I didn’t struggle with these questions until I was in high school. I guess it’s because I didn’t need to.
Its becoming normal to have some pretty big conversations with our kids at bed time. Last night was another one of those nights. My daughter Addyson (7), snuggled up next to me on the sofa and asked if we could talk. Her first question, “Daddy, if Jesus lived 2000 years ago, how can we be sure we’re doing what he wants us to do now?” This led us to talk about church history & biblical authority. Her second question had to do with Hinduism. She wanted to know its origin and why so many follow their gods and how they are different than the Christian God. She also wanted to know why no one else (at her school) believed in Jesus.
Meanwhile, as Addyson and I were having this chat, my wife Lynsi and son Aden (10), were having another upstairs. Aden was struggling with similar questions. He feels he doesn’t know enough about God and really wants God to speak to him more. We prayed that God would speak to him through his word and dreams. After putting them to bed I realised that they are growing up much more “worldly’ than I did at their age. By worldly I mean they are being forced to think globally and encounter differing world views. I grew up with people who generally held the same worldview as I did. Even more, I grew up in a Christian sub-culture where my worldview rarely had the opportunity to be challenged.
Although raising worldly children can be challenging, I think there are some benefits as well.
- Worldly kids will be adaptive.- When your kids are exposed to different cultures, religions and world views they will learn how to speak and act intelligently within a wide range of environments. This will be a strength as they grow into adulthood. They’ll be able to respect and interact with people on the world stage.
- Worldly kids will ask big questions.-People grow by asking good questions. You must be ok with your kids experiencing doubt and asking hard questions.
- Worldly kids will challenge you. – They will force you to ask big questions too.
- Worldly kids will have a global perspective.- As mentioned above, when your kids are faced to interact with varying worldviews they will develop a global perspective. This can be an invaluable resource.
- Worldly kids will understand the cost and mission of following Jesus.- When your kids begin to form a global perspective they soon realise that following Jesus comes with a cost. In most cases they will be the minority and they will learn how to live out their faith in the margins. They will also understand the mission to share the gospel and make disciples.