We’re on day two of how to PREPARE not-of-this-world kids to take off into an out-of-control planet one day.
R = Ready
Ready to take a stand. In verses 15 – 16 of John 17, Jesus prays, “I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of this world, just as I am not of the world.”
My son, Zach, often shares with me different times he has had to take a stand in school. It may be on a day when evolution is being discussed in Biology and he realizes he is the only one in the class who believes in intelligent design. Another day it was when he was not supporting the gay rights day. While many around him wore duct tape on their mouths in support, he choose not too. Unfortunately, he was seen as being mean or “against” those who choose this lifestyle. He was not in fact against the people, but against their choices. It may be they need to stand while facing incredible pressure – possibly like no other generation before – to the quick, me-first pleasures of sex, alcohol, and drugs. Today, many who wear the label of Christian have lifestyles that do not back up with their self-given title. For our kids, this can not only be confusing, it can be discouraging and a very lonely place.
We are not only teaching them what to stand against, but more importantly, what to stand for. To not be ashamed of their Savior. To be able to share His love and life in a way that is not judgmental, but communicates His true passion for all He has created out of desire for relationship with Him. It is true that the need for Christ often comes out of our own hurt, pain or desperation; today’s teens do find themselves in these places. Our kids can carry the salve that the cutter needs for their heart. They can offer the fierce love of a Romancer who offers the promiscuous teen the need to be desired that they long for. They can share the tenderness of the Father to those whose fathers have long since checked out.
We need to teach our children that Jesus told us ahead of time that we would stand out – that we are a peculiar people and we were not made to fit in here. He shares with us in the first chapter of James that trials such as these are exactly what makes us grow. It may not make it easier for them, but at least it won’t come as a surprise!