Okay, I know the title of the post sounds totally anti-God and anti-Bible. That is not all what I am intending to say, but I got your attention, right? I am referring to the danger of using the Bible to get what we want as parents rather than actually parenting our children and teaching them what God's Word has to say. Ephesians 6:1 has been used and over used to the point that some kids can quote it backward and forward, but inside their spirit is angry and resentful.
Mom: "No, you can't wear that outfit."
Child: "But WHY? "
Parent: "Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right."
Child: "I can't wait to grow up and get out of here so I don't have to obey you anymore!"
(Verbally stated or held internally.)
This is not the only verse that is overused or used out of context.
Child: "I can't understand my algebra homework."
Parent: "I can do all things through him who strengthens me."
Child: (sarcastically) "Thanks, that cleared everything up."
The examples could go on, but hopefully you get my point. Child is arguing, complaining, or disobeying and the parents response is to throw out a verse and move on like it was a magic phrase that fixed everything. The child has learned nothing other than they needed help from a parent they trusted and that help was not given. Instead they got a quick quote that was empty and lacked love behind it.
This is wrong. So what do we do? Should you not teach your kids scripture or avoid quoting it to them? No, but I would assert that there is a way to do it that is gentle and graceful. It will teach them to love God's Word rather than to hate it or twist it to be used for their own purposes.
We can do a great deal of damage when it comes to our handling of scripture and it's presentation to our kids. We can also ruin our testimony by our rants on social media and behavior toward other adults. For now all I can do is try to live out the gospel every day and when I fail, ask forgiveness of my heavenly Father and those around me.
"A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one."