19 year old Hannah Sabata may very well go down in history as the dumbest criminal EVER! After she robbed a Waco, Nebraska Bank, she fanned out her money on Youtube, showing the camera a note that says, “Then I robbed a bank with a gun, a pillow case and a note.” Her plan was to go on a shopping spree, but her binge was short-lived; police caught up to her within a few days and put her behind bars.
Perhaps she thought she wouldn’t get caught. Or perhaps she just wanted to have some fun. Either way, I don’t think she was planning on doing time in the clink!
As thoughtful human beings, we can sometimes be very stupid. In fact, we often seem to believe that we are the exception to the rules. Sometimes that means we feel that we can get away with something, or that we’re invincible. If you don’t think you’re this way, just wait until you discover your first gray hair!
We as parents easily fall prey to the same delusions. We tend to think, deep down, that it’s the “other family” that has problems, or that have their young people go prodigal. But the facts prove that this is not the case. In fact, the vast majority of our “Christian” young people leave home – and God – at the same time, breaking their parents’ hearts into shivers. (some folks think the attrition rate is as high as 94%!!)
What are some Delusions we parents fall prey to?
1. “My kids will be fine. As long as they’re not bothering me, they’re ok.” I think my parents thought the same thing when I was about 4 or 5 years old and a 15 year old neighbor boy took me to the woods to play a “game.” Thankfully I was a feisty little girl, and when his “game” began to hurt, I pushed him away. But nowadays young people are getting into things – online relationships, dangerous and addicting video games, drugs, etc. – all without their parents’ knowledge. No, our kids are NOT fine just because they’re not bothering us.
2. “Oh, the church and the youth group will take care of my young person’s spirituality. I don’t have to do anything.” The church and youth group are wonderful extensions of parental teaching and training, but can never replace it. What we do at home teaches the children much more emphatically than what is taught for just a few hours from a pulpit every week.
3. “What my kids need is more “stuff,” and lots of activities. Hey, I work hard to give my kids whatever they need. Isn’t that enough?” Don’t fall for this one. Kids don’t need stuff, they need YOU.
It’s easy to think “Oh, that won’t happen to me,” and have our hearts broken. By the same token, we don’t want to be paranoid, but to have a realistic approach to life. Let’s face it, in our society today, there are more distractions than ever, so we must be vigilant.
Let’s not fall into these ruts of wrong thinking, or we may end up with – not just a jail sentence, but decades of heartache.
Over the next few months, I’m going to write about child training. Specifically, I’m going to write about raising godly children, based on interviews I’ve conducted with dozens of young people who have chosen to serve the Lord.
QUESTION: What other parental delusions have you seen? Leave a comment and let me know!
Keep your eyes out for the upcoming release of my new book on this topic, Lionproof: Keeping Your Children from the Claws of the Devil, coming in September! In this book, there will be:
- Not just information telling parents why kids are going astray, but proven parenting practices that have worked for generations that are successful in raising godly children.
- Dozens of interviews from those 2nd generation Christians who KNOW what their parents did RIGHT.
- Charts and graphs detailing the results of the interviews
- Assignments to help the reader implement these principles in their own parenting.
- And much, much more!
Other Helpful Resources:
- Raising Modern Day Joseph, by Larry Fowler, an excellent book which takes the view of “how to do it successfully,” rather than just documenting why our young people are leaving our churches.
- Jumping Ship, by Michael Pearl – Pearl is a very polarizing author – either you love him or hate him, but his advice in this book is excellent.
- Already Gone, by Ken Ham – By talking to many, many 2nd generation Christians who have left the church, Ham has discovered that the majority of young people have their direction set long before they reach 18. It’s a must-read for anyone in ministry, or any parent.
- The Barna Group, a Christian research organization which provides vital statistics for the Christian home, and many valuable resources.
For the record, I don’t get any kickback for recommending these books. They’re just books I’ve read on the subject, and that I think are excellent.
Wednesday: To Love Honor and Vacuum