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Parenting in Today's Culture

Lakeland Christian School

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Lakeland Christian School

One of the core values of LCS is the belief that we are partnering with parents in the Christian education of their children. We believe that mutual respect, communication and involvement by all partners is essential for success of our mission.LCS is a school. We believe that being a Christian school and being a top-flight academic institution should not be mutually exclusive. On the contrary, we take the mandate of Colossians 3:23 that calls us to strive to be the best. We provide a variety of rigorous, engaging, academic and co-curricular activities that enable students to identify and express the full range of their unique gifts and abilities.

When Kids Doubt Their Faith

Big Idea:

It is very common for Christian children raised in Christian homes to challenge their own faith at some point before they leave the home.  Praise God that your child is a deep thinker, engaging important topics, and wanting to talk with you about it!  We desire that our children’s convictions will be their own. In all of life we do not want our children to blindly accept the things they are being taught. Part of arriving at that is pushing and questioning to make sure that they see that the truth of Christianity stands the test. Our response to their questions will likely determine how willing they are to continue the conversation with us and come to us in the future. We should welcome their question and encourage more questions. It’s important to gain a good understanding from your child about where these questions and doubts are coming from. Do they question something specific such as the truth or accuracy of scripture? Are they questioning something about creation or dinosaurs? A few good questions can help you get to the heart of what they’re asking or perhaps the reason they are asking it.  Let’s remember too that there is always a spiritual battle. Satan wants to accuse and confuse and cast doubt and is always looking for an opportunity to do this. Pray that our children will put their trust in the Lord, be assured of His love and care for them, and know that they belong to Him.

**A child who is doubting his own salvation is different than one who is questioning the truth of Christianity.  Sometimes the temptation is to “prove“ to the child that there was an event in time when he professed faith in Christ, said the prayer etc. While these things are certainly important and they are markers, sometimes one of the most helpful indicators for a child is a present faith and trust in Christ. Do you trust Him now? Do you now believe that you are a sinner saved by grace in need of a Savior and that Jesus has saved you because of His great mercy and not because of anything that you deserved? It is good and right for believers to encourage one another in their faith. If we see evidence of the Holy Spirit at work in the hearts of our children – when we see them repent and demonstrate faith and seek forgiveness and humble themselves before God – these are important things to notice out loud.

Key Principles:

  • Reinforce your love for your child amid tough questions and no matter what he concludes
  • Keep the lines of communication open – don’t shut these discussions down!
  • Have spiritual discussions with your children (at the dinner table, in the car, in family worship, praying together) and communicate that your home is a safe place for questions
    • Point out the wonder of creation and talk about the complexity of the human body or the galaxy; for older children discuss intelligent design vs. evolution
    • Ask them “What do you think that movie character believes to be true about God, the world, or eternity?”
    • Talk about Biblical heroes like David, Jacob, and Job who struggled at times to trust God and believe His Word
  • Ask your teens big questions – try to anticipate the questions we know they’ll probably hear one day: “How would you answer someone who reads this passage and says there’s no way Jesus could have walked on water; it was probably just a sandbar?” or “What would you say to someone who says it’s not fair for God to judge someone who’s never heard about Jesus?”
  • Pray with and for your child about these questions and doubts and ask a family member or friend to be praying specifically as well
  • Encourage your child to speak with a pastor, elder, Sunday school teacher or other wise and knowledgeable leader in your church. (Maybe even go with your child so that you can both ask questions and hear the same answers.)
  • Study apologetics together to help answer their own questions as well as defend the faith (resources below)

Related Resources:

One Minute Apologetics videos by Gospel Coalition

Colson Center videos: (also available on YouTube)

Always Ready: Directions for Defending the Faith book by Greg Bahnsen

YouTube videos of Greg Bahnsen

Stephanie Terry, Licensed School Psychologist

Talking with our Kids about Sex and Sexuality

Big Idea: 

How can parents talk with their kids about sex? Gender? Sexuality? Sexting? Masturbation? Purity? Think of these conversations as one giant framework that you work to establish at very young ages, and then build upon that, filling in the gaps as they grow older and more mature and as they encounter more information from the world (friends, media, sermons, etc.)  Insert Biblical truths and observations along the way and ask them questions about what they’ve heard, what they know or think on these topics. Teach them to use Scripture to interpret what the culture says about sex, marriage, gender, etc.  Bring it up often (several times per year) starting from a young age or however old they are right now.  These conversations can be brief and passing (“That’s called an erection and it’s part of how God designed your body,” or “It’s normal to be curious about those kinds of pictures, but it’s something that should only be shared between a husband and a wife” or  “Son, one day you will be so glad you followed God’s design for sex and marriage – it’s so worth it!”) or it can be longer (such as more specific discussion related to purity and sex when an older teen begins a dating relationship).  The goal is to teach your child that God’s Word is our authority on this topic – not our culture!

Key Principles:

  • God made us and takes care of us.  He also created sex and marriage and His design is what we follow. (examples in Genesis 1 and 2 regarding sex, gender, marriage, etc.).
  • Be the first one to teach them about sex in a general way.  Establish yourself as the primary authority on such topics. (“Don’t ask your friends about that or look that up online – come to me.”)  Start young!
  • Answer their questions truthfully and with enough information to truly answer the question.  (“Does that answer your question?”)  
  • Try to answer them on the spot.  If you can’t tell them you need to think about a good way to answer that and follow up with them as soon as possible.
  • Don’t give them more information than they are asking for or need.  (Example: When you teach your 5-8 year old about sexual intercourse as part of God’s design for marriage, you do not need to also explain oral sex or sexting.)
  • Tell them you know more about it and you can talk more when they have more questions.  If you don’t know something find it out and get back with them (such as slang terms or what song lyrics mean).
  • Even if your older kids aren’t asking you stuff – bring it up to them.  (“Do people ever talk or joke about sex around you?  Why do you think that movie included that part? What do you think a picture like that is trying to communicate?  What would you do if someone sent you something inappropriate?”)  If they don’t want to answer – keep trying!  Share your own thoughts and observations (“I keep hearing songs where it talks about people hooking up – that’s not what God’s Word teaches us about sex, and it’s sad to see such a good gift misused.”)
  • Sometimes these conversations are more comfortable side by side rather than face to face (in the car, on a walk).  Also – it’s ok if there’s some humor involved – these talks can lead to laughter!

These conversations start in the toddler years on the changing table and in the bathtub.  They continue until (and maybe into!) adulthood.  Keep adding to the framework!  Even if your kids act like they don’t like this – they need it and they’re learning that they can come to you with this topic.

CCEF article

God Made Boys and Girls (Marty Machowski) – Gender 

The Talk (Luke Gilkerson) – Biblical sexuality

God’s Design for Sex Series (Stan and Brenna Jones)

How and When to Tell Your Kids About Sex (Stan and Brenna Jones)

Good Pictures Bad Pictures JR (Kristen Jenson) – Pornography

Revive Our Hearts – podcasts on Gender

Stephanie Terry, Licensed School Psychologist