The next generation is growing up in a world that calls good evil and evil good.
There are people who want our kids to be indoctrinated with their lifestyles so our kids end up celebrating lifestyles that God's Word clearly says are wrong.
The battlefield no longer starts in high school, but rather in elementary and even preschool.
Netflix has rebooted "The Babysitters Club." The show first aired in the 90's and was based on a book series. It follows the lives of a teen and tween business club for babysitters.
In the original series, the most intense thing the babysitters faced was a pet that escaped a house. Fast forward to today and you'll see the babysitters calling out doctors and nurses who keep "misgendering" a transgendered ward.
In the show, one of the transgender children is a boy who is named Joseph. But at the age of "2 or 3 years old" his mother says he started identifying as a girl. So Joseph takes on a new name. A girl's name - Kai. Now "Kai" is wearing dresses and identifying as trans. The series is aimed at younger children and tweens. It also features several gay and lesbian characters.
For parents who are trying to raise their children to follow God's ways, wisdom and Word, it is crucial that they are aware of what is happening in the culture. Especially when children are involved. Children are so impressionable. If we are not intentional about guiding them through the culture they are growing up in, then they may be swayed by a culture that is walking down a pathway away from God's plans and purposes.
Yes, we must shelter our children from influences that do not align with God's Word. But sheltering is not enough in the days we are living in. There is simply too much technology, entertainment, social media, messaging, ads and TV channels to shelter them completely.
And so we must do what it says in 1 Peter 3:15.
"But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect..."
The starting place is making Christ the Lord of our lives. Notice what it says - "But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. " Our lifestyle should reflect the Lordship of Christ. We submit to His leadership in every area of our lives. We must choose to love Jesus more than the things of the world.
We must also teach our children, in age-appropriate ways, why we believe the Bible is God's Word and why we should follow what it says in all areas and aspects of our life.
The verse says we must prepare them. If we do not prepare them, they will be swept away by the current of the world's culture. Have you given your own kids enough preparation to defend their faith? Do the students in your ministry know how to share why following God's plans is the best way to live?
We must teach them what God says about certain lifestyles and what paths to avoid. First and foremost, parents should be the primary leaders in this area. So we must equip parents to have the conversations.
And for this to work, you must have the right attitude and the mind of Christ. Look how He says you should defend your faith.
"But do this with gentleness and respect..."
Notice how it is not just about what we say, it's also about how we say it. We are to share and defend our faith with gentleness and respect.
People don't care how many Bible verses you can quote to prove them wrong. But they will respond when they can see that you really do care about them as a person.
It also says to treat them with respect. This means we can't approach them with our nose up in the air, thinking we are better than they are. No. No. No. We must come with tears in our eyes that is the overflow of a heart of love for them.
Respect means you share with kindness.
Respect means you speak the truth in love.
Respect means you don't argue with then, rather you listen.
Respect means you see past who they are now and see them as God sees them. Someone who desperately needs to experience His love and forgiveness. And you may be the person God is sending to help guide them toward that love and forgiveness.
Gentleness and respect. That's what you must bring to the table when you are ministering to today's young families.
Yes, the Babysitter's Club has crossed some lines when it comes to sexual identity and roles. So we must be prepared to guide our children to God's plan and purpose for us.