Children are not tiny adults. However, that does not mean that we should be raising them in an environment that shelters them from the reality of the world. Chances are if your kids are asking about it you already waited too long. Where kids questions come from might feel random, but let me assure you that they are coming from somewhere. And by failing to answer your kid’s questions today you’re allowing the world to answer them tomorrow. So let me encourage you right now to stop waiting to raise your child today.
1- Stop lying and have the hard conversations. Every day it becomes easier to access information and be exposed to the reality of the world. Do not push off the hard conversations waiting for situations to get better, because if they do it’s only temporarily. How are you going to explain death, war, heaven, or hell? Have you even talked through all these things with those helping you raise your kids? You can’t lie because when they find out the truth, and they will find out, your relationship with them will be hurt.
2- Give them responsibility and let them fail. Think about the last time you felt on top of the world. Chances are it was when you had accomplished something or had been given responsibility. Teach your kids not what responsibility means and let them fail. Then in their failures let them know that it is okay and that you are there to help them get back up. This does not mean you catch them while they’re falling, it means you let them fall and then help them.
3- Teach them what it means to honor others. In today’s equality driven culture we need to be teaching kids what it means to honor others. Honor means we treat others fairly and with esteem no matter who they are, where they come from, or what they believe. We live in a post-Christian culture. The challenge that we face when it comes with honoring other is not in recognizing the worth of the individual. No, the challenge is knowing how to honor someone while still disagreeing with them. Again we live in a post-Christian culture and because of that our standards will continue to be diluted and wrong in the eyes of the world. Teach your kids what it means to disagree with someone in a respectful way that honors who they are and teaches the truth of the Gospel.
4- Teach them to make their faith their own. Too often does the day come when kids leave the house and they have never had to own their faith. If they can read, they can read the Bible. If they can talk, they can pray. If they can teach others about the things they like, then they can share the Gospel. If they can invite friends over to play, they can invite people to church. They may not be great at any of these things, but they can do these things. So teach them how.
Again at the end of the day kids are not tiny adults. Kids cannot do everything, but who are you to keep them from trying?