Children with no moral Absolutes, will search for what Google thinks they need to know. Christians have an obligation to teach their children the absolutes of God. Dropping kids off to youth group barely scratches the surface of raising children up in the way of the Lord. Have you properly equipped your children with directions to God if you get separated?
If you are a new Christian navigating the terrain of right living, you might be overwhelmed with what you should teach your kids, but I assure you everything will be ok. If you are a Christian parent that has depended heavily on the church to teach your child, you might find that they are wading in an ocean of unbelief mixed with religious confusion.
Find out what they know.
A good starting point is teaching them the Ten Commandments.
The Ten Commandments and truths such as, "God loves your" are very important, but they are merely umbrellas keeping off the majority of sin unless you go underneath and deal with the details. Take the 7th commandment for example. "Do not commit adultery" has been taken to mean many different things to many different people here lately. Your children are being taught at school, on the bus, at the playground, and by "Christian" kids all kinds of loopholes to "Do not commit adultery."
Have you had those conversations? Or are you going to wait until they announce they have an STD but thought they were protected because they didn't have intercourse? Oh! Can that really happen? Yes Ma'am it can, and you would do well by teaching your kids, their mouths fall under that 7 commandment as well.
The average age of a young boy being introduced to pornography is 8 years old. In the past two weeks I have had 4 different children visit my home. Two go to church regularly, and two do not. Two were boys, and two were girls. The ages ranged from 12 down to 6. One Christian child has full access to the internet and is addicted to pornography, and the other has been introduced to an alternative family lifestyle. Two little boys started conversations about sex between boyfriend and girlfriends and one spoke as if he had already participated in the act. These guys were less than 10 years old, and when I asked them where they heard of such things, they said school.
Because I do talk with my kids about moral absolutes, they were able to come and tell me about their visitors conversations. I have tried to be diligent in this area, but it does not mean they are completely protected from the temptation of sin.
One of my children found a family members porn, at a young age. I had no idea until years later. I was devastated to find out the images were still very fresh in their head, and they had even searched for it on the internet. Google and youtube are not your kid's friends. I promise.
Will they know where to go when questions of heavy petting come into play?
Will they believe Progressive Christianity when it quotes scripture distorting the truth about Jesus' teaching on homosexuality?
Do they have a firm defense when the world tells your child he/she is being judgmental or unloving if they stand against sin?
Have you taught them why Abortion is murder? Do they know where God says that in the bible? Or, will they drown when they get bombarded with justifications because of Old Testament mandates to go and take the Land (man woman and child)?
If you need some help or pointers on how to raise children with a biblical foundation I have found that Focus On the Family and Family Life are great resources. Click on either one, and a new page will open.
1 Cor 7:14 indicates we provide a spiritual covering for our young children that sanctifies them. Proverbs 22:6 says "Train up a child in the way he should go, and he will not stray far from it." Our covering is meant to protect them until they have their own personal relationship with Christ, and you want to make sure you are still walking along the way with them encouraging them in their faith.
Will they be drenched if you aren't with them when temptation comes? Lead your child to Christ. Obviously, as you had to come to a personal decision to be born again, they will too, but if you know they aren't there yet, you can get started by praying for them and engaging them about their faith.
Focus on the Family (<-----click the link) can help you with leading your child to Christ if you aren't quite sure how to go about it, but know they are ready.
Daily prayer, and bible study with your children will help deepen your faith and theirs. It prompts questions and answers that are vital to your growth in Christ. It provides opportunities for you to be held accountable if you come to a place that convicts you of wrong actions and behavior. You can empower your children more effectively by way of transparency and humility than pretense.
News Flash: You kids already know you aren't perfect.
Learn with them. Grow with them. Tackle those hard questions together. If your sexual integrity has some cracks in the foundation, don't shy away from teaching purity. Your children deserve the best, and the best is Jesus and his standards. His blood has removed the stain of your transgression if you have repented, and he can give life in places where sin caused death. Let your mistakes be a teaching point to help your child avoid the pitfalls of temptation.
Deuteronomy 5: 6-21 could be your first bible study together to find out where your children are, and what they know or believe. Read with them and look for supporting scriptures. Do one commandment a week with a memory verse, and read daily in the bible with a focus on that commandment. Give them the tools to know what they know. Don't leave them stranded under an overpass of the secular highway. Give them a rain jacket, galoshes, umbrella and directions to the mighty fortress of God.
- You shall have no other gods before Me. (There is no other way to God the Father than through Jesus. No other god is to be worshipped or honored. What religious activities are they unknowingly participating in that give reverence to a false god?)
- You shall not make idols.(idols can be an unhealthy attachment to anything or anyone. exercise, accomplishments, friends, or substance can become idols. What things in their life have become a place of love and cause a straying from God's standards? Is there something that you would trade peace with God in order to have? it needs to go. )
- You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain. "OMG Really?" Yes, really. Stop it! In text or speech. Teach your children to honor his name. Don't let them waste his name on excitement over trivial matters and idle talk. Stop listening to or watching garbage that throws his name around like it's worthless. If you aren't talking to him or about him don't use his name. Don't use his name to promote your own religious thoughts either. If your kids see you throwing around the name of Jesus claiming things that aren't his will or in his word you are using his name in vain.)
- Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. (Set apart one day a week to commune with and focus on God. This rest was made for you. It fixes all the mishaps the other six days unleashed on you and your family.)
- Honor your father and your mother. (Yes child, that means you need to change your attitude and tone with me! And despite failures my parents have made, I will honor them with soft speech. Are your kids watching programming with brats running their parents around like a dog and talking to them any ol' way they want? Get a handle on it now or you might have to call the police when there is a dispute about who gets the car on Friday night.)
- You shall not murder. (Jesus added to this and said, "If you hate your brother you have murderd in your heart and are subject to judgment." Hating any people because of their economic status, political/religious views, skin color, or sex is murder. Abortion is murder. Most birth control murders a fertilized egg . Are there any ways you or your child has contributed to the death of another person either in word or deed? )
- You shall not commit adultery. (Let me break this down for you. God knows you are smart and have something called common sense. He gave you the beginning story of the creation of the world to give you an idea of the proper order of things. In the beginning he created them male and female. Jesus quoted this in Mark 10:6-9 "But from the beginning of creation, God MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE. FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH; so they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate." The mother was female and the father was male. If you are a man and you are with someone in your mind or physically in a sexual way, and they are not your female wife, you are committing adultery. If you are a female and you are with someone in your mind or physically in a sexual way, and they are not your male husband, you are committing adultery. Porn, prostitution, and masturbation lead you away from the beautiful expression of love between husband and wife, and lead you into SIN. As a child, they should be taught to protect their future marriage now by keeping away from sex intended for husband and wife. Divorce is a sin. Don't sugar coat it. Confess it and receive forgiveness. If you are trying to break up someone else's marriage, you are sinning. Stop it! )
- You shall not steal. Not from the government, or school, or church. Even if they wouldn't notice, or somebody tells you.
- You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. (Don't lie. Even if it causes you hurt. Don't lie for anyone, or about anyone.)
- You shall not covet. ( Stop wanting what you ain't got! If it's theirs , it's not yours. Be at peace with how God made you and what he gave you.)
I brought this up because two of my oldest were talking about homosexuality. I asked them if they could tell me where in the bible homosexuality was condemned. They could tell me bits and pieces, but when I started twisting scripture arguing for homosexuality being legal, they stared at me blankly. I don't want them doubting their relationship with God because they got torn to shreds by a false prophet. It is my responsibility to teach them.
How have you engaged your children about God's absolutes? Do you have any advice?