This past Sunday, Mark Driscoll shared a thought in his sermon that I found very interesting.
"If you idolize, you will demonize. The great American theologian
Jonathan Edwards articulated this, if you idolize your job, eventually
you’ll demonize your job, you’ll hate it. If you idolize your spouse,
eventually you will demonize your spouse and hate them."
As I was thinking about that concept last night as I was putting my kids to bed and began to wonder if we as parents often teach our kids to idolize things....maybe even us.
I've heard story after story after story about people who are deeply hurt by their parents and spend a large piece of their life learning how to heal. I know there are all sorts of reasons for this, but could one be that children often idolize their parents and when their parents fail and make mistakes instead of teaching the kids that parents fail and make mistakes too, we often continue life like we didn't. I don't really know if that has a whole lot of bearing on their view of us, but I do know a lot of kids and even adults that spend their lives trying to please their parents and that their parents have become their idol (god).
In a similar since, I wonder how many of us as parents show our kids how to worship idols rather than the one true God. I know my kids pay close attention to what I do (and don't do) and as I look at my life and things that can easily be an idol in my life (money, self, etc...), I know they notice that as well.
I don't know how many times over the years God has had to teach me about not letting money become an idol for me. I wouldn't necessarily say that I worship money, but I certainly worry about not having any from time to time. My thoughts move from seeing where God is providing to seeing what I feel like I am lacking. I am now longer worshiping God, because I am too distracted by a lack of money. Kids are so aware, I know they pick up on that. Not only that, but they don't see me worshiping God.
When I think about the idea of idolizing things and not worshiping God, I realize how hard it can really be to be a good reflection of Christ. I think it is important for us as parents to realize this and be aware of how our lives are being reflected to the lives of our children. Let your kid know you are not "god," but that you too are trying to worship the one true God and you will fail. When you fail, apologize, point them to God, and worship the creator together.