Sin has been around since the first man and woman have walked the earth. There is no hiding from it and the only escape is the blood of Jesus Christ.
Today we face moral compromise at every turn as our nation has drastically changed the values for which we stand. As more and more sin becomes socially acceptable, it can be very easy to make compromises that would soon destroy our faith and relationship with Jesus. Our faithfulness and loyalty lie first with Jesus Christ, not man.
How can we navigate these waters so our children know how to grow up knowing what's right, even when the world lives and screams otherwise? In what ways can we equip them to walk with the Lord?
At the very foundation, our children need to know what is right and what is wrong; what is love and what is compromise.
They need to understand living in the world as a Christ follower is not meant to be an easy life.
Maybe this is something we all need to be reminded of?
Here are three important ways to raise Godly children in an ungodly world.
Renew Their Minds with His Word
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
To conform means "to be in harmony with". The best way to know what is holy and what is worldly is to consistently be in His Word. Your children are never too young to begin reading the Bible to them. You can begin with the great stories of the Old Testament. Read about Noah's faithfulness to God and the consequences of Jonah's initial disobedience. Teach them about God's protection for Daniel as He remained faithful even in the face of serious danger.
Teach the Proverbs daily so your children will be wise and know how to make wise decisions in a world that has no compass for it.
Teach them to practice righteousness by saying no while everyone else is saying yes.
This isn't about living in a bubble, but it's about protecting the hearts, minds, and souls of our children. We can live in the world without doing everything the world does.
We can even respect people when we don't agree with their choices.
No, we will not always make perfect choices and neither will our children. But by knowing the heart of God and following His commands and example, we can help our children discern between holiness and worldliness.
Equip Them for Trials and Suffering
"In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."
Serving the Lord is not a ticket to an easy life. In fact, it may seem to be an even harder life because we are moving against the grain of most everything else. It is an uphill climb to follow Christ.
The world doesn't understand the ways of Christ so there will always be pushback for some of the choices we make. People will reject their decisions and their beliefs. Our children need to know this is normal for those who follow Him and we need to prepare them for such trials.
Prayer - Praying with your children will help armor them for this battle. Pray the Holy Spirit would guide them (and you!) in their decisions, give them strength as they face struggles, and walk with them every step of the way. He will never leave us!
Support/Encouragement - Having someone who can empathize and support your children can really take the edge off of difficult situations. Simply understanding how hard it is can really take the edge off trials.
Psalms - Read from Psalms every day. Teach your children to learn from someone who went through trial after trial and clung to God for help and remembered who He was in the face of his enemies. Remind your children they are not alone.
Teach Love without Compromise
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
-1 John 2:15
The mantra these days is that we need to love people and tolerate their sinful choices. But it seems we have misunderstood what love truly is, and also what our role as Christians are. What are we teaching our children about love? Are we teaching them a godly love or a worldly love?
First, let's discuss our role as a follower of Christ.
The Christian's Role
Our role for loving the unsaved isn't to judge their sin or to shelter ourselves from them.
For what have I to do with judging those who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? But those who are outside God judges. -1 Corinthians 5:12-13
We can still love people even when we don't agree with their choices. We can still respect people when we don't agree with their choices. But we need to understand something about those who don't follow Jesus -- and we need to help our children understand this as well:
The world is not going to follow a standard that is Godly because they don't follow God.
We can hardly expect them to live by the same values we do; nor can we hold it against them.
We need to begin by loving people where they are, as they are.
What is love?
Love is patient. It is kind. Love does not envy or boast. Love is not proud (but humble). It is not rude, or self-seeking. Love does not become angered easily and it does not keep a record of all wrongs committed.
Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth.
You see, love cannot be OK with what is biblically evil, unacceptable in the eyes of God. But it can still be kind.
This is what our children need to be taught about loving others who don't know Jesus, without compromising God's truth.
People are free to reject this truth, but as Christians, as His children whose eyes have been opened, we need to remain in His righteousness by abstaining from evil -- even agreeing with it.
Teach your children to stand for biblical truth, but to also love people through kindness (which is also biblical truth).
To raise Godly children in an ungodly world is no easy task, but with the Lord, it is not impossible and He will never leave us alone in this calling.
Teaching your children holiness through reading His Word daily, equipping them for definite hardships, and giving them an understanding of biblical love and biblical truth are all very important foundations for bringing up Godly children who love the Lord--especially in a world that pushes hard against godliness.
For His Glory,
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