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An Open Letter to Parents  

Recently I overheard a conversation between a mother and her young child.  The well-intentioned mom informed her son that unless a certain behavior changed, he would not be able to attend Awana Bible club.

I don't doubt her motivation.  Nor is there anything wrong with stripping a child of privileges for behavior that fails to meet clearly defined age-appropriate expectations.

But when we consider all the evil in the world, all the dark forces at work trying to wrap their wicked tentacles around our kids, using a Christian Bible club as a reward to be earned, or a punishment to be meted out seems wildly inappropriate.

I've seen this in other situations.  A neighbor lady often used our church youth group as a “withholding tool” for disciplining her kids.  She wouldn't allow them to attend if they didn't meet a certain behavior standard.  So they often missed.   Know what?  They quit going all together.

Think of all the Bible lessons these young people have missed out on.  Ponder all the Christian comradery they were shortchanged, the vital friendships that were never forged, the mentoring that never happened.  I do not consider it hyperbole to suggest the entire trajectory of their lives may well have been changed—for the worse.

And many of the same people who use Bible clubs or youth group meetings as rewards somehow fail to see their child's television or gaming time as candidates for disciplinary withholding.   Really!

The hymn writer asked, “Is this vile world a friend to grace to help me on to God?”  The answer, of course, is no!

By all means, we must discipline our children.  By all means, let's let children experience consequences for bad behavior or bad choices.  But let us never ever prevent them from attending a Christian club or event where the gospel is presented and Jesus is lifted high.

We dare not forget that eternity is always at stake.


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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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Jon Gauger Media 2016