5 He established a testimony in Jacob
and appointed a law in Israel,
which he commanded our fathers
to teach to their children,
6 that the next generation might know them,
the children yet unborn,
and arise and tell them to their children,
and not forget the works of God,
but keep his commandments;
8 and that they should not be like their fathers,
a stubborn and rebellious generation,
a generation whose heart was not steadfast,
whose spirit was not faithful to God.
Wednesday, I saw a Facebook post from a friend of mine. It seems that his daughter, corrupted by a sappy cartoon, had stolen her sister’s recently pulled teeth in hopes of waking up with a bed full of cash. The funny thing about this story is that this family has intentionally refused to initiate their children into the belief in a tooth fairy. Much like my own decision in my household about Santa, my friend and his wife have decided never to tell their children that something is real when it is really not. This does much for his credibility for his future communication with his girls about something that is real, though invisible.
What fascinates me is how commenter’s on my friend’s Facebook page have gotten all over him. How dare he rob his kids of the joy of quarters under the pillow? How dare he not give his children that normal fairy tale—a part of every normal child’s life? Doesn’t he want his kids to be happy? Doesn’t’ he want his kids to be normal?
Then I read the above passage from Psalm 78. Let’s get a little perspective from it. God has given his children his word. God has told us what he has done. God has given us his law so that we might know how to follow him, how to please him, how to be saved by his grace through faith in his Son. God has also, as he points out above, given us his word so that we can teach our children to teach their children. God has given his children his word, “so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments; and that they should not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not steadfast, whose spirit was not faithful to God” (7-8).
I don’t care about your tooth fairy policy (or your Santa policy for that matter). I do care, however, about your policy concerning God’s word. Don’t worry about whether children are normal. In fact, given what normal is these days, how about we avoid that altogether. Instead, do whatever it takes to teach your children to grow up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Eph 6:4). Teach your children God’s word and call them to follow it with all their hearts. Teach your children to fear God, to hate sin, to love Jesus, and to humbly seek God’s grace. Who in the world cares about normal?! I would a thousand times rather have nerdy, socially awkward, anti-tooth-fairy kids who love Jesus and trust God’s word than I would have normal kids who live for the idols of western culture. No, I don’t think kids have to be nerdy to be saved. My point is, I don’t care if they are nerdy; I just want to know that they are saved. No, I don’t think that telling your kids about the tooth fairy will send them to hell. If giving cash for teeth is what you do, wonderful. But it seems like we have missed something when we will criticize our brothers and sisters over their non-participation in worldly things when they expressly tell us that they do not do these things for the sake of the trust of their children in the light of much more important spiritual issues.