The other day I was with a friend of mine and he made quite a profound statement in passing that I have not yet been able to get out of my head. We were in the midst of discussing parenting (he is a few years ahead of me in the parenting world) and he made the passing statement “I hope my kids don’t have a conversion to Christianity.” Now, please understand, this guy is a remarkable believer who truly is one of the most gospel centered guys I know. He and his family are faithfully trying to figure out how the Gospel should come to bear in all aspects of their lives. So this is not some pagan who is lamenting the perceived folly of Christendom. But nonetheless, he made a statement saying he hopes his children do not have a conversion to Christianity.
This is not to say I do not want my children to know Jesus, I desperately do, it is not to say that I do not want them to be identified with Christ through His Bride the Church. I certainly do. I just do not want it to be a conversion. I want this to be a continuance of what my kids have learned from my wife & I, and from the family of God that has surrounded them since they were born. Ephesians 6:4b is pretty clear that parents are to bring up children in the fear & instruction of the Lord. So if the fear and instruction of the Lord is the culture/context that my kids grow up in there will be no conversion to Christianity but merely a continuance of what they grew up with.
I am not saying my kids will not need to repent. They certainly do. I am also not suggesting that being raised in a God fearing home assures salvation of kids. There will be some point in the future where I hope my kids fully surrender their lives to Jesus…I just hope that is not a point of conversion (converting from what?) but simply a continuance of what has been modeled and taught to them since they were very very young.
There is significant fear with this school of thought that my kids will just learn some stale form of Christianity were they are just going through the motions because it is what they have always done. This is certainly not what I am advocating. I am trying to raise my kids in such a way were they see a vibrant exciting walk with Jesus.