Kids are great with questions. They can ask “Why?” at the end of even the most thought-out response. Many parents are afraid of studying the Bible with their children – mainly because of the questions their kids may ask. Don’t worry though. You don’t have to know all of the answers. It is perfectly acceptable to tell a child the two of you need to do a little research on the subject and find the answer to that great question together.
Of course, your next question to me is “Where do I go for the answers?” Unless you are a very strong Christian who has studied the Bible for years, I would avoid Google and Wikipedia at all costs. For every grounded Christian who writes something there are multiple agnostics, atheists and very confused people who write something that is so far from the Biblical truth as to be scary.
Nothing makes me sadder than to listen to Christian parents who are obviously experiencing mission drift in their homes. They are totally unaware this drift will most likely take their children away from the core spiritual beliefs the parents think they are instilling. In fact, the drift can become so severe the children grow up to reject God entirely.
You see, mission drift is when an organization (your family) forgets its purpose in favor of practicality. You make tiny, little, seemingly meaningless decisions on a day to day basis. What we often don’t realize (until it is too late) is that the sum of these decisions has caused us to drift away from our core mission: raising children who will be dedicated Christian servants of God and who will go to Heaven when they die.
My husband and I were blessed to be raised in families where we were taught godly values about money. We were trained to spend less than we earned, keep debt to a minimum, save money for unexpected expenses (and expected large ones) and give a good bit of our money away to Church and charity.
As single people, we continued these careful ways. When we married, it was easy to pay down the little debt we had and become debt free. Once our daughter entered the picture, we quickly introduced her to the concepts of work, saving and giving.
So, when we found Dave Ramsey, it wasn’t because we needed to change anything we were doing, but we wanted some fun, informative materials on financial topics to use while homeschooling our daughter. We stumbled upon him through his radio show and purchased his teen video series. As I have mentioned before, our daughter absolutely loved it. She was probably in middle school at the time and would jump out of bed every morning and race to put his dvd in and watch it.
Normally, these blog entries flow easily. Honestly, I hesitated before even agreeing to do this one. The idea of talking to Christian moms about romance novels and erotica seemed questionable at best. Then I remembered my teen years. A friend at school introduced me to romance novels. Pretty innocent seeming ones, especially compared to 50 Shades of Gray (which I haven’t read).
Over time though, I realized they were creating an image of the perfect man, one which didn’t exist. I was subconsciously comparing the men portrayed in these books to the actual men I encountered. Not surprisingly, the real men weren’t nearly as intuitive and romantic as these fictional men.
Eventually, I stopped reading romance novels and met and married my husband. I thought it was interesting that after I met my husband, I wasn’t even tempted to read a romance novel. I always thought it was strange until I read the book Pulling Back the Shades by Dannah Gresh and Dr. Juli Slattery.
Without a doubt, the best book you and your children can read is the Bible. You don’t have to worry about whether or not the authors are accurately communicating God’s will for your life. As the inspired word of God, you can rest assured the Bible has everything you need to support you and your kids in your efforts to live a Christian life.
Even if your teens read their Bibles daily though, they will be reading lots of other books during their high school and college years. Some will be written by people who make no claim to try and communicate any sort of values or will admit their books have no intrinsic value other than entertainment.
The books that scare me are the ones my daughter might read that are written by Christian authors. There is a tendency to assume that since most of the authors are famous ministers or are well known in their ministry area, the things they write should carry just about as much weight and value as scripture. Unfortunately, sometimes Christians would be better off had they not purchased the book at all.