We raise them; train them up..protect them as best we can. No matter how close we keep our children there comes a point and time when eventually they will have to face the culture. It might be in school, church, a mission trip or college. When it happens will they be ready? What do we do to prepare them for that fateful day when they realize their worldview does not mess with the worldview around them? When they find their values challenged and their convictions in question? Here are my thoughts.
1. Know your foundation. If time has been invested teaching/learning/developing a strong moral foundation then there is where they need to stand when facing the culture. In our home God's Word (and His character revealed therein) is the basis, the plumb line, for all questions and uncertainties.
2. See every encounter as a teachable moment. When my teens face a challenge or an uncertainty I see it as a time of discussion and instruction. Here is where the heart is revealed and where seeds are planted, but I have to be sure to take the time to listen and to train when these moments arise.
3. Know what the culture is saying. How can I be prepared to instruct or answer my teens if I myself am not aware of what the culture has to say? I must be equipped before I can pass that equipping on to another.
4. Discern addressing the issue. Sometimes the culture confronts us and tries to force a reaction. Herein there is need for discernment: do they want discussion and communication or is the mind already made up making this more of a combative situation?
5. Be able to back it up. If you enter into discussion about beliefs, convictions, worldview, etc. have the knowledge to back your words with scripture, teachings or evidences that support your stand. Better to remain silent if you don't have the wisdom to fortify your position.
College, media, friendships..there are endless ways we face the culture everyday. My heart's desire is to prepare myself and my youth to learn and discern the Lord's heart and walk in His ways leading others as we go.