Grounding Your Kids in the Gravity of God

by Jason Poling

It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” – Hebrews 10:31

It would be thrilling to experience zero gravity.   Being unburdened by the pressure of gravity would be exciting and liberating.  But then I get realistic.  What if I were accidentally separated from the protective enclosure of a space station or ship?  It makes for an exciting sci fi movie, but in reality, it would be terrifying.  The prospect of floating aimlessly in open space is enough to make me kiss the earth I am happily grounded to by gravity.

 Most likely, no one I know will ever be lost in space.  Yet I know many who are drifting without hope, lost in life.  And in each case, their journey started the same way: they desired to be unburdened by the gravity of God.

 When we hear that God is a holy Judge who will bring eternal punishment upon anyone who rejects and disobeys Him (Hebrews 10:26-31), we immediately experience the weighty burden of the gravity of God.  There is a pressure His presence exerts that pushes us closer to the floor.

 If we are honest, each one of us initially desires to get out from under that gravitational pull.  We want to get out into open space.  We want to be free to float in whatever direction we please.  In fact, from the perspective of the astronaut in space, there is no up or down.  When it comes to living our lives, we want the same experience.  We want to be able to say that there is no up or down, east or west, right or wrong.  We want to say that there is no God, or at least, there is no God who exerts any moral force upon us that requires anything of us or threatens any punitive action for failing to live up to those requirements.

But once we say that, in due time we will find that the freedom of floating in zero gravity will feel like an endlessly terrifying drifting in empty, black space.  We will long for the security of being grounded by the stable, ordered, purpose-filled force of the rule of Almighty God.  We will want to kiss the earth.  And then we will want to “kiss the Son” (Psalm 2:12), the One who rescues us by His shed blood and pulls us back down to earth to once again enjoy the labor of tending His world in His way.

And this is what we must pass on to our kids.  We don’t point them to the stars and say “My child, shoot for those!”  This will only create starry-eyed adults who long to be the center of their universe and freed to do “whatever they set their minds to do” and be “whomever they will be.”  This kind of parenting will inadvertently set your children on a course to be lost in space without the gravity of God.
Instead, we point them to the stars and say, “My child, GOD made those!  He is the King.  Submit to Him and follow Him all the days of your life.”  We must teach our children that the greatest freedom is to feel the force of the gravity of God, not to be out from under it.
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