What is in your child’s backpack?

A mom recently posted a note she found in her son’s backpack on Facebook and it has made news.  She is a good mom who tries to change the radio when a song is inappropriate.  When she found the note, she realized that other family members didn’t share her same concern.  The note was written by her five-year-old son and it read “My sistr is sekse and she whows it.”  Translation: “My sister is sexy and she knows it.”  The phrase comes from a popular song lyric by a band with a tacky name that I don’t care to mention.  Her son had been singing along to a cousin’s music.

Recently I spoke to a group of young moms and one of the questions raised prompted this blog post.  A mom was concerned about the desensitization of children and teens today.  She spoke of the popular music, shows, movies and even commercials that are seen by our kids in their own homes and in the homes of friends.  This mom wondered about the impact it would have on the next generation of children.  Her question brought a lot of worried nods from the other moms in the room.  

Most Christian parents are searching for advice and answers, concerned about how to protect their children from the world’s values.  They want to raise their children so they will function successfully in the world, but also want to keep them from embracing many of the values our culture promotes.  This has always been a tough issue, but this new generation of parents has the most difficult battle yet.

{source}<iframe style=”float: right; border: 1px solid #000000; background-color: #C0C0C0; padding: 2px; margin: 10px; -moz-border-radius: 3px; -khtml-border-radius: 3px; -webkit-border-radius: 3px; border-radius: 3px;” width=”400″ height=”225″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/09wYwF0hlIQ?rel=0&start=397&end=427″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>{/source}Technology is changing every year.  Small children learn how to use a computer, a tablet and the television remote.  I enjoyed this video of a little girl who was calling out the numbers her mom held in front of her.  She illustrates my point quite nicely!  Children are VERY familiar with today’s technology.

Most of the next generation of children will likely be exposed to pornography before their tenth birthday.  Most will see part, if not all of an “R” rated movie before that same age.  Most will watch commercials advertising adult-only products, and most will watch television shows that endorse, promote and encourage as normal things that the Bible calls sinful.

We all know the truth of the problem, but the solution to the problem is not as easy.  More and more Christians are finding safety in withdrawing from the world’s influence.  The mega churches of today offer schools, sports teams, social events as well as the traditional Sunday activities.  Many Christian parents are choosing to keep their children sheltered under that umbrella, hoping to minimize the outside influences.  

I understand the desire to protect our kids, but I fear for the future of our country and culture if those who are called to be salt and light are left in the saltshaker, hidden under that “bowl” scripture speaks of (Matthew 5:13-16).  How do we protect our children and still teach them to “let their light shine before others?”  The number one responsibility of every Christian is to make disciples.  Does your church offer shelter to Christians more than it offers light to the lost?  Are we teaching our children to avoid people who are lost rather than provide them with the good news of eternal life?

I remember thinking about those things with my own children.  Are the verses in Matthew 5 only for adults?  After all, adults are supposed to lead children – not the other way around.  What is the answer to limiting the influence of the world while teaching our kids to influence the world?

The only perfect answer I have ever found is in this passage from 1 Corinthians 2:14-16.  Read it carefully, asking for God to speak it to you as his truth.

The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.  The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment:  “For who has known the mind of he Lord that he may instruct him?”  But we have the mind of Christ.

The single most important thing you can do as a parent is to understand that you don’t know how to raise your children – apart from the Spirit of God.  “The spiritual man makes judgments about ALL things.”  You need to raise your children like God tells you to raise them.  You can’t know and understand what can only be “spiritually discerned.”  You shouldn’t raise your children like you were raised, like good neighbors or friends are raising their children, or like you “think” they should be raised.  Unless of course, your thoughts have been prompted by the Holy Spirit of God.

But here is amazing good news for every Christian parent:  You “have the mind of Christ.”  You have access to perfect answers for every problem.  You have access to the greatest wisdom possible.  You can ask Jesus.  Your only hindrance is: will you?

Charles H. Spurgeon put it well when he said, “The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is a knowledge of our own ignorance.”  Every parent needs to enter that temple of wisdom every day.  The future of your family depends on it.

{jcomments lock}