Great faith-based parents are citizens of heaven. What it means to be a citizen of God’s holy nation is something we should ponder. Today the world and our nation may give us pause for concern. We face what appears to be more and more pressure to conform to the world’s narratives, ideas and beliefs.
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
1 Peter 2:9
This is the reason it is important that we live as citizens of Heaven rather than of the USA. You may ask, are you proud to be an American? Yes I am. We also have to recognize that what it means to be an American is quickly changing around us.
It is easy for us to gradually shift our bar and standards, often unconsciously. When we do, we drift further and further away from the citizenship of the Holy Nation and God’s cover.
Why is it important for parents to live as Citizens of Heaven?
- We can have peace in troubled times
- We can encourage our kids to take a stand in the youth culture
- We can protect our kids’ faith
It is more important than ever that we know who we are, whose we are and where our strength and safety really stem from. When we live as citizens of a fallen world, we are subject to its direction and laws. The same is true if we are citizens of heaven; we are subject to God’s direction and laws. This is where the rub comes in. If we are moved by the changes around us in the US, we are moving away from the boundaries established by God. That will never end well when we consider the nation of Israel. Conversely, when Israel understood and abided in its position with God as a Holy Nation, it was protected, rescued and blessed in amazing ways.
This is why we need to live as a Holy Nation within the US. When we are covered and find peace in troubled times through His cover and Spirit, we experience joy and freedom. The Spirit grants us peace that emanates from our hearts.
Living as citizens of heaven extends peace and security to our kids. Research shows that kids pick up on our emotions far more than we realize. Our emotions actually impact their development and emotional well being. For example, parents who live in fear, even if they do not share it, end up with kids who are even more fearful.
We show our kids how to live as citizens of a holy nation through our ability to live it out in front of them so our words ring true and move their hearts to follow. is essential, given the world we live in today, to help them learn to find peace in difficult circumstances and times. Then they will be blessed in everything they do as they move forward in life.
Today kids are more relative; they are more influenced by relationships than facts and truth which frustrates many parents. Let me encourage you to see your kids differently. Their focus on relationship affords you an amazing opportunity to have deeper influence in their lives than you may believe is possible. Parents who live as citizens of Heaven have faith in God’s ability to cover and protect their kids. This trust allows them to relax and draw closer to their kids. They are no longer afraid; fear often leads them to make decisions that drive their kids away. Kids who are close to their parents, feel believed in and see their parents’ having the faith to stand as Citizens of the Heaven, grow and change. The combination of a close relationship and seeing their parents’ faith lived out gives kids the relational anchor and support needed to step out in faith and stand strong. We have seen many kids even take a stand with their closest friends.
Our research found that kids left the faith because they did not see it working in their homes. We have been with parents visiting from out of state whose kids attend expensive Christian schools who, while in Colorado, decided they could smoke some weed around them. This is a great example of how the laws of our US citizenship can subtly alter our views. It is things like this that drive the younger generation crazy and away from the Lord. Why? They value experience more than simple truth. When we honor our citizenship on earth more than our eternal citizenship in Heaven, we draw further from the peace and cover of God.
When talking with kids from homes either where the parents are legalistic and thus controlling like the Old Testament or free wheeling like in the example above, we see that their faith is negatively impacted. In fact the number one reason kids give for leaving the faith is that they did not see the faith as viable. They did not see it altering lives in their homes and youth groups.
I believe this is because the world we live in, its pressure and changes, has impacted us more than we realize. Have we compromised in order to fit in or to “reach people?” Have we moved further and further away from our citizenship in Heaven to the point that our kids do not see us as being any better than those who do not attend church.
I can tell you that far too many kids have made statements like this to me! We need to renew our citizenship in Heaven, not one that is steeped in legalism but one that is steeped in the love, grace and compassion Jesus had for sinners that He came alongside to heal. He did not compromise his beliefs to serve love and heal, nor did He slip towards the permissive culture of Rome. He understood where His citizenship really was. Understanding ours can help us become more like Christ in our homes and alter the ultimate direction of our kids’ lives.