Let’s be real here. Kids are very emotional. Their emotions can change in the blink of an eye. Often they express these feelings in overly dramatic ways. They believe decisions in the world should be based on their feelings – eliminating bad ones and making good ones last as long as possible.
Unfortunately, many young people never mature to the point of realizing their emotions are not always the best barometer for making decisions. They become adults who base choices on what makes them feel good, regardless of the path of destruction their decision may cause for themselves and others.
Sadly, Christianity is not immune from being ruled by the emotions of the people involved. Choices are made because someone got angry, not because it was the godly thing to do. If Christians feel close to God during a service because of the singing or preaching, they feel saved. Sin is often defined by what “feels” right or wrong rather than on God’s commands.
If something makes them uncomfortable or points out sin in their lives, those negative feelings are labeled as placing “unnecessary judgment and shame” on them. If a sermon points out that all they need to do is “love God and others”, they can feel justified – even if they are living a life embroiled in sin. After all, doesn’t God just want them to be happy?
In order for your children to have unshakeable faith foundations and develop to their godly potential, they need to separate their feelings from the facts. God’s truths don’t rely on our feelings to be true. Yet, if we don’t teach our kids their emotions are unreliable judges, they will reject God’s commands, because they just don’t “feel right” in their secular daily worlds.
If we don’t teach them the strength of our faith is based on our hearts trying to worship, obey and serve God, every time they don’t “feel God’s presence” they will believe something is wrong with God, their church or them. They will move from church to church, experience to experience in an attempt to keep a spiritual emotional high.
They will only serve people and share their faith with those who act grateful. They will only forgive people who are willing to beg and plead until they feel like forgiving them. They will only worship God if their favorite songs are sung. They will only obey God when He agrees with how they feel about the issue.
Just like a strong marriage is based on the commitment and not always the feelings, Christianity is based on their commitment to worship, obey and serve God all the days of their life. Teaching your kids to be aware of their emotions, but use them to drive them back to what God teaches, not what their emotions want, is a vital spiritual guard rail your kids need to establish. They will need your help, but it is definitely worth your time and effort.