5: Religion Crammed Down Throat
Deuteronomy 6:6-9 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
Do you ever fear that your children will rebel against God because you made them go to youth group, church, or AWANA? We probably all know people who say that they had religion crammed down their throats when they were younger. Please take a moment and reread the above verse. What does it say? How much religion should we expose our children to? A little, or a lot? To me it sounds like it is even more than a lot. We are supposed to totally engulf them in God's Word. Our home should be an environment where God is talked about when we get up, when we eat meals, when we go for walks, and when we lie down. In other words, the things of God should be a constant topic of conversation.
Stop and think about it for a second. How many of the people you've heard say that religion was crammed down their throats actually had religion crammed down their throats? Some of the people I know are just bitter that they had to attend lifeless and rote services. Others may have been turned off by extensive hypocrisy they saw in the church they attended. Hopefully that is not what we are exposing our children to. If we are, we need to stop! That was the type of meaningless religion Jesus opposed.
Others who say religion was crammed down their throats may just be blaming God for their own rebellion against him. It's like when someone gets caught speeding and they blame the "stupid law" or the "cops who don't have anything better to do." The real problem is not with the law or the police, the problem is with the lawbreaker. In the same way, when someone is rebelling against God it may be easier to blame their upbringing rather than admitting they have an issue with God.
Are there really people out there who were exposed to good teaching in a healthy church, a loving family, and surrounded by godly Christians who are still resentful of their upbringing? My guess would be that would be a pretty small group, if any at all. Even though they might be resentful of their upbringing, my guess is that they would still be profoundly impacted by it for the better.
Is it better to over-educate or under-educate a student? Is it better to over-train or under-train a soldier? Is it better to over-expose or under-expose our kids to God? In each of these cases, more is better! Greater exposure to the things of God should only result in a greater love toward God, and should better equip your kids for life. Don't fear turning them off of God; worry about turning them on to God. Don't worry about giving them too much; worry about if you are giving them enough.