Raising Children in a Changing Culture

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Our culture has been in a paradigm shift for some time, but because it is changing so slowly, it is hardly noticeable by many people. Some of the changes happening as of late aren’t necessarily bigger in stature compared to other things, rather, the changes have a lot more attention surrounding them.

The culture shift beckons that we shift with it because we need to be more open and accepting. People make the mistake of believing that when we don’t agree with their choices that we think them lesser people. God has set an important moral standard for His people, and obviously if one is not living for God, they are not going to follow His standards. That’s totally their choice and they’re certainly free to choose.

That’s in large part where this major shift is originating from. People in the higher ups are simply not living for God therefore godly convictions will not spill out into major decisions made on behalf of the country. Christians are now put in a very different and difficult place. Raising our children with “good morals” is no longer clearly defined because our culture has made “good” relative. What is “right” is no longer defined by God through His word, but by what is right in each person’s own eyes (Judges 17:6).

This leaves me, as a mother, in a awkward place. I didn’t expect to raise children in such chaotic times; as confusion sweeps our land. It forces that we teach our children something beyond the law of morality. Because the law of morality is not strong enough to uphold our children in a culture that has such varying opinions on what is considered moral. God’s standard should still be how we live. And His moral still stands. But how do we raise our children with strong convictions and to not compromise?

They must know Christ. They must understand the cost for sin. They must understand the Gospel and how it’s relative to them, individually. Without this connection and relationship, the moral law to them will be quite useless. Just another set of someone else’s standards to follow amongst the many already out there. There is no God like Jesus. He’s the only one who can save people from sins. He’s the only God who lives today.

Knowing Christ gives our children reason to want to follow God’s moral law. Culture today says we need embrace diversity but that doesn’t mean we need to compromise what God lays down as Truth. We can still embrace people without compromise.

I have illustrated the Gospel for my children in several different ways. Children as young as five could understand these concepts to at least some degree.

One way I have illustrated is by choosing two children to make up a scenario. I say, “Say someone gets caught doing something they shouldn’t, but the another person offers to take their punishment as a gift of grace and mercy to them.” This helps my children understand how Jesus took the punishment for our sin. Often I will use their own siblings as an example that is very direct for them.

The other illustration I use can be done on a chalk board, white board, or even a piece of paper. I draw a river or a canyon. I put “GOD” on one side and “PEOPLE” on the other. In the river or canyon I write “SIN”. I explain the sin in our lives kept us from being able to reach God on the other side. But, when Jesus died on the cross, He created a bridge in order for us to cross over to the other side.

Both of these illustrations explain two important aspects of the Gospel: 1)Jesus paid the punishment for our sin. 2)Before Jesus’ death and resurrection, our sins separated us from God, but now we can be in communion with Him.

To reject God and all that is good is to refuse to cross the bridge. The Gospel message is not about living the perfect life, where everything goes the way we want. It’s about living in relationship to God and trusting Him with our lives.

Along with knowing the Gospel, seeing God at work in and around their lives is a huge testimony to His promises.

Teaching our children the moral law is never enough. They need to understand why it’s important to keep it written on their hearts and live it out. They need to understand there is a God who loves them more than anything and His law is to protect them and help them live a better life. God sets the standard for what is right and good and no one else.

Understanding who God is is pertinent to desiring to follow His moral standards and not chase after their own.

Linked with: Titus 2sday

Comments

  1. Amen! Very wise words indeed, thank you for writing this.

  2. Susanna Morrison Cummings says:

    Thanks so much for the encouragement & challenge! I came over from your guest post and have loved reading up on your blog…I have a heart for the same things! I also have 5 kids – ages 1-10 :) I am always encouraged by your blog…keep up the good work! God bless :)

  3. lisha epperson says:

    loved this and love when I find common threads running through the hearts of His people..I linked with Titus 2sday today and saw your post which rang true with mine on leaving a spiritual legacy for our children. be blessed.

  4. So good, Christin! I love your second illustration with the bridge. We are definitely in chaotic times and parenting children who live out their Christian faith is more challenging now than ever.

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