Sometimes lunch-time can be a daunting task of choice. (Special Note to passionate social justice Christians: Yes, I know that this isn’t a big problem, especially with all the problems in this world) Living in a blessed country and in a city with many choices, choosing what to eat can be more of a headache than it should be.
But eventually, I make my choice which is always based on one option, “What kind of sides am I in the mood for?” If it is french fries? Then it’s Mcdonalds. If it is onion rings? Then it’s Culvers. Maybe I want rice, then Chinese.
Deciding what I want for a side dish, helps make the choice of “Where to go for lunch?” easier to make. (And again I know this isn’t a big problem)
I think this isn’t just an issue with food choices, I think many of us in the U.S. make decisions not based on the main, but what kind of sides does it offer. We make choices of restaurants based on service and cleanliness. We choose particular movie theaters on popcorn, location or even ambience. The side options have a significant impact on our decisions.
For many Christians, they choose churches based on the sides. What kind of children’s or youth ministry do they offer? What is the size of the church, are they too small or too big? Is the lead pastor, too young or too old? Do they have programs that my family likes? Is their music entertaining or somber? Gone are the day’s when people chose based on a particular theology that make people choose where to worship.
As a Christian parent, we can love being in a church with all these great sides, but we must not forget that we are the main influence in our family. The youth pastor can be a great person, but he should never be the main influence in your child’s life. That should always be you. Youth Ministry was and should never be the sole source of spirituality in your child’s life.
You don’t need to be a spiritual theologian to be the main spiritual source. Here is a scripture that every parent should know.
1 Peter 3:15 (ESV) say’s “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.
All you need is to know why you have hope. That is it. If you can talk about why you believe what you believe, you can easily talk to your children about faith.
Do not rely on the church, or it’s programs to provide the only spiritual content in your family. That job is yours and solely yours; all the other stuff is good, but it is just the sides.