Are You in Control of Your Kids?

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He's got a dusty-blond head of hair and the physique of a high school football player. He has a similar expression as well. But he doesn't play football. He boxes and hikes. Someone in the room mentions that Brittany and I are "really religious."

"I'm always up for talking about it," I offer, reiterating my enjoyment of Random Bible Question Time with Luke. I love answering questions and encountering sticking points I didn't know existed. I also do my best to present various views if I am aware of them. This is one of the ways I challenge myself to keep learning.

He talks at me but doesn't meet my gaze. "You do not want to get into this with me."

"Oh, he does," my wife rejoins. I nod emphatically.

He sighs. "Well, first, you should know I'm an atheist." No problem. "What do you say to the fact that Christianity is just a conglomeration of much older religions, like the Egyptian sun god born on December 25th and stuff?"

We talk about it. I mention Zeitgeist: The Movie and then we get down to history. I'm not trying to shut him down, but there's no way I'm going to hold back. He then mentions the late publishing of the Gospels and hints at the theory that the Gospels made Christ progressively more divine the later they were written.

So we talk about that too.

I try to affirm his questions as reasonable--given what he's heard and read. But even so, I'm afraid I steamrolled him a bit. It's uncomfortable to come up against someone who has solid responses to the flimsy straw men you've been burning as effigies. Our time comes to a close before I can decompress the discussion. That bums me out a bit.

I want to provide a safe place for kids to express their doubts and struggles. When I was in high school, my goal was to "win" and "prove" the other person wrong. Since then, I've seen firsthand how destructive such an approach can be to building relationships and pointing people to Christ.

Supermom made this point really clear for me in her post Relationships Before Rules. Please give it a read. I really appreciated her thoughts.

May the hearts of our children be turned to us (their parents) and drawn to Christ as they see in us His love and grace, and not anger and offense and judgment. As your children transition from "totally under your control" to giving you influence, are they allowing you to provide insight or are they pushing away?

Whatever the case, may the peace of Christ rule in your heart as you continue to bring your children before the Lord in prayer. Because, while you ultimately can't control your kids, He loves them and does not want them to perish.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester

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