How many of us have been expecting, or at least hoping, that 2021 is going to be a better year than 2020? Well, based on how 2021 has started, I’m not holding my breath. Like last year, these last few weeks have provided shocking and ground shifting news in politics and culture. Rioters broke into the US Capitol, Trump refused to attend Biden’s inauguration, and people are being banned from social media for their political views. That is just in the last couple of weeks!
How do we talk about these topics with our children?
Our children don’t need to know everything.
Just to state the obvious, there are some things that our children do not need to know. There are depths of sexual misconduct and graphic violence that are not beneficial or necessary for our children (and many of us adults). Such evil can have a powerful effect on us in producing paralyzing fear or dark temptations. It is right for us to protect them from these kinds of things.
Our children should know what is going on.
Although some level of protection is appropriate, we must not make the mistake of sheltering our children so that they become ignorant and vulnerable. It is our job to prepare them for life. They will have to face reality sometime, and if they encounter it without warning and preparation, it could destroy them. So as it seems appropriate to their maturity, parents should introduce to their children the realities of life and what is occurring in our nation in a way that will empower them to navigate life successfully. This brings me to my final suggestion.
We can provide a biblical perspective on what is happening.
Knowledge without morality has no true value. Knowledge can be useful to accomplish many things, but what we are trying to accomplish matters very much. So as we expose our children to the difficult realities of life, it is our responsibility to provide a moral worldview through which to understand them.
If you are a Christian parent, then that means you help your children to form a biblical worldview. In a biblical worldview, our children will understand God’s creation of the world, his creation of man in his image, the sinful nature of man since the Fall, his love and salvation for us accomplished through Jesus Christ, the standards and benefits of righteousness, and the final judgment. With the historic unity of our nation torn apart, basic morality upended, and the foundational principles of our government under attack, our nation appears to be coming apart at the seams. In spite of all this, a believer in Jesus Christ can process these things with faith, hope, and love.
One thing that we have recently done to help our children to be informed of current events and enlightened with a biblical worldview is to subscribe to the World Watch, daily ten-minute news videos created for young people by World News Group. Their free daily podcast, The World and Everything in It is also a wonderful source for news and perspective.
The most important thing we do as a family is to have lots of discussions about what is happening in the world. When we hear about or encounter difficult current events, we discuss them openly. We answer the children’s questions and try to give them perspective. Our hope is that we will bring up our children to become faithful, hopeful, loving followers of Christ who accomplish his mission in the world.
by Matthew McDill