It’s official. We live in a backwards world. I’m sure if time-travel were possible and the pioneers journeyed to our present day, they would likely bolt back to the mothership as quickly as they came and be ecstatic to get back to the good ole days of scarlet fever, diphtheria, and small pox. I have to be honest though… as a millennial woman, I do enjoy the perks of living in a time when I can speak to loved ones who are hundreds of miles away with the touch of a button and can shop for anything online from toilet paper to shoes in a matter of minutes from the comfort of my couch. But with these positives, of course, come the negatives. The noise—this is our biggest downfall—the clamor of social media and news sites and TV and talk radio and blogs/vlogs and podcasts… the endless racket goes on and on and ON. No wonder our heads are spinning most days and we barely exist, suffocating from the all the lies, depravity, and trash we are being fed daily… for some even hourly. Thank you, smartphones. And where does all this noise leave us in parenting? We are infiltrated with opinions from every angle on every circumstance from every point of view on every single matter in existence. From whether or not to vaccinate our children or how to discipline them or which news broadcast to trust or which way the toilet paper roll should face on the dispenser (over not under, obviously) … everyone has an opinion and anyone can share those opinions with the mash of a few keys. Our children are being indoctrinated by strangers and falling prey to the falsities of this world, and we are left to sweep up the shattered shards of our children’s hearts and lives. So how do we end the streak of brokenness within our own families?
It all starts with Jesus.
Do we know Him? Do we love Him? And most importantly, do we follow Him? If we want to make changes, we must introduce our children to Him. But we cannot take it lightly… because if you recall, the noise threatens to snuff us out. If we want to “make a difference,” it will take more than saving endangered species or serving soup at the homeless shelter. And we cannot do it all. We must train up a better generation than ourselves, and here’s how I propose we do it.
Let’s be vulnerable. If all our children ever see is a façade of flawless behavior and plastic smiles accompanied by occasional disapproving nods and judgmental sighs, then how do we expect our children to fess up to their own mistakes and take responsibility for their actions? It’s no wonder we live in a world where finger pointing is prevalent and patience and understanding are simply outdated. Does anybody else find it ironic that tolerance is the outward cry of the time but hate is at the very heart of this cry? We have royally messed up in the home, and it shows. Instead of putting on a front, why aren’t we being vulnerable with our children? My husband and I have made it a priority to point out our sinful nature to our kids. The temptations they feel to do wrong… well, we feel them too. The kids aren’t the only ones who have pitched fits in our home, and we make sure they know it… not to give them an excuse to do wrong but to teach them how to face their wrongs head on and defeat them. They will drown in the silent guilt of their sins if we do not demonstrate to them how to confess those sins out loud and seek forgiveness. After all, the first step to finding Jesus is to admit your sinful disposition, isn’t it? Our children will never find Him if they mimic our perceived perfection.
Let’s act more and speak less. Nowadays, people “talk” too much. This talking comes in forms of texting and typing as well as actual speaking out loud. Everyone has a strong opinion on who is right and who is wrong and many use “colorful” adjectives to describe people in opposition to their stance. We talk politics, religion, and trending topics to death and never see a single thing accomplished. Is this what we want to teach our kids—to complain and tear down and belly ache when we don’t get our way? What if instead of talking so much, we acted. Maybe we don’t agree with a political decision… how about we teach our children how to make a difference by contacting our local government representatives through civil letters and phone calls rather than blasting them over social media? Maybe we disagree with how the church is neglecting the poor… how about we teach our children how the church is supposed to act by getting out and actually feeding the poor instead of griping on the internet about how terrible the churches are today? Less talk and more action would do everyone a whole lot of good! After all, isn’t that what Jesus himself did?
Dear Christian parent, our world is teetering on the edge of a fatal fall. The church is dying and the truth with it. Black and white issues have turned to gray, and we have simply sat along the sidelines, popcorn in hand, gawking at the self-destruction while shaking our pompous heads. Somebody has to do something! Maybe if we turned our attention back to our homes and honed in on training up soldiers for Christ, maybe just maybe, we could finally shed some light into the darkness. Maybe we could truly make a difference.
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.