Parenting amidst a rapidly-changing culture can be terrifying. We must rest in Jesus.
by Ed Stetzer
The world is changing—that’s always a true statement—but perhaps never as fast as it has been changing the last few decades, and never more evident when it comes to issues of morality and sexuality.
The reality is, we as parents have an obligation to teach our children, in the midst of a culture that is confused, to have confident values that are based on both a Christian worldview and the teachings of the scriptures. So the obvious question is: how do we, living in the new morality, express the teachings of scripture and a God-honoring lifestyle rooted in a biblical morality? In this brief article I will suggest four things.
First, we need to remember that our identity is rooted in Christ.
Children and teens who see their Christian identity as a list of rules and regulations that they need to follow in order to keep God or their parents happy, will ultimately rebel against those rules, or will take pride in those rules and become haughty and judgmental of others. Instead, if their identity is rooted in who Jesus is and who they are in Christ, they can both value the teachings of scripture, but also love others who may have different views in the midst of cultural changes around us.
Second, we need to be unashamed and unembarrassed to teach what the scriptures teach, but to do so in a way that acknowledges that this is different than what the world teaches.
I think we are in a key moment in our culture where appealing to commonly held values to help our children to make better decisions makes less sense today than perhaps ever before. I am not saying that things have always been right or correct, and I don’t think there was ever a perfect era in the past, but when it comes to issues of morality in our culture, particularly around sexual values, there have been certain standards influenced by our Judeo-Christian worldview that have been perceived as the “right” thing to do and that “good” people would do. That consensus no longer exists.
We need to remember that our identity is rooted in Christ.
And if that consensus no longer exists, we can no longer can appeal to “this is the right thing to do, as everyone knows” and “this is what good kids do” because good kids in our culture’s worldview are now increasingly doing things that Christians don’t believe and increasingly valuing things that Christians don’t value.
Therefore, in this new reality, we need a few key things, such as:
- greater grounding in worldview of what Christians believe and why,
- an understanding of the scriptures and what the scriptures teach and why, and
- a worldview that says to children and teens “you do these things not because they are the things that the ‘good’ kids do but because we are followers of Jesus and we live differently than the world in some ways”.