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Raising This Generation with God in Their Knowledge

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Being a Christian is more than listening to Christian music, reading a little devotional, and watching Pureflix.

Probably a lot of people thought my parents were overly strict growing up. For sure, many likely thought they were raising us in a bubble.

We didn’t have a T.V.. We were homeschooled in the early 80’s when homeschooling was almost unheard of.

My parents were concerned about the demonic influences behind rock music, movies and cartoons that depicted witchcraft and rebellion.

And so, many of the things that define the typical 80’s kid don’t define me.

And I am 100% okay with that.

But I don’t want you think that my parents’ decisions were made out of a fear of losing us to the devil, because they weren’t. It was a much deeper and more solid reason that drove my parents to raise us with radical differences that set us apart in our generation.

Most of us know that pastor’s kids are notorious. And I have certainly watched my fair share of pastor’s kids go sideways and completely walk away from God.

My parents somehow raised 3 kids in a pastor’s home who are now in full-time ministry.

Can I tell you a secret?

The formula isn’t

  • Throw away your T.V.
  • Homeschool your kids
  • Don’t allow rock music
  • Don’t let your kids watch certain movies and T.V. shows at their friends’ houses

I will be honest and say that there are times when I’m tempted to shape my kids’ upbringing to look exactly like my own; I want for my kids the kind of childhood I had.

But parenting in the 2020’s and parenting in the 1980’s isn’t even remotely similar. The principle may be the same, but the execution can’t be.

My kids’ generation face challenges we never had to face – not the least of which is a loss of innocence at a young age, not because of some perverted monster in their life, but from a far more sinister and evil source.

The enemy has always gone after children.

We can track throughout history the ways the enemy has specifically targeted children, from legislation allowing their murder (or even ordering their murder) to spiritualizing their murder (through ritualistic child sacrifice), from education camps to using them as manipulative pawns in war times.

The enemy realizes far better than we do that Christianity on earth is only one generation away from extinction.

If he can raise up a generation that doesn’t know God at worst or is apathetic about the fear of the Lord and God’s laws at best he has a clear path to his goal: Steal, kill, destroy.

Who will stop him? Who will be the one to stand in the gap and intercede?

It was this one issue that shaped my parents’ parenting decisions when I was young; an understanding that there are those activities that are clearly bad, activities that are seemingly benign (but often really are not), activities that are okay or even good, and then activities that are best.

They sought God for a vision for our family, which acted as a filter for those activities that are okay, or even good, so that they were free to give all of their time and attention to those activities that are best.

And while I’m sure that a lot of our friends thought we were missing out on a lot of those things that would later become, more or less, a mascot for the 80’s, we gained so much more.

The phrase I heard so often growing up is still very much a part of my vocabulary now, and I’m passing it down to my children: Other’s may, we can’t.

Others may feel a freedom to watch certain shows with themes we consider inappropriate for our family, but we can’t, because we feel a conviction to not grieve the Holy Spirit by entertaining ourselves with the things God hates.

Others may feel a freedom to go certain places or do certain things that we know are not right for our family because they would distract us from the vision and purpose God has for us.

Other’s may, we can’t.

My dear sisters, looking back, I can see how my parents recognized the enemy’s agenda against the kids in the 80’s.

Seeing what we see today, the 80’s look incredibly tame in comparison. The enemy’s agenda back then wasn’t an all out assault, but to normalize those things that had been taboo before.

To entertain my generation to distraction so that we can’t imagine a moment of our day without some sort of entertainment keeping our senses heightened and our adrenaline pumping.

And while he keeps us distracted, he’s snatching the hearts of our children right from under us…

  • With cartoons depicting LGBTQ themes
  • With cereal promoting gender fluidity and gender neutral pronouns
  • With child celebrities openly switching genders
  • With schools normalizing sexual deviancy

And this is just scratching the surface. If we start digging deeper, what we find is a cesspool filled more depravity than you can imagine.

To be sure, this is exactly what the Bible describes as an age when “every thought of the heart is only evil continually”.

Our media – the tool the enemy is using to contour our children’s thinking, beliefs….yes, their entire worldview by influencing music, movies, T.V., books, magazines, and even the education system – is raising a generation of young people who do not know God.

They do not have God in their thinking.

There is no fear of the Lord.

And there is almost no difference between the church and world. The kids in church listen to the same music, watch the same movies and T.V. shows, read the same books and magazines, and are educated in the same beliefs as the kids in the world.

While their worldly counterparts may have a disdain for God, or even deny His existence, many kids in the church have enough of God in their hearts to make them apathetic to Him.

Watching this scenario play out over the past 3 1/2 decades has filled my heart with such grief and concern that my own children do not walk this path.

I feel so strongly the command to “teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of [God’s commands] when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” Deuteronomy 6:7

Not to isolate my children from the world, but to equip them to go out into the world and live consecrated lives.

To shape in them thinking patterns, beliefs, and a worldview that align with God’s Word; that will form a foundation from which they will build lives that glorify God and accomplish their purpose for which He created them.

Not parenting out of fear, but parenting with purpose.

Training up a new generation of of kids that have God in their knowledge, a fear of the Lord in their hearts, a passion for His presence, and a craving for His pleasure.

And where does it start?

It starts with me cultivating in my own heart a passion for God’s presence and a craving for His pleasure – modeling for them what being a Christian in the 2020’s looks like.

That being a Christian is more than listening to Christian music, reading a little devotional, and watching Pureflix.

Being a Christian isn’t what I do, it’s who I am.

It is my whole identity, from the inside out. It shapes what I say and do; it is the very foundation for how I live my life in every aspect.

“Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise…” St. Patrick

All my life is Christ’s, and therefore I am bound to Him. I am not free to live as I please, but am obligated to live as He commanded…and that is a joyous life His servant.

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