One of the things that I find most difficult to navigate as a Christian parent, is the idea of innocence. What is and isn’t helpful or harmful for children to know at specific ages? If you’re like me, you may have struggled with these same questions. While I would LOVE to be able to give a nice, tidy, formulaic approach to this question, I simply don’t have all the answers.
However, as parents, we are called to walk alongside our children and help train their minds to make choices that are in line with God’s Word. So…here are just a few ideas to help you in this mission.
1. Have a BIBLICAL explanation for every major decision you make regarding your children. Yes, I’m serious about this. Many Christian parents want to help their kids, but it’s so easy for us to run to an ‘expert’ on a website or radio show to tell us exactly what to do with our kids. Unfortunately, the problem with ‘experts’ is that they often don’t understand the unique dynamic of every household. Not every family is going to agree on particulars, which is okay, as long as every family can provide a Biblical basis for the decision they’ve made.
2. When your children ask tough questions, give them honest answers. Some parents are afraid that when their children hear topics from friends or schoolmates, they may not be ready for the answers. Lemme be honest: If they’re asking those questions of you, they’ve probably already received some input from a source that may not be biblically guided. There is always a danger of TMI (too much information), but I always believe the greater danger is in Christian families failing to be honest with kids about the depth of the sinful world we live in.
3. Turn every decision into a conversation about the GOSPEL. I have been through countless battles over things like music, movies, friends, words, and everything in-between. No matter where we land on our decisions, I believe that the ONE THING that all of our kids MUST know, regardless of their age, is the details of the GOSPEL. God is good, we are sinners by nature and choice, we can NEVER be good enough, Jesus is the ONLY WAY we can be made right, and EVERY person must choose for themselves to follow Jesus or reject Him. Whatever stage of life our kids are at, we can take small steps to go to the cross together with them.
In short, always support your decisions with scripture, always be ready to have good answers, and always make sure the GOSPEL is presented when a decision is made.