A couple days ago, I was filling out a sheet which had slots for things like the character’s lie and truth as well as, of course, backstory. I had the character’s faults, the lies he tells himself, and the truth he needs to learn …
But why? Why does he act like that? I needed a backstory. After all, without a proper motivation, there was no reason for his behavior. This is quite important in a story world because otherwise the reader feels that the character is directionless and unreal.
At last I laughed and wrote in the backstory slot: “a proper Christian upbringing.” Well. That’s worth the discussion, I think.
Why would David, without a tragic backstory, even have a problem?
You see, all my character David needed for this particular lie was to learn it through application. And what better way to learn something than through the people who raised you?
David has a legalistic view of the world, that there are some sins that make one so dirty and empty that you can’t come back.
And the thing is … he knows better. It’s his heart, not his mind, that’s caught in that lie. That endlessly convicts him, without grace, and does the same to others. (I wrote a post about this earlier, sort of.)
The lies of, “This is how far you can go without losing God’s love” and “I would never do something so bad!” somehow got communicated to him even though they’re not Christian ideas.
Raised Christian … but that doesn’t mean you are one.
Now, I was raised in a strong Christian family like David. I bet many of you are. Now, I could technically say I’ve been a Christian since I can remember, but realistically, it was just about my family until I was thirteen or fourteen.
I believe that is true of many young Christians who were raised in a Christian household. They don’t take it as their own – at least not right off – and it ends up kinda messy.
You have to take God for yourself. He can’t be your parents’ God, your grandparents’ God, or your church’s God. Just yours.
One of my favorite Bible characters, one of Jesus’s 12 disciples, John, has an extraordinary perspective. Throughout the book of John, he refers to himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved.”
That’s the kind of ownership of Jesus Christ, or rather being owned by Jesus Christ, that we ought to embrace! An “I am the one He loves” kind of thought process.
Is Being a Raised a Christian a Blessing?
In my way of thinking at least, being raised a Christian is one of the most amazing blessings ever. It means you are equipped and supported by your family. It makes lots of things so much easier …
… but it can also become a crutch. Raised-Christian people miss out on so many things that people who come to the faith in other ways naturally gain.
And we have to watch and make sure those things aren’t a crutch, but rather something we’re aware of.
So without further ado,
5 Things Raised-Christian People Miss Out On
1: Coming to God and finding Him for yourself.
Yes, eventually you absolutely have to make God your own separate from your family and church. But you don’t get to find Him for yourself originally.
I know I’m not the only one who’s wondered, “Would I even have found God, would I even be a Christian without my family?”
If you’re wondering: yes, probably. Though we never know “what if,” we do know that if God wants you, He’ll get you! But it’s hard not to wonder.
2: Being a “child of God” (but not really) straight off.
Most Christians start off as grandchildren, ushered into God’s presence by their parents, often unwillingly. However, there are no grandchildren in Heaven. We’re all children of God, and He doesn’t have a special place set aside for the earthly babies of those who chose Him.
But it can be easy to fall into passivity or never make God yours as an automatic “grandchild.” You have to take steps to become a child of God. You don’t start out there.
3: You never get to start from scratch.
A former non-Christian coming to God for the first time gets to work everything out for himself. Yeah, he might get lost, but he also doesn’t have a bunch of preconceived notions and lies to work through. (And sometimes, even a lot of the time, Christians are raised to believe things that just aren’t Christian.)
I oftentimes wonder if I really have as much of an open mind while studying the Bible or evidence about Creation or other things like that. I believe I do my best. But it would be cool to start from scratch or disprove anti-God beliefs rather than simply starting with the truth and discovering it!
4: You don’t experience it as a miracle.
I don’t know about you, but I was never really awed by Christianity as a child. It was just … the truth. Christianity was just my life. It wasn’t new or impressive or exciting.
In fact, I still find church, still find Christian music, still find sermons ridiculously boring. There’s nothing new there, and I adore new things!
I believe this is one of the biggest problems long-time Christians face. It’s not a miracle anymore if it ever was.
Yet it is a miracle – it is amazing that Jesus Christ died for our sins! Yet it’s so hard for even a child to experience that wonder when they were raised in a household where that is old news.
Miracles were so commonplace to me that they weren’t impressive. And that’s not good!
5: Rebelling but not knowing it.
Okay, this one is a bit more silly than the others, but it’s still kinda true!
When you were raised in a (real) Christian home and you rebel, you’re not really a lost soul. You’re just a hypocrite.
Furthermore, as a Christian, when you rebel, you know you’re rebelling! You know you’re sinning, you know it’s not all right. There’s no illusion there.
And though this is a GOOD thing, it’s also an annoying thing, because you cannot get away with murder.
Your parents would kill you. You’d be convicted!
So yep. That’s not fun! ?
So that’s it for my 5 things raised-Christian people miss out on! This wasn’t my best post, but I’d been thinking about it as I wrote about my character David (who is really a swell guy, honestly).
Well … what do you think? Do you agree with me or do you think there are no disadvantages to being raised in a Christian household? Were you raised Christian or did you come to the faith some other way?