Such as These
As the family sat down to dinner the other night, a couple of us (Daddy and Gracie) were poised to dig in, when Macy said, "Aren't we going to pray?"
Kids, eh? They are such a reliable barometer of my spiritual priorities.
"What are you worried about, Dad?" Macy asked me yesterday.
"Huh? Why do you think I'm worried?"
"You have a worried look on your face."
"Oh. I didn't know."
"You should put a happy smile on!"
I'll tell you what, the times I remember to not think of my girls as little religious projects of mine, to stop thinking in terms of making sure they "turn out right," and start seeing them as reflections of my own religion, are the times I most have a handle on what it means to raise kids in Jesus' kingdom. (Gary Thomas's incredible book Sacred Parenting was a great help in this regard.)
I have known and still know, that in all of the challenges in my five years of stay-at-home dadding, the biggest challenge has been to see my parenting as refining of me as much as of the girls. I desperately want them to grow up loving and following Jesus; but they have worked this ministry in me as much, if not more than, I have worked it in them. Sometimes I believe their healthy discipleship occurs in spite of my parenting as often as it does because of it.
Like marriage, parenting is not a project -- it is a spiritual discipline.
How Jesus-y my girls become is not a result of the effectiveness of my techniques but a reflection of the quality of my own Christlikeness.
Macy writes and tells a lot of stories. Lately they are more and more retellings of Bible stories. Grace has taken to evangelizing all her stuffed animals and talking so much about "the Lord Jesus" it makes even me uncomfortable.
These activities are colored by childishness. But I take them as indicators their parents are doing something right.