Sep 122012
 

I’m an evangelical pastor’s wife. I’m not sending my daughter to preschool and I plan to homeschool. We have one car and no cable. It might be easy to assume I greatly fear the “world’s” influence on my daughter.

But the truth is, I’m not that worried about the world – at least not in the traditional sense. I’m not worried about prayer being taken out of school. I’m not worried about atheism creeping into our culture. I’m not particularly worried about my daughter hearing swear words.

I am worried about the influence of Christianity. Not Jesus, mind you. But the way we do our faith. The religiousness of it.

I’m worried my daughter will think taking prayer out of public schools is a national crisis, instead of realizing the absence of prayer in our homes and churches is the problem.

I’m concerned my daughter will learn to be scared of gay people, kids who swear, adults who have a glass of wine with their dinner, Muslims, atheists and agnostics.

I’m afraid of the old lady who tells her, “God is watching everything you do so you better not mess up or He’ll get you.”

But most of all, I fear my daughter will wonder if she’ll ever be good enough for this God she’s grown up learning about.

Perhaps then, I am most afraid of the world. Because you can’t get more worldly than exchanging Jesus and the Gospel of grace for religion and a Gospel of self-righteousness.

Do you find yourself fearing something for your child that is rather ironic? Tomorrow I’ll be discussing how I’m calming my greatest fear for my child.

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 Posted by at 12:01 am

  16 Responses to “My Greatest Fear for My Child”

  1. Love this post. You hit the nail on the head. You can’t get more worldly than exchanging Jesus and the Gospel of grace for religion and a Gospel of self-righteousness. Prayer hasn’t been taken out of school as long as one believer is prayerful in their school. I think it may be time to have a glass of wine.

  2. “But most of all, I fear my daughter will wonder if she’ll ever be good enough for this God she’s grown up learning about.” Your whole post is very articulate. This part about striving to be good enough for God has invaded the minds and cultures of many of our churches and it is so dangerous. Looking forward to seeing tomorrow’s post too.

  3. I’ve been reading your blog for a while now. I think this is one of your better posts because it resonates with me and is just true. So I’ve decided to interact with you on this post. Let me quickly say that I’m very much enjoying the way you boldly and clearly – yet gracefully – present what you are learning and becoming. On to my comment…

    “I’m concerned my daughter will learn to be scared of gay people, kids who swear, adults who have a glass of wine with their dinner, Muslims, atheists and agnostics.” Sadly, in this list (and the other items you covered before and after) you’ve not included all of the people/things I was trained to fear and run from as a child growing up in a Christian home. My identity as a Christian was intimately connected to my willingness to dis/engage certain behaviors, nearly to the exclusion of healthy faith in Christ. Understanding better how I grew up and learning from my own struggles with how to live and lead people in faith, I’ve become fully convinced that fear, no matter how genuine, when rooted in ignorance leads to rigid, fortress-like living – the kind you describe as religious (yet, merely nominally related to Christ) and self-righteous. The kind that leads people to be more fearful of what “they” do than how “we” live. As an adult I find myself struggling to untangle the mess of Christianity I was raised in while striving to present a faithful picture of Jesus to my child.

    Your post is encouraging and compelling. Thank you for putting this together and having the courage to put it online. It sounds like you’re well on your way to having a daughter who understands the difference between Christ and Christianity, and which one deserves her allegiance.

    • Thank you for your thought-provoking comment. I’m sorry for all the ways you were trained to fear growing up but am glad you’re thinking about it so intentionally and “striving to present a faithful picture of Jesus” to your child.

      It sounds like you’re well on your way. I particularly like how you put this: “The kind that leads people to be more fearful of what “they” do than how “we” live.”

  4. Other parents wish they had half the foresight you have Stephanie. Another excellent read.

  5. I sincerely appreciate this post! Your open-mindedness will go a long way in helping your daughter grow :)

  6. “But most of all, I fear my daughter will wonder if she’ll ever be good enough for this God she’s grown up learning about.”

    This resonates with me as I’m striving to teach my kids the gospel and what it means. Just as I explain sin and God’s standard, I must immediately explain His sufficient and over-flowing grace. Perhaps even more so.

  7. I have seen your avatar on friend’s blogs, but never looked you up. This is a great post. Religion versus grace. Heart versus outward show. I fear that for my kids too. Well said!

  8. [...] My greatest fear for my child [...]

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