It’s no secret that June was pride month. Everywhere we went there were rainbows, and “pride” plastered on retailer’s windows. It’s crazy how things have changed in even my lifetime. What was shameful and secretive just two decades ago is now celebrated in excess. Needless to say, we live in different days; our children are growing up in different days. Which means, we parents need to think carefully about raising our kids in such a way that they can handle where the world is headed.
Often times, I think Christian parents choose to shelter their children from these worldly trends and realities. And at times that is certainly appropriate. But the reality is, the messages of the world are going to creep in eventually — if not from the media, then from kids on the playground, or even in Sunday School class. Or simply by walking through the mall, stopping by a local coffee shop, or spending time with extended family. Sexual sin is promoted constantly. And because of that, it may be time we thoughtfully open the floodgates of communication with our children.
Our children, perhaps more than any other previous generation, need to be thoroughly equipped with a biblical worldview before they unknowingly adopt a worldly one.
Which is why I didn’t keep silent when we walked by the rainbow.
The Ever-Present Agenda
I was recently at a large outdoor mall with my children. And there it all was. I don’t know if a single retailer wasn’t joining the bandwagon.
I imagine my kids were clueless, or perhaps they thought they were surrounded by some new Summer decor. So I could have just kept walking. But why would I? I have daughters entering 4th and 5th grade, and I want them prepared! I’d already taught them about sexuality — about the beauty of God’s design, as well as a basic introduction to the culturally-promoted misuse of sexuality. But in front of me was a clear opportunity to open their eyes to the world they live in. To show them how prevalent these issues are. To awaken their readiness for the day when all types of LGBT issues are pushed on them.
And so I pointed it out. I told them what the pretty rainbows stood for (In this culture, of course; the rainbow stands for something far different in the Bible!). It wasn’t a long conversation, and it simply went over the heads of my younger children. But it was a fruitful conversation, because now they understand why I want them to know what the Bible says — because they see the world is very intent on saying otherwise.
Don’t Shy Away
As Christian parents we must prioritize preparing our children as much as we think to protect them. In fact, preparing them may be the best way to protect them.
I know issues of sexual nature can be hard to talk about. Just sex in general is something most parents avoid discussing for as long as possible. On top of that, there’s a variety of reasons we think to not discuss sexual sin. And perhaps if we lived in a different decade we’d have the luxury to wait. But the window of naivety is getting smaller and smaller as the world finds more and more ways to get to our children.
And the answer is not to lock our children in our homes (as if that would be enough), the answer is found in good, honest, open communication.
In all actuality, dialoguing about these things is far easier than trying to keep them under wraps. To add to that, it’s even easier if you start discussing the basic truths about sexuality before they get to the age when they think it’s awkward. Starting earlier allows your kids to get comfortable discussing sensitive topics with you before they ever decide it’s weird and embarrassing. But even if you’ve passed that point, just get talking. It’s better to hear from you than be informed about sexual issues from somewhere else.
Just Start Somewhere
This is simply the starting point– getting the communication ball rolling.
Realistically, this is the easy part. The real difficulty comes when your child’s friends are considering homosexuality. Or when their teacher is pushing the LGBT agenda. Or when you’re invited to a gay wedding. Or when you are ostracized for holding to biblical teaching. And these types of challenges are likely just around the corner. Simply put, if we want to be prepared then we can’t be ignoring the reality now.
We should be teaching our children to be actively aware, biblically prepared, and prayerfully ready to not only know the truth, but be willing to stand with it. And sometimes that starts by simply not staying silent when you walk by a rainbow.