One of the most powerful shaping influences in our lives is culture, for better or for worse.
In this “Information Age,” it has never been more critical to filter cultural messages through the lens of biblical truth.
We do this first by knowing the truth. Recognizing what’s not truth is impossible without knowing what is truth. Spending time in God’s Word and absorbing His truth by the power of His Spirit enables us to identify the lies touted in our world.
3 Lies Parents Believe
Here are three commonly believed lies many Christian parents believe, and a corresponding Scripture which offers the right perspective.
LIE #1 – The worth of any endeavor is contingent upon the personal fulfillment it brings.
This is one of the most prevalent lessons taught by productivity gurus and business experts. “Live your best life,” they say. “Get rid of what’s holding you back!” “Ditch the negative karma!” “Only do what you enjoy!”
That sounds good, right? Sign me up for that kind of life!
The thing is, the last time I checked, I don’t enjoy changing diapers. Doing laundry isn’t particularly fulfilling. And I haven’t found cleaning toilets to be terribly rewarding.
You see, while this advice might be warranted in certain contexts, we’ve allowed it to infiltrate areas it doesn’t belong – including parenting.
Believing this lie can cause serious damage to our morale as parents, especially when we’re the stay-at-home variety. We get this mental picture that everyone else is enjoying incredibly exhilarating and satisfying pursuits, while we’re stuck at home with drudge work.
If anyone would come after Me, let Him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. (Luke 9:23-24)
In God’s economy, loss brings gain, the humble are exalted, and self-denial is required. The truth is that an endeavor’s worth is based on the glory it brings to God and the benefit it provides for others.
LIE #2 – It’s important to raise kids to be independent.
We talk about our teens soon being “out on their own.”
We try to train them well because one day they’ll have to “make their own decisions.”
We say things like, “As long as you’re under my roof, you’ll obey my rules.”
I understand the good intentions behind these phrases; however, they send a subtle message to our kids that the life principles taught in a Christian home have an expiration date.
Where can I go from Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence? If I go up to the heavens, You are there; if I make my bed in the depths, You are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast. (Psalm 139:7-10)
This passage teaches us that even when kids leave parental authority, they never leave God’s. If we want to raise adults who live out a dependent relationship with God, it’s wise to avoid seemingly innocent phrases that imply they’ll one day be “on their own.”
LIE #3 – The church holds primary responsibility for training kids in Christianity.
Before you deny this lie too quickly, consider a couple of rather convicting questions:
a.)How often do your children hear about God from you, compared with how often they hear about Him from the youth pastor, Sunday School teacher, AWANA leader, and other church leaders?
b.)How much time do you spend in some degree of meaningful spiritual conversations with your kids, compared with the time you spend with them in trivial and relatively meaningless conversations?
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:5-9)
The truth is, God holds parents responsible for the training of our children. Though some aspects of this responsibility may be delegated to others, parents are the ones who will ultimately be held accountable.
Now it’s your turn! What lies have you noticed in our culture?