Teaching Our Kids to Be Loving and Discerning in a Hurting and Confused World
Many of us remember how shaken our country was after 10 high school students and one teacher were killed in Columbine, Colorado on April 20, 1999. No one had ever committed such a horrific act at a school — it was unthinkable. Sadly, 24 years later, the United States has had so many school shootings that, while we continue to be devasted, we are no longer surprised. What has happened to our country to make violence among children and young adults so common?
Our nation used to have a united understanding of morality: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Today it is heartbreaking to realize how far our culture has strayed from this understanding. Rather than saying that we are made in God’s image, today’s postmodern culture (like the Garden of Eden after The Fall) tells people we are gods:
- We can each “live our own truth.”
- We are our own authority — not God.
- We should not “offend” anyone by openly disagreeing with them or “judging”
While these thoughts may seem loving, they are actually the opposite. Jesus loved people so much that he spoke the Truth in love. He brought to light people’s sins and told them to repent and sin no more. As followers of Jesus, we continually need to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal our sins to us so we can repent and follow him wholeheartedly. In the same way, we need to hold each other accountable in the church. Thirdly, we need to engage our neighbors and the wider culture, speak out against evil, and stand up for what is right. As Dr. Erwin Lutzer asks in his book “No Reason to Hide,” “Will you be complicit, complacent, or courageous?” We can either agree with culture and go along with its moral freefall by sitting back and doing nothing, or we can be bold and speak in grace and truth.
How can we as parents help our children in this increasingly confused and chaotic culture to be salt and light?
We can attend church on a regular basis so that we can be vulnerable with our church family, study God’s word, encourage each other, hold each other accountable, and serve each other.
We can study and discuss Christian books, podcasts, movies, other resources:
- FRC has a new podcast called “Outstanding” where we examine news and commentary from The Washington Stand with an aim to take every thought captive for the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).
- FRC’s Center for Biblical Worldview has a free, exceptional six-part video series that we offer with our friends at Summit Ministries called Now We Live which equips Christians to propel faith into action. It sparks discussions about some of life’s most foundational questions, such as:
- Worldview — Can we align our beliefs and actions?
- Reality — What does Christianity say about the world?
- Jesus — Who is he?
- Truth — Is Christianity credible?
- Identity — Who are we in Christ?
- Society — How should we live?
- There are terrific podcasts and videos by apologists such as Sean McDowell, Natasha Crain, Alisa Childers, Unashamed, Allie Beth Stuckey, Just Thinking Ministries, Answers in Genesis, and Mama Bear Apologetics.
- The following are some books and movies that can strengthen and build up our faith and biblical worldview: “The Jesus Storybook Bible”; Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse Magazine, Brio Magazine, and Adventures in Odyssey; “Mere Christianity” (to learn about the moral law, which counters moral relativism in today’s society); “How Should We Then Live”; “The Hiding Place; “Jesus Revolution”; “The Chosen”; “The “Chronicles of Narnia”; “The Lord of the Rings”; “End of the Spear”; “Amazing Grace” (a movie about William Wilberforce); “Overcomer”; “War Room”; “Breakthrough”; and “The Nativity Story.”
- We can enjoy time as a family at places like The Creation Museum and The Ark Encounter in Williamstown, Kentucky as well as the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. Exploring these places can enrich our understanding of God’s Word as well as its history and culture.
- We can look for ways to serve God and our neighbors by becoming involved in local ministries and missions such as a local food pantry or Samaritan’s Purse.
As Christians, we are deeply hurting with our brothers and sisters in Nashville as they mourn the loss of their loved ones. We will pray continually for their families and community — that God will give them the peace that surpasses all understanding. As families and as the Body of Christ, let’s also go and make disciples, stand up for truth, and transform our culture for His glory.