Your Kids Think God is Like You—(No Pressure)
That thought hit me when my kids were still small and it almost scared me to death. Some parents leave God out of their kids lives altogether. That wasn’t me. I ate, drank and breathed God…with my words.
I was the poster child for this scripture:
The Lord says, “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught.” – Isaiah 29:13
It is our nature to cling to rules instead of freedom. Why?
If we have rules, we can follow them. If we can follow them, we can follow them better than someone else. If we can follow them better than someone else, we have a reason to feel superior.
“If you are reading this and thinking to yourself, “She just doesn’t know me, I am very humble.” Your pride problem is the worst.”
To feel superior, fuels the great enemy of God living inside of us…pride. Everyone on the planet has a pride problem. Only when we embrace this truth will we ever have any humility at all. If you are reading this and thinking to yourself, “She just doesn’t know me, I am very humble.” Your pride problem is the worst.
“He was beaten, bloody and hung naked on a cross because of the nature that lives inside of me and you.”
Pride is the most anti-God attitude there is and it will harden the hearts of everyone around us, especially our children. It is both subtle and deadly. It strokes our ego and makes us think God is very proud of how much we are not like everyone else. We are a cut above on the holiness scale. Before we know it, we are worshipping an imaginary god instead of the God of the universe. He was beaten, bloody and hung naked on a cross because of the nature that lives inside of me and you.
James 4:6 says, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
I looked up the specific word in Greek for opposes. It means to range in battle against, to set oneself against.
If we choose to walk in pride, then God has set Himself against us. That terrifies me.
“If we think we are going to show our kids who God really is without His presence flowing through us, we are living in a fool’s paradise.”
No one is like God but God. If we think we are going to show our kids who God really is without His presence flowing through us, we are living in a fool’s paradise.
If we humble ourselves, God will show us favor. I don’t know about you, but that puts me in my proper place…on my face.
Another reason, in my opinion, we cling to rules is because God is scary. Anyone who says He’s not has never been in His presence. To live in oneness with Him means living in the presence of who He is: white, hot holiness.
“No human can stand in His presence and be proud. When we compare ourselves to God, there is no comparison. We are complete darkness and He is complete light.”
No human can stand in His presence and be proud. When we compare ourselves to God, there is no comparison. We are complete darkness and He is complete light. We will lack the ability to look down on or judge others because we are looking up at Him.
God started the painful process of delivering me from myself over 20 years ago (and that process will continue until I leave this body). How did this start? I got scared! I looked at my three little kids and knew I had no ability to lead them to God in truth because I was walking in the power of my rules. Rules equals misery. No one could see this from the outside looking in but it was true. We can fake happiness for short bursts of time. The truth becomes painfully evident inside the privacy of our homes.
“We can fake happiness for short bursts of time. The truth becomes painfully evident inside the privacy of our homes.”
I got honest with God. I got on my face and told Him I was a fake and didn’t believe all the stuff that came out of my mouth. I was so afraid to give God complete access and control of my life. The only reason I was able to press completely into God was this truth; the mental picture of my kids going to hell because I was a control freak with no faith, only religious rules. I made myself sick and knew someday, I would make my kids sick too.
My soul literally ached for what I was created for…oneness with my God. Long story short, I got to God. In getting to God, I lost my religion. I saw myself as so much worse than I ever could have imagined. God’s presence is a miracle that exposes the truth of who we are (see Isaiah 6). On the flip side, I knew I was both loved and pitied by God in a way that made me feel completely safe. It’s a paradox and a miracle.
“After seeing my own sin nature, I was able to spank my children from a whole different perspective. I wanted to be an instrument in God’s hands to prepare their hearts for His presence someday. He empowered me to be both kind and stern…like Him.”
After that encounter with God, they saw awe and wonder in me as I enjoyed the God of heaven daily. I was able to discipline from the same place of pity that God disciplines me. After seeing my own sin nature, I was able to spank my children from a whole different perspective. I wanted to be an instrument in God’s hands to prepare their hearts for His presence someday. He empowered me to be both kind and stern…like Him.
Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God. Romans 11:22
I finally knew by experience what His presence truly was and to want anything less for them would be criminal. He made butterflies, lightening bugs, raspberries, fish that glow in the dark and a bazillion other things that blow our minds. What a shame we boil Him down to a scowl faced old man always looking for a party to interrupt and send everyone home.
Saint Augustine said, “Love God and do whatever you please: for the soul trained in love to God will do nothing to offend the One who is Beloved.”
When we live immersed in the presence of God, our kids will live in His Presence whether they are saved or lost.
Let’s not waste our lives and repulse our kids. While we still have breath, let’s get on our faces. Forget our husbands (I talk to so many women who think their husband is responsible for their shoddy Christian life), forget our upbringing, forget everything and cry out to God. Ask Him to take us to the place of truly seeing Him. May we never be satisfied with anything less.
Listen to this promise:
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.” – Jeremiah 29:13-14
“Our kids need real, not perfection. Let’s get off our pedestals and get honest. Someday, we will be the ones our children run to at their worst. That’s the biggest compliment they will ever give us.”
If you are captive to rules, good news! The ball is in your court. The choice to stay there or leave is yours.
Our kids need real, not perfection. Let’s get off our pedestals and get honest. Someday, we will be the ones our children run to at their worst. That’s the biggest compliment they will ever give us.
I remember hearing Billy Graham’s children speak at his funeral and every single one of them spoke of his love for them. His daughter Ruth spoke of her painful remarriage. Her family warned her not to do it, but she was stubborn and did it anyway.
Five weeks later, she was afraid of the man she married and fled. She wondered what she would say to her mother and father. She drove two days to get home to them. As she rounded the last bend in her father’s driveway, he was standing there waiting for her. As she got out of the car, he wrapped his arms around her and said ‘welcome home.’ There was no shame, there was no blame, there was no condemnation – just unconditional love. She said her father was not God, but he showed her what God was like that day.”
May God do such a work in all of us that even though our kids know we aren’t God, we would show them what God is like every single day.