3 Ways to Help Kids be IN the World, not OF It!
As parents we can pray for our kids as Christ prayed for His disciples in John 17:15…”My prayer is not that you take them out of the world, but you protect them from the evil one.” Colleen shows us 3 ways parents can be part of that protection!
Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be a light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—-shine! Matthew 5:14 MSG
Recently at a restaurant, a family of five seated next to us were all on their devices, even the 3-year-old. Nearby, a mom was battling with her teen to put his phone away while eating. These sights are now familiar. “Being in the world but not of it” might feel impossible in our technology-bombarded world!
Current news reports include cyberbullying, texting while driving, sexting, drinking, drugs, transgender kids, a rise in suicide and pornography addiction among our youth. With a screen at their fingertips, our kids face complex challenges at a much younger age. They need God’s truth and parents’ strong guidance and protection more than ever!
Let’s focus on a few ways we can offer protection in a difficult:
- Stay involved in kids’ cyberworld. We can help protect them. We should ask to “friend” or “follow” our kids on their social media sites. We can also create a contract with our kids agreeing on time limits for social media and screen time. When we set guidelines, remember it helps our children best when we follow through with those.
- Talk often (without judgement) about any difficult topic. If our kids are willing to ask us about a sensitive subject (think “pornography”, “Is it ok to have a homosexual friend?”, “Why do some people get to smoke pot and still be a starter on the team?”) we should count it a tremendous privilege! It is natural to be curious about these things. If we get angry or show disapproval with their curiosity, chances are they will shut down and stop coming to us with questions. The questioning won’t stop, the source of their answers will only shift away from us. Let’s make it clear to our kids that no topic is off limits and we will answer in the best way we know how, always pointing to Christ’s truth.
- Start these conversations NOW! (In the car when no one HAS to look eye to eye can be a great time for these conversations!). How great to be talking about hard things with our kids, BEFORE their friends do! We need to be honest about our struggles. If we model openness, they will follow. For excellent resources, encouragement, support, conversation starter ideas and videos, go to www.nexttalk.org
Remember God is not surprised by our world. We are here to be His Light! (Matthew 5:14) Let’s pray often for wisdom and protection as we discuss with our children the challenges they face.
Read the Bible verse above. How can you be a light in your world? What topics would you like to talk about with your parents but haven’t felt like they would want to? We challenge you to give it a shot the next time you’re in the car together!