We pass on to our kids the things we’re passionate about. It’s no accident or surprise that kids really love a lot of thing their parents love. You ask a hunter why he loves hunting and he’ll probably say, “It just runs in our family. My dad took me hunting, my granddad took him hunting, and I take my boy hunting. We’re just a hunting family.”
Why do you like Classic Rock? Why do you listen to Led Zeppelin and the Eagles and Van Halen? “My dad loved Classic Rock. That’s all we listened to growing up. He took me to my first Aerosmith concert when I was thirteen. We sang Tom Petty songs in the car all the time. It just runs in our family.”
Carrie-Anne and I are very passionate about Texas. We love Texas, we love being Texans. We want to talk to like Texans and think like Texans and act like Texans and eat like Texans. And our kids are the exact same way. Why? Because we took them to the Alamo and bought them all Davy Crockett coonskin caps when they were little. We took their pictures in huge fields of Bluebonnets every spring. We celebrate Texas Independence Day in our house every year. Carrie-Anne taught the girls how to make guacamole and how to make chili — no beans! And we only put mustard on our hamburgers — not ketchup; and never mayonnaise! When Valerie and Carley cross the Texas state line going to or coming from college, they call us and sing the Texas state song over the phone. Why? Because we did that together on all our vacations and road trips. It runs in the family.
Being Texas Rangers fans runs in our family. My dad took me to Rangers games at the old Arlington Stadium and Carrie-Anne’s parents took her. And we got our kids to the Ballpark as fast as we could. Sure, early on, they only went so they could get pink cotton candy and a Lemon Chill. But we kept going. Dozens and dozens and dozens of hot, sweaty, miserable, summer nights. But today our girls know who Nolan Ryan is and they know Johnny Oates and Rusty Greer and Adrian Beltre and they know Kenny Rogers’ perfect game and they know Nellie Cruz misplayed that ball in right field. Our kids are Rangers fans. Why? You can ask them. It runs in the family.
We pass on our passions. We transmit our treasures.
We all have dreams for our kids. We have goals we want them to achieve. We buy the school supplies at Office Max because we know our boy is going to be a rocket scientist. We buy the special ruler so he can be a rocket scientist. Of course, he uses the ruler to fling spitwads across the room when the teacher’s not looking. We try so hard with our kids. We want so much for them.
But when it comes to our faith and Christianity and our single-minded devotion to the Lord, some of us back off with our kids. We don’t want to push it. You want them to chart their own course and make their own decisions. You want them to have their own faith. You don’t want to force anything on them.
Well, let me tell you something: You’re the only one who doesn’t want to push something on your kids!
Everybody’s teaching your kids and they all have an agenda. The entertainment they consume, the iPhones they use, the designers of the games they play, the textbooks they read, the advertisements they see, the sports they play, and the cultural air they breathe — everybody’s pushing their agenda and their worldview onto your children and grandchildren. You’re the only one who’s not.
What you want — and it takes effort and hard work and commitment — is somebody to ask your kids, “Are you a Christian?” And they answer, “Yeah, of course. It runs in my family.”