Occasionally, I read something and think, “wow, that’s exactly what I’ve been thinking, but didn’t know how to say” (it happened in this book recently on evangelism and discipleship). This morning I read a quote in a blog article that said exactly what I’ve been thinking, but couldn’t really put into words. The article/post was about eliminating the entitlement in our children, and the whole thing is worth your time, but the quote that got me was this one:
We simply can’t center our lives around our children when we are centering our lives around Christ.
Parents and families, hear me when I say (or read me when I write), being Child-centered is not the same thing as being Christ-centered. In fact, the two are actually in opposition. If you are leading your family to be Christ-centered, your children will need to be reminded occasionally that they are not the center of the universe or even your attention. If you invite hurting people into your home for ministry, your children will sometimes have to take a back-burner. If you are committed to Christ and his mission through the local church, your children will sometimes have to go to places they do not want to be at times they do not want to be there.
Rest assured, your children are not getting the short end of the stick. They are getting something much greater than your constant and continual attention. They are receiving the greatest gift you can give them, the insistence upon being Christ-centered in their own life. You are giving them the gospel when you are inviting them to live out the implications of the gospel through your family life. Being child-centered may make you the envy of other parents on the block. It may help you to become class mom or even mom of the year for the elementary school, but it may be doing a lot more to boost your ego than it is to train your children in godliness.
Center on Christ.