“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Does it feel like you have a tougher job raising children than your parents did, or certainly than your grandparents did? If your answer is yes, there’s a good reason for it. It’s probably true.
As one columnist noted, the problem for parents in this generation “isn’t that they can’t say no. It’s that there is so much more to say no to.” She went on to write that parents used to raise their children in accordance with the cultural values voiced by ministers, teachers, neighbors, and leaders. But in the 1990’s the messengers were “Ninja Turtles, Madonna, rap groups, and celebrities pushing sneakers.” Today it’s even worse. As a result, parents face a daunting and often discouraging task.
It’s not a new challenge, though. Even in biblical times, the apostle Paul advised that “the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight” (1 Corinthians 3:19). Wise men and women—including fathers and mothers—have never set their hearts or hopes on the warped values of contemporary culture. Instead, they fix on the eternal values of the world above, knowing that “the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life” (John 12:25).
You can win the battle for your kids. A good start is to focus on the eternal goal and enlist the mighty power of God in persistent prayer.
What parenting challenges do you face that your parents didn’t?
How can you help each other guard your family from inappropriate messages in the culture?
Heavenly Father, we do become discouraged at times in saying “no” so often on behalf of our kids. Encourage us to never waver in seeking the best for our precious children, and may we always stay fixed on the eternal goal. Amen.
Quotes from Ellen Goodman, “Battling Our Culture Is Parents’ Task,” Chicago Tribune, 18 August 1994, as quoted in Bringing Up Boys copyright © 2001 by James Dobson, Inc. Published by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. Used with permission. All rights reserved.