I’ve been thinking a lot about what parenting in a Christian household looks like in this current time in history. Early in my parenting journey, I figured I would mirror how my parents parented pretty closely; and for good reason. My siblings and I are all still walking with Jesus and I greatly attribute that to the example that my parents set. We were all involved in church, they never quit fighting for a strong marriage, they always pointed us toward a deeply personal relationship with Jesus, they kept a balance in our household and social life that never left us feeling sheltered, and didn’t make us feel compromised in our faith. As long as we fully understood right from wrong, good from evil, Christlike vs worldly— there was very little that was truly off limits. They trusted us to trust our convictions.
In many ways— yes. I still do mirror my parents. And yes— eventually I will trust my children to lean on THEIR convictions.
The piece that has shifted for me in recent years is the thought process that said “well my parents allowed this, and they were great parents so I can allow this in my home too”.
Here’s the truth, though. I’m not parenting in the same world my parents raised me in.
The world has always been full of evil, lies, and plans of the enemy. This is not new. What is new, however, is that it is now far more normal and accepted than ever. If it’s not abundantly clear to you that there is an enemy out to steal, kill, and destroy the things God loves most- truth, children, families, and an intimate relationship with Him; *especially* within the church, then you are not paying attention.
I’ve seen something circling on social media that says something along the lines of “our children were born for such a time as this”. It’s meant to quiet our fears about raising children in a world that has drifted so viciously far from Biblical truth. I agree- they WERE born for such a time as this! BUT. And this is important- if they were born for such a time as this- then WE as parents, were also appointed to raise them up in such a time as this.
For me, it has meant erasing the lie that because I wasn’t “sheltered”, my children shouldn’t be either. I hate that word- it has such a negative connotation to it. I like to think of it as filtering out the lies of the world until my children’s foundation is so strong that nothing can shake it. Why? Because we live in an age where the media has normalized everything that is the opposite of God’s plan and attacks our children through preschool shows and streaming ads. They are instructed to lie to their parents and cut them out in order to make decisions they are not yet equipped to make. There is a fairly extensive list of shows and music we won’t watch or listen to. Some for the sake of our values. Others for my mental health and anxiety (looking at you Dateline 😅). There are places I don’t shop. There are also still many mainstream things we do still watch and places we do still shop, despite controversy that surrounds them. I won’t list either— because I’m not here to be judged nor am I here to be a judge; Which is what leads to my point—
I’ve been asking God for wisdom (which He gives freely, James 1:5*), and following the convictions He places in my heart; I’ve had to be intentional in bringing the controversial things to Him. I am learning to be humble enough to question whether or not certain things are good for me or for my family- and bold enough to go against the grain. The line of what you’ve been called to abstain from may be different than others in any given season, and I believe that’s okay. I implore you to consider that the thought of “it’s not that bad”, or “it’s not that big of a deal” is a lie; in fact, it is the original lie tracing back to Eden- where we see an enemy who has had a goal to confuse and separate us from God from the very beginning (Genesis 3).
What we fill our minds with MATTERS. What we expose our children to MATTERS. Truth and lies begin to muddle and we compromise for the sake of entertainment, relevance, and convenience.
Please hear me when I repeat that I’m not here to judge you or to tell what is good, what is evil, and how to raise your children. Rather- I hope to encourage you and challenge you to do the same work I myself have been doing. Look to the Bible. Actively bring the controversial things to God and ask Him how you should respond to them. Ask the questions I too have been asking. How do I raise my children to love like Christ, and yet not waver from the word of God? How do I ensure that they are able to decipher truth from facade? How do I best equip all of us for such a time as this? I believe the answer is simple— by filling our hearts and minds with whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, and whatever is commendable according to the Word of God.
Leave a Reply