My friend Jon Bloom, author of Not By Sight: A Fresh Look at Old Stories of Walking by Faith, wrote a great blog for Christian parents and for all those raised in Christian homes. I remember when our daughters were small, the importance of trying to convey even to really good kids that they are sinners, lost without Christ. It’s a delicate balance. On the one hand, when they’re obedient and responsible and kind, you want to affirm them for being good. But at the same time they need to see that just like their parents, they are truly sinners, they fall far short of God’s perfect standard, and they are completely lost apart from a relationship with Jesus as their Savior and Lord. Thanks, Jon for this thoughtful article:
Don’t Raise Good Kids
By Jon Bloom
Parents, don’t raise good kids. I’m a recovering good kid, and I’m here to tell you that the gospel isn’t for good kids.
I was pretty easy for my parents to raise. I was generally compliant, had a buoyant, warm personality, didn’t get into any serious trouble, was liked by my teachers for the most part, usually did respectably in school, was a leader in my church groups, and had plenty of friends. My adolescent, wild-oat sowing would only generate smirks and eye rolls.
My folks and most adults in my life affirmed me as a good kid, and I believed it. Which posed a problem for me: I struggled to grasp the gospel.
Though I believe my pre-adolescent conversion was real — God is gracious to produce and honor a small seed of real faith — it was hard to swallow that I was that bad. God showing favor on me in redemption made sense because others had shown favor on me. But it was hard for me to see that this favor was not the approval of a good kid but the pardoning of a condemned sinner. Really? Me deserve hell?