On "Raising Good Kids" and the Mission of God

Occasionally, when the subject of missional living comes up during a conversation with a young parent, I will hear something like this:

One way you can be “missional” is to raise good children. Thats what I’m doing.

The idea is that being a responsible parent and instilling the right attitudes and behaviors in your child is an important spiritual responsiblity. Thus, “missionality” is recharacterized as going about the critical task of child rearing without regard to the reaching out to the marginalized in society.

But it seems to me that this recharacterization does a serious disservice to our children.

As a parent, my job is to raise my children to be disciples of Jesus, and Jesus’ life was about reaching out into the margins of society. How will my children ever learn to imitate Jesus in this way if they (a) never see their parents doing it and (b) are never given opportunities to learn how to do it themselves?

Rather than serving as a free pass for avoiding the marginalized, the responsiblities of parenthood ought to be urging us toward greater commitment to serving those who are weak and powerless in our communities.

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2 Responses to On "Raising Good Kids" and the Mission of God

  1. hey man – great blog. i’ve read a few things on my first visit, and i’m looking forward to more. i totally agree with you on the kids thing. since when are we just supposed to be about making good, safe, kind kids? there’s gotta be more to it than that! i want my kids to see their parents doing things for the Kingdom. big and small. safe and unsafe.

  2. Matt says:

    Thanks, Aaron. Its easy to miss the point about discipleship and kids, I think. Our instincts are to protect and insulate, but Jesus wants to form them into disciples – and that means teaching them about how to engage those outside of our comfortable, middle-class world.

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