I’ve been thinking quite a bit lately about identity. I want to raise children whose primary identity is in Christ – people who think of themselves first and foremost as Christians.
How do you raise kids who have that kind of identity? If that’s the goal, what does that mean for every day life, for our schedules, the books we read, the music we listen to, the places we go, the friends we choose?
In classical homeschooling circles, we talk a lot about teaching our children to love Truth, Beauty, and Goodness. Because, of course, you are what you love. With that in mind I want us, as a family, to rightly order our affections. I long for us to live out what we believe so that our faith can be seen in everything we do. I don’t want to be halfhearted Christians, people who swear a little less and act a bit nicer than the average person.
And so we homeschool, and we do morning devotions, we memorize scripture, and of course there’s church every Sunday. But there are other areas where it can be more difficult to discern the right choice.
Let’s take music. I’ve never been one to say that Christians should not ever listen to secular music, but now that my oldest child frequently has a music-playing device in her hand and earbuds in her ears, I find myself wondering: What is she listening to? How do I monitor it? And most of all, how can I convince her that what she listens to matters? Matters because it is shaping her, shaping how she thinks and what she loves, and as a result, who she is becoming.
So I’ve been praying about these things, and thinking about them, for quite awhile.
Then someone told me about a Christian rock/worship concert that is happening in our area this weekend. Now, I hate – HATE – loud concerts. I mean, that stuff gives me anxiety. I get anxious when the worship team monitors at church get a bit on the loud side. I’m not really a fan of crowds, either. Or…well…rock music in general. Saying this concert is “not my thing” is the understatement of the year.
But my girl — my girl likes rock bands. My girl is learning to play guitar (lead guitar, actually, is becoming her thing) and she is interested in going to hear these bands play. She doesn’t currently listen to any Christian music.
Maybe taking our kids to this concert is one way to add to their identity as Christians.
It’s not the way I had in mind. I thought we could watch less tv, pray more, spend less time online and more time in more meaningful conversation while thinking deeply.
I didn’t imagine we would join a huge crowd of people to listen to several hours of extremely loud rock music.
Sometimes you have to take one for the team.
What steps have you taken to instill Christian identity in your kids, in your family culture? Has it sometimes taken an unexpected form?