When we look at the condition of our world, it is easier than ever to blame the media, the school system, popular public figures, unsaved friends, and outside influences for the falling away of young Christian boys and girls.
Of course, on impressionable children, those things play a role as they compete against our values. However, there is another danger that lurks from the most unexpected of places. Home.
Spiritual complacency is one of the most dangerous places for Christians to find themselves in. And when children are involved, spiritual complacency becomes treacherous ground for future evangelicals.
This lackadaisical act of simple self-satisfaction doesn’t just stop at the parent. But the impacts of spiritual complacency in Christian homes has an enormous effect on children that can be catastrophic to a healthy walk with God.
Spiritual Complacency in Parenting and the Effect it has on Children
The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines complacency as:
1: self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies
2: an instance of usually unaware or uninformed self-satisfaction
We are the biggest influences on our own children, and that doesn’t stop at being good Christ-like examples. It’s actually where it should start. Contentment in your walk with God can, and will, lead a young person down a compromising spiritual path.
Teaching children to love God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength is an uphill battle if we are not actively being an example, striving to be purposeful and guiding in prayer throughout our parenting.
When we make decisions based on a carnal scale we are conceding what is holy. We allow our children to watch a movie, listen to music, have friends, wear clothes, read books, play video games, or spend time doing anything based on a compromising “at least it isn’t as bad as such and such” we step closer to spiritual complacency.
When you make a compromise with your child that goes against your convictions, you’re actually compromising on your devotion to God.
Why are we making room for carnality? Why are we allowing our children to pick what appears to be the lesser of carnal desire? It is dangerous to teach there is any such thing as a less carnal desire.
And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees: that say in their heart, The Lord will not do good, neither will he do evil. ~ Zephaniah 1:12
Sin Will Not Go Unpunished
The Israelites became so apathetic toward God during the time Zephaniah prophesied, that they began to engage in carnal activity such as witchcraft, worshipping false gods, drunken parities and sexual sin.
They grew complacent and believed their sins would go unpunished. Sounds very familiar to today, doesn’t it?
So much sin appears to go unnoticed or swept under the rug that the message becomes “you will never reap what you sow.” Galatians 6:7 tells a different story.
It is a lie we believe that sin can be judged on a sliding scale; that choosing the lesser of carnal desire will not result in destruction. We cannot believe that we have the power to manipulate the end result of sin. God will not be mocked.
Another Day, Another Chance to Sin Before Turning Away
Too often we assume we have another day to turn from our sin. Despite the biblical warnings that time is short and we know not the hour of our Savior’s return, we continue to sin believing there is always time to change.
Becoming complacent in our sin leads to a breakdown in the family. Parents who continue in sin will raise children that will see sin, an idol, or carnal desire, as more important than worshipping and following the Lord.
Another danger in exhibiting complacency is raising children who lack discernment.
Blessed by Default
Are we so complacent that we think showers of blessings will pour as we continue on in sin? We see how a sense of entitlement wrecks work ethic in secular society. The same is true spiritually.
Spiritual complacency leads to a sense of entitlement. God does not owe us. We are to work diligently to plant the seeds and reap the harvest.
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. ~ Galatians 6:9
Is it Holy?
Ask your child, is it holy? They have a responsibility to represent Christ. Allowing them a chance at introspection will train them to think in terms of glorifying Christ.
Ask yourself the same question so the standard you set and encourage is Godly. We want to raise children who glorify God, not find excuses for carnality.