There are things my children question that I would have never considered as a child. We've discussed abortion, sex, and gay marriage at ages I would have never believed necessary (9 years old and younger). And my husband and I have only discussed them on the defense...when our children have hurled the topic at us because of what they've heard. I am starting to realize that I better sharpen my defensive line to one of steel!
I am glad that we can be open about discussing these things--giving my children an educated, moral view on topics that scream at us from headlines and t.v. screens. Yet, since I brought my first son into this world, I've struggled with the fact that we are raising our children in a society of subjective truths, compromised morals, choices that toe the edge of right or wrong, and I''ve feared my children would find confusion and pressure to conform.
Tonight, my son--only 8 years old--brought up one of these hot topics, and it wasn't just in a questioning way. He brought it up in a personal way, wondering what would happen if HE dealt with it when he was older. Our children aren't ignorant. When they are exposed to agendas, ideas, and opinions, their self-image--their developing self-image--is bound to shift. I wonder...
What obstacles will he now have to fight inside his head to stay true to his true self? What seed has been planted that must either be nurtured or die for him to become the person of his full potential?
With so much permission out there to choose roads that are certainly not for everyone, how is a tween, teen, young adult to find out who they truly are without making devastating mistakes in the process?
Honestly, I don't know how to parent without Jesus, these days. It is such a blessing to know that my children know Him, and because of that ONE truth, they know themselves. All of our discussions revolve around this central foundation in Romans 8:
14 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.
My children may be fed the garbage of society, watching things they shouldn't see, hearing things they really aren't sure how to process, but if I can guide them as children of the Living God, Whose grace and love will follow them throughout their lives, then I pray they will know themselves only through Him, and not let the world distract them with agendas and man-made truths.