09 May, 2022 Prepare your children for battle
By Summer Lane
Today’s world is a hot mess of peer pressure and societal bullhorns, blaring with unabashed worldly messages that scream at children to ride the wave of what’s popular and turn their backs on the rock-solid foundation of Biblical truth.
How do we, as parents, equip even our youngest children to stand firm and reject culture’s lies on issues ranging from marriage to abortion? Let’s take a look.
Age Appropriate Conversations
If your child is attending a public or private school, the chances are pretty high that he or she is going to be exposed to thematic topics on sex, gender orientation, and pop culture at a much younger age than a child who is homeschooled, for example. The truth is, you cannot protect your child from everything. At some point, kids will come across ideas and information that are counter-Biblical. In today’s world, most children have access to smartphones and digital tablets at younger and younger ages, which, sadly, means that a lot of elementary-level kids are being exposed to very mature content on social media and streaming platforms (which are often pushing an underlying political agenda).
As a parent, your job is to equip your child to react to these ideas in a Biblical way. Probers 22:6 says to “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Truthfully, not all children are ready for all subject matters at the same age. You have to use your own discernment as to what age you want to talk to your kids about matters such as same-sex marriage or the topic of abortion (which is going to be a huge topic among teenagers this year, thanks to the leaked Roe v. Wade Supreme Court opinion).
The point is to identify a time and age that is appropriate for your kid to begin having conversations about what the world is going to hit them with.
Kids are not yet grown warriors – don’t leave them hanging
This is a really hard one to hear, but remember that your child is not a fully-formed or mature Christian warrior. When your child is exposed to bad or even satanic ideas when they’re out of your sight (whether it’s at school or walking through the mall), the best thing you could do to prepare them to counter that is to teach them Scripture. If the Bible is taught thoroughly and correctly to children from a young age, they will be able to spot counterfeit moral ideas much quicker. Teach them the Word. 2 Timothy 3:16 says that all Scripture is breathed out by God, and therefore it is profitable for teaching, reproof, correction and training in righteousness.
It is also important to cultivate a relationship with your child that is trusting and open. Grow a relationship with your kid where they will want to come to you to discuss things that are shocking or disturbing to them. Kids often keep information secret from their parents when they are afraid or embarrassed to broach subjects like sex or even drug use. Do not cultivate a spirit of reproach toward your child. Don’t make fun of them for being vulnerable. Let your children know that you are ready, willing, and able to have discussions about the hardest topics any time – because if your kids can’t come to you, they’ll go somewhere else.
A lot of kids struggle with saying no. Standing up for themselves is really hard. They may face situations where they are pressured to agree with or conform to an idea at school that goes against their Biblical beliefs. This will be especially prevalent in junior high and all the way through college (okay let’s face it: throughout their entire lives!). Teach your children to say no to bad ideas or bad situations as soon as possible. Submit to God, resist the Devil, and he will flee from you (James 4:7). Again, this goes back to teaching your children the truth of Scripture.
Saying no is difficult, but if your kids have a rock-solid theological foundation, then they will find it much easier to stand firm in the quietest ways. It’s not important to educate yourself on the world’s ideas or the best debate techniques when you’re a child – it’s only important to know the Word of God. It is the foundation and a source of strength for your kids when they are faced with worldly attacks.
Remember that they are children
We’re going to circle back to this idea for a moment, because a lot of Christians believe that sending their children into secular environments will enable them to be lights of Christ’s love to other kids. This is not a wrong belief, necessarily. But it is essential to understand that, more often than not, kids are being heavily influenced by their peers more than they are influencing them. Children are still children. They are not yet ready for adult warfare on the spiritual battlefield. Do not send them into situations where an adult is needed when they are not yet fully prepared. Know when to shield your children from evil – when to step forward, sweep them under your wings, and pull back. Childhood is a short and precious time, but it is also a time of preparation more than anything. Ephesians 6:4 reminds parents to abstain from provoking their children to wrath, but to instead bring them up in the training or instruction of the Lord. Additionally, do not send forth your youngest warrior before he is ready for battle – or before he has completed his training. Doing so could result in a deafening defeat that could have lifelong ramifications.
Children are gifts – protect them and equip them
Psalm 127:3-5 says this: “Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed in the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.”
Children are gifts – they are not owed to us! God graciously gives us guardianship over young and precious minds. Those who have children also have an extremely serious responsibility to train them appropriately. Parenting is a very difficult – and very spiritually demanding – calling. Jesus states in Luke 17:2 that it would be better to be thrown in the sea with a millstone hung around your neck than to cause a little one to stumble. Misguiding or ignoring our children is an extremely serious crime – and we will be held accountable as parents if we blow off this responsibility or fail to embrace it.
Therefore, it is imperative to take the task of parenting seriously, because God commands us to. We must prepare our children for facing the world in an age-appropriate way, and we must likewise know when to step in and protect them from the fiery arrows of the enemy until our kids are strong enough – and trained enough – to step onto the battlefield themselves.
1 Peter 5:2-3
Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.
The opinions in this article are specific to its author, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the entire Counter Culture Mom team.
Summer Lane is the #1 bestselling author of 30 books, including the hit Collapse Series and Resurrection Series. She is an experienced journalist and columnist who reports on news within the U.S. and abroad. Additionally, she analyzes politics and policies in weekly op/Eds on The Write Revolution.
Summer is also a mom and wife who enjoys rural country living, herding cats, and gardening. She is passionate about writing about women’s issues, parenting, and politics from a theologically-grounded perspective that points readers to the good news of the gospel.
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