According to the Associated Press, a woman in South Carolina recently attempted to smuggle illegal items to an inmate using a hallowed bible. Despite the fact that she was using the word of God as a solution to a ‘perceived’ problem, this misguided act clearly demonstrates the extent of some people’s desperate behavior; especially among those who desire to fulfill an important need in the lives of others. This woman attempted to pass along something that was obviously inappropriate under the cover of religion. In essence, one may argue that some well-intended Christian parents often engage in a similar type of misguided behavior. As parents who are committed to raising their children under the premise of biblical precepts, are we unknowingly guilty of conveying certain ‘empty messages’ to our children under the cover of religion? Consider the following behavioral aspects:
1. Are we displaying an insincere and artificial disposition among others within certain religious settings? Are we more concerned with appearing holy as opposed to being holy? Even though our motives may be hidden in the eyesight of others, many children are able to distinguish the difference between being pleasant and being plastic.
2. Are we attending and participating in certain worship related activities in the public and failing to apply biblical principles in privacy (in the home). In light of our shortcomings, children are clearly aware of these inconsistencies which may often result in resentment and a lack of respect towards authority.
3. Do we deliberately avoid sincere fellowship with others in an attempt to avoid opportunities for growth and character development? By working with others who are less mature than us, we learn patience. By seeking the help of others who are able to assist us in our time of need we learn humility. Despite their lack of understanding, children are able to discern when their parents are making efforts to avoid instances of difficulty and hardship.
As Christian fathers, let’s resist the temptation of smuggling deceit and flattery under the guise of righteousness and purity. According to the bible, God is clearly concerned with our motives as well as our actions (1 Tim. 1:5; 2 Tim. 2:22, James 3:1-3). By exhibiting transparency and a commitment to sincerity, we will not only leave a legacy worth recognizing; we will ultimately bring honor and dignity to name that above all other names.
“Behold, you desire truth in the innermost parts”.