August 19, 2009

Let's Not Make Any Gods Here, Part 1



--photo from oxford.anglican.org




"Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me..." Jesus Christ, Matthew 10:37

How many of us who are parents live for our children?

I read a recent issue of In Touch Magazine, published by In Touch Ministries. The writer of an article mentioned how tempting it is for parents (especially mothers) to put their children first. How often do we hear friends, co-workers, or others say something like this: "Everything I do is for my children." "My children come first." "Nothing and no one will get in the way of me taking care of my children."

Perhaps the saddest of all is: "My children are the only reason I'm here; the only reason I get up in the morning."

I am a parent and it took a long time for me to begin to process the idea that our children can become little gods for us if we aren't careful. Society impresses all of us with the idea that no sacrifice is too great for our children, that we must do whatever we can imagine in order to keep them happy and well-cared for. After all, they are children! They can't take care of themselves. If we don't care for them, who will? We are parents and we are responsible for their presence here on Earth, right?

Maybe, but how does loving God first fit into sensible parenting? Doesn't God put a deep attachment to children in the hearts of parents? Don't children naturally love and depend upon their parents for care, love, support, and guidance?

I will address these ideas in the next post. In the meantime, consider this: let's love our children, but let's not make any gods here.

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