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Relationship > Religion

Campers on a swing

Let’s be about grace and truth as we parent our kids to be about their relationship with Jesus over simply being religious. Read on for three steps pointing us toward parenting in this direction.


“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.” 

Psalm 34:8


Belief system, pursuit of supreme importance, interest in…all these words are part of what defines, “religion”.  Religion can conjure up thoughts of good vs bad behavior, a long list of do’s and don’ts, obeying vs not obeying, cold, stale, too hard to do it 100% right.

Thankfully God is very interested in a relationship with us not how religious we can be! Phew!

Sometimes life with Jesus can seem to be so much about religion.  As parents we have a tough task ahead of us to focus on His relationship with us and our relationship with Him. We then get to live this out for our children to grab hold of.

 Jesus came to seek and to save the lost! He came in grace and truth.  Let’s do the same as we parent our kids to think more about their relationship with Jesus over simply being religious.

  • Aim for the heart, not simply good behavior. Growing up I remember hearing (all too often due to my mischievousness), “I don’t want to hear you and your brother argue one more time!”  Thankfully, we’re reminded in 1 Samuel 16:7, “…The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” As we parent, let’s go a few steps deeper and address the possible selfishness, and lack of concern for someone else’s interest…even when it’s an “annoying” brother or sister!
  • Be transparent. As parents we have the privilege of being watched by the little people in our homes.  Sharing when we mess up and/or need to ask someone for forgiveness, or when God’s truth doesn’t seem to match up with what we are feeling or experiencing are all great ways to show our kids we trust God has our best interest in mind even when it’s hard.  They’ll soak that up.
  • “I don’t want to go to church.” Surely there’s not a parent alive who hasn’t heard this…or said this! When we hear these words from our beloved angel children it is a great chance for us to remind them that we, followers of Christ, ARE the church!  Sunday morning services provide an opportunity to be equipped by teaching of truth from God’s Word which helps keep our compass pointed true North. It is also an opportunity to know this life and their relationship with Christ isn’t always about what they want.  It’s about what Christ wants…and thankfully that is THEIR best!

Religion is a tough thing to master…just ask the Pharisees. Jesus is about what’s inside of us, not only a display of proper behavior or following of rules on the outside.  Let’s be mindful of this nugget of truth as we teach our kids through our words and actions what a life following Christ is about.

Camper Corner

When have you followed a rule this week, but had a bad attitude about it?  We all have those times.  Thankfully Jesus wants to know YOU and wants you to know Him.  What can you do today to have a better relationship with Jesus? (hint…go outdoors, list things you’re thankful for, thank God for the ability to play – then go do it!)

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