Raising Kids In A Post Christian World
by Heath Stoner, Elder and Youth Pastor
As Christian parents, we do not make it our ambition for people to look at our children and tell us that we have good kids. Instead, we want them to tell us that we have kids that are disciples of Christ. The current culture in America is not an environment that pushes our children to live a life that focuses on a relationship with Christ. In the 2005 National Study of Youth and Religion, sociologist Christian Smith and Melinda Lundquist Denton coined a phrase based off of the results Moralistic Therapeutic Deism. Here are the findings from the survey that teenagers espoused:
- A god exists who created and ordered the world and watches over human life on earth.
- God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions.
- The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself.
- God does not need to be particularly involved in one’s life except when God is needed to resolve a problem.
- Good people go to heaven when they die.
You can see in the findings above that young people believe being a Christian is about being a good moral person. The other thing you will see is that young people believe that life is about feeling good and about having your needs taken care of. This is different from what Jesus taught. Jesus said in Matthew 16:24 that, if anyone wanted to follow him, they must deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow him.
Raising kids today in a post Christian World demands that you must intentionally disciple them or the world will disciple them in selfishness, me-first mentality, and various other works of the flesh. Here are some concrete ways to raise kids disciples in our Post Christian America:
- Continual Discussions about Faith: If you talk to your children about most subjects, they are bound to discuss it with you over time. If you talk about sports, they will be intrigued by it. If you discuss politics, they will ask for more clarification. In the same way, you need to share your faith with them. You need to talk to them about the key ideas in the scripture like grace, atonement, repentance, mercy, love, the virgin birth, etc. Yes, this will challenge you to study more, but a continual conversation will help your son or daughter be more equipped in their faith.
- Worldview Conversations: A great way to grow disciples in your home is to discuss current events with your children. For example, with the recent decision of the Supreme Court on
Same-Sex marriage, you should be talking to your kids about what the Bible says about it. With all of the recent news coverage about police/racism/violence, it would be great to talk to them about what the Bible says about that.
- Godly Mentors/Leaders: It is imperative that you put Godly people in your young person’s life that will reiterate the timeless message of Christ to them. Yes, this takes extra effort from you to drive them places, but creating disciples always takes extra effort.
- Prayer: Your children need to know that you pray for them. Pray for them to encounter Christ. Pray that they will call upon the name of the Lord. Pray for their friends. Pray for their future spouse. Pray for them on all occasions. Pray for them as they go out to school. Pray for them as they go to sleep.
- Share War Stories: I have talked to people that have served in the Armed Services. Some of them talk about their experience and what occurred and some do not. Your child needs to hear how you live out your faith in the marketplace and with your friends. Your children should hear about how you love your neighbor. They should know how you handle your finances in a Godly way. They should hear about how you are handling disappointment in your career in a Godly manner. Please share with them so they can hear about your victories, struggles, and daily life.
We have to remember that Jesus is the starter of our children’s faith. We can have confidence that the good work He started in our children is sustainable. Don’t give up. Trust in the Lord for the hearts and faith of your children. God is faithful.