, it is what Jesus described to the pharisees as a whitewashed tomb, “beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.” (Mt. 23:27)
Parents of young children…
Parents of teenagers…
Parents of adult children…
Let us all change…
Not for our kids…
Because we love Jesus!
“Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love.” -1 Corinthians 16:13, 14