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February 03, 2023

Raising Our Kids to Change the Culture and Not to Become Victims of It

Literally, within a generation, the culture in America has turned upside down, and our kids are standing at ground zero. What was right just ten years ago is now seen as wrong and vice versa. How do parents in this environment raise their children to change the culture and not become victims of it?

Believe it or not, the inherent issue for Christian parents is not the ever-changing cultural norms of the day. Our fallen world will always be in some state of moral flux. The most perplexing problem is not even the mainline media or the profoundly invasive digital age that now consumes our children. While these damaging influences are extremely concerning, they are agitators of a far greater dilemma. For generations, parents have not focused enough on the God-infused potential within their children.

Here is the simple truth that parents need to constantly pour into their kids: You were created by God, in His image, to change the culture and not vice versa — to be in the world and not of it, to be transformers and not conformers (Romans 12:1-2).

I'm reminded of the children's Sunday school song, This Little Light of Mine. While I like the idea of this song, it's an enormous understatement if we don't teach them what their light truly is. With Jesus, it's not a little light that lives within us. It is the Holy Spirit, God Himself, an all-consuming fire that never goes out. It is more like a raging eternal inferno that can overtake any form of darkness that this world puts in front of us. At least, that's the potential God gives each of us — in and through His Son, Jesus Christ. We are called to light up the world and not blend into its darkness.

"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." Matthew 5:14-16 (ESV)

Given the perilous and uncertain times we live in, every child needs to anchor themselves to this certainty — they can do all things through Christ who strengthens them (Philippians 4:13). Regardless of the circumstances, they can choose faith over fear, knowing that Jesus has told us that He will never leave them. Like the small shepherd boy who faced the giant, they can run onto the battlefield of life knowing God is fighting for them. Our children are sons and daughters of the Almighty Everlasting King, and they need to hold fast to this truth.

This doesn't mean we don't protect and shield our children from the evil of the world around us. Our younger kids are developing spiritually, physically, and emotionally, and we must nurture them and keep them from harm during their maturing years. God has positioned parents to steward their hearts and minds for Him. It is a two-fold calling, to protect and build them up as mothers and fathers take on the dual role of both sentinel and teacher. While the roles change over time, the goal never does. We are called to be there for our children (young and old) when needed and to continually point them to the Lord and His ways.

Sadly, America has become a morally and spiritually darker place for our sons and daughters. Yet the darkness of this age doesn't need to define our children. In Christ Jesus, God has made them for so much more. As the world grows darker, their lights can shine brighter. Our kids need to grasp this reality at an early age and see it lived out in our lives. They need to know that the world doesn't determine who we are or how we live, our relationship with God does. In the hands of our Lord, our children can grow into men and women who will change this world and not become victims of it.

Do your children know this?

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