The Cultural Quandary: In or Out?

My prayer this morning:

“Jesus, you know I am taking Mariah and Madi shopping tonight. PLEASE HELP US! There are stores I don’t like that they do. There are fashions I don’t approve of that they are attracted to. Help me to not judge. To talk less and listen more and give me patience and wisdom and please help us not to fight. Amen”

Ever been there? So many areas for our girls to want to be like everyone else; so many areas where we want them to be set apart. How do we handle living in this world, but not being in it?

Romans 12:2 tells us, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (NLT)

When our daughters are young, it is easier to call the shots, telling them what they will wear, where they will go and what they will do. But if we continue this pattern as they grow up, they will not learn to discern what is wise and what is not. As early as possible, we can begin to point out contrasts between what culture says is right and how our God calls us to be set apart.

The challenge comes in teaching without preaching. I have found for me and my girls the best delivery comes in the form of conversation.

“What do you think?” is a terrific conversation opener. What girl doesn’t want to give her opinion!

I try to show my kids I value their opinion. It matters and if that opinion lines up with God’s word, I get to reinforce it. If it does not, it gives me the opportunity, using God’s word, to show them His way and the blessings that follow when we follow His way.

What areas do you find in your home where you are trying to live in the world, but not of it?


If you haven’t already, be sure to comment on last Friday’s post, where Lysa TerKeurst is giving away 3 copies of “What Happens When Young Women Say Yes to God”. I’ll post the winners on Wednesday!



  1. As a mother of 3 girls, two of which are teens, we’ve gone down the clothing path. We’ve discussed the difference between snug and tight and being aware of what people see. An area where I’m trying to walk a fine line, teaching without preaching, is their choice of music. As they were growing up, all we really played in the house or car was Contemporary Christian. Now that they have ipods, they listen to many other styles as well. In the car, I allow the other stations, but they know that if the song has a swear word or lyrics that disrespect females, I don’t like it. They’ll switch the station. 🙂

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Karen, I love that approach! I also allow my girls to play their secular music from their iPods in my car. They like some of the newer rock/folk music and my husband and I like it too! Just like you, if it is ever inappropriate, I confront them…they shouldn’t have junk on their devices. It has worked well!

  2. Elayne Thompson says:

    When we first started having some issues w/the music, I would google the lyrics to anything questionable & then show her so she would know what she was allowing in her spirit. I would explain why it is inappropriate, though not really necessary: self-explanatory but then we would look together for something in genre of Christian music that was compatible. It’s not a perfect solution but I do believe that letting them actually read what is being sung can make a diffidence.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.