Question: Dr. Dobson, are adopted children more likely to be rebellious than children raised by biological parents? If so, are there any steps I can take to prevent or ease the conflict? My husband
Our world is a much different place today than it was merely a decade ago. It wasn't too far in the distant past that the norms of our culture seemed to overlap with many foundational Judeo-Christian values. Those days are gone. Here's the thing. If you're not intentional with what matters most to you, there's a good chance that your living someone else's priorities, and you're likely leading your family down the same path.
I am convinced more than ever that if we're not holding fast to God, there is a good chance the world is gaining its grip on us. What does this practically mean? We need to be spiritually grounded and surrounded—grounded to God through prayer and time in His Word and surrounded by God's people that will love, advise, and encourage us through life's many ups and downs.
Staying spiritually grounded to God may look a little different for all of us daily. However, I believe these two key components are constant for all Christians. First, we must be spending time humbling ourselves before God's Word. Psalm 119:105 is a favorite passage for many us—"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." God's word is our source of truth for life. It's also "living and active." (Hebrews 4:12). It is the idea of one looking "intently into the perfect law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing" (James 1:25). Second, we need to be in constant communication with our Heavenly Father through prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:17). It's crazy to think that God is available to us 24/7. I love Martin Luther's statement on prayer, "To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing." Here's the thing. If we're not grounding ourselves to God through time in His word and prayer, we're like a boat that has lost its anchor. It's no longer where it should be. Instead, it's drifting aimlessly wherever the tides and waves tell it to go.The idea of being spiritually surrounded is as essential. God wired us to live in a community—with Him and each other. The book of Ecclesiastes expresses this vital truth: "And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken" (Ecclesiastes 4:12). I'm also reminded that when Jesus sent His disciples out, He did so in pairs. The Lord knows that even though He empowers us with His Holy Spirit, we still need each other. It's a humbling thought but so true. As the days and the world grow darker, I believe this need for staying surrounded by other brothers and sisters in Christ is even more critical. That's also why I believe God calls us to be plugged into a local church. He knows our need to be spiritually fed and to feed others is an essential part of our Christian life journey.
These two principles of staying anchored to God and connected in a Christian community are two of the top life teachings I want my kids to grasp before they leave home. As every parent has likely learned, the most important teaching tool we have is the life we live out before our children. It's not enough to tell our children about our faith—we must communicate it through our words and actions. So it begins with us. Are we truly grounded and surrounded in our faith? If not, it's never too late to get started.