Why I Am Rearing My Children with Religion
Several months ago, I read an article entitled, “Why I’m Raising My Kids without Religion,”1 and my problem with the article began right with its title. First, parents may raise corn, raise the roof or even “raise Cain,” but we are to “rear” children, not raise them. Second, we do not raise “kids,” unless we are talking about baby goats—we rear “children.” I hope I have not lost you already with my “Grammar Nazi” pet peeves.
Seriously, the author of the article in the “Shine” section of Yahoo News began the article with the question, “Does God really exist?” and then proceeded to explain why he chose not to believe in God any longer and would not include religion in his parenting. The entire article dripped with subjective morality and pointless postulations about ethics and religion. Yes, the article both angered me and saddened me.
Therefore, I want to express why I am rearing my children with religion, but not just any religion—a godly, true religion based upon the principles guided by the Creator of the heavens and earth. I want to discuss why I will not avoid discussing these issues while they are young and then allow them to search and decide for themselves, and why this is an absolutely crazy and unloving gesture on the part of parents.
First, I am rearing my children with religion because society throughout ages has shown the deplorable conditions of homes without religion. Crumbling home foundations without a godly religion continue to exist all around us. We have noted the rapid deterioration of families without a godly religion for centuries, yea, even millennium. Homes without religion often contain mounting materialism, licentious living and sinful sensuousness. Thus, many of these problems can be traced to the fact that far too many homes exist without a godly structure of morality and a firm foundation of righteousness in which families may stabilize and grow. Case in point, far too many children are subject to watching their parents go through the painful process of divorce right before their eyes, because their parents are not maintaining the type of marriage that a godly religion demands (Eph. 5:22-33). Among a nation of families, we are quickly becoming a nation of broken (and immoral) homes, and it is not due to the influence of a godly religion, but just the opposite! In order for America to save our homes, it will take the influence of a godly religion: “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people” (Prov. 14:34).
Second, I am rearing my children with religion because homes with Jesus Christ in them are far better! Just as Jesus blessed the homes of Simon Peter and Andrew (Mark 1:29-31), Jairus (Mark 5:22-41), Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42) and Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10), He can infinitely bless my home! He is not a shunned stranger, but a welcome guest! He blesses my home when His presence and influence is felt through the lives of those inside. It is because of a Christ-like atmosphere from a religion that serves Him that words of encouragement and kindness are spoken to each other (cf. Prov. 25:11; Eph. 4:29-32). I am rearing my children with Christ as the center of my home because Jesus leaves homes with His godly presence therein much more blessed than otherwise!
Third, I am rearing my children with religion because only religion teaches me how the family best functions. The morals of society and culture change and blow like the coming winds, but only godly religion teaches me who made the first home (Genesis 2) and how our Creator intends for homes to function. Only godly religion instructs husbands how to best love their wives (Eph. 5:25-33), and only godly religion instructs wives how to respect their husbands as the heads of their households (Eph. 5:22-24; Titus 2:3-5)—I certainly will not learn these otherwise! Only godly religion instructs children to honor and obey their parents (Eph. 6:1-3). Only godly religion instructs parents to teach, discipline and nurture their children (Eph. 6:4; cf. Deut. 6:6-10). Homes in which families function accordingly are the happiest; homes in which these do not happen struggle.
Fourth, I am rearing my children with religion because I am interested in the salvation of my family, and only a godly religion can offer that. The writer of the article clearly mentioned that he only lived in the present (the here-and-now), and refused to believe in an afterlife. How sad will he conclude when he meets his Lord and Judge? How successful of parents are they ultimately who fail to prepare their children for the impending judgment and resurrection? In Matthew 25, Jesus talks about those who failed to prepare for the coming Bridegroom, and parents who rear their children without religion are doing their children a disservice by not preparing them for eternity! Every accountable husband, wife, father, mother and child needs God! Every accountable husband, wife, father, mother and child needs Jesus Christ as their Savior! Every accountable husband, wife, father, mother and child needs Christianity! All of this is true because every accountable husband, wife, father, mother and child needs salvation from their sins (Rom. 3:23; 6:23). It is the duty of parents to live godly lives and to teach their children the need to believe (John 8:24), repent (Luke 13:3, 5; Acts 2:38; 17:30), confess their faith in Jesus (Matt. 10:32) and to be baptized for the remission of their sins (Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 16:16; Acts 22:16; Rom. 6:3-4; 1 Pet. 3:21).
Therefore, every home needs to hear these words: “This day is salvation come to this house…” (Luke 19:9). Only parents who choose to rear their children with religion will have the chance of this happening! As godly parents, let us rise above the militant atheism and outrageous secularism of our day and loudly proclaim, “I am rearing my children with religion, because I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ!” (cf. Rom. 1:16).