Since becoming a Christian for myself, and realizing that I didn’t have this faith solely because my parents did, I have had a desire to learn more about Christ, to ask more questions, to seek the truth and the evidence for it. Now that I am also a parent, I find that desire to be amplified, greatly. Since I started my search I have found resources (and have been given recommendations) that turned out to be a lot of help.
I thought it would also be of help to you and your family, to list some of my most helpful resources! Especially to help equip us for when our kids start asking us veryhard questions! So, before I get the list started, I just want to encourage you to read everything, but most importantly test everything. I will divide everything into different categories, to help make it easier.
A lot of these resources, are things that sparkedmany questions and much curiosity, and if it’s not something you’ve watched or heard before, I’m sure it will for your family too! Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself to think more critically, to gain better answers for those hard questions, even if it takes effort and time. These different resources, took me down so many bunny trails of thoughts! Although a lot of them were strengthening for me, some I wrestled with.
As I find more resources, I will update this post with them!
More research on your end, is greatly encouraged. I did not put these here as answers to everything, but they are here more so, to get you to think deeper! I found my faith being strengthened, when I went to seek the truth; I encourage you to do the same.
John 8:31-32 ESV “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
John 14:6 ESV “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
More and more, I’m hearing even in Christian places, that we need to tell our girls (or kids in general) that phrase, “you are enough.” That they are perfect, just the way they are. Sounds harmless enough right? Well, I don’t think so. We are truly not enough, on our own. That is the whole reason we have and need Jesus as our Savior, because wewouldcrashandburnwithoutHim. If you want to tell your children that they are enough, don’t forget to add it’s only through, and with Jesus that, that is true. Not on our own, and not because of ourselves, but because of Him.
We are only made enough, and made whole when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Only then, are we washed clean of our horrible sins.
Worth Mentioning, To Our Daughters:
The Lord will lead you before any man will, and He always will. So, put your trust in Him, if you’re worried about not finding the “love of your life.”
Don’t revolve around men, in your searching. Revolve around a man, the Lord Jesus Christ.
We should never become unequally yoked with a man, because we gave up our search for a Godly one. Do not settle for someone, who isn’t a God-fearing man.
Don’t mix up perfect, and Godly, as the same thing, because it surely, is not. Don’t look for a perfect man; there isn’t one.
Creating relationship with God, and then searching for a good, Godly man to marry and start a family with, is how we should use our time of singleness.
Jesus is what makes us whole, not ourselves, anything, or anybody on earth will fill that gap.
If you are struggling with sexual temptations, do not try to fight it all on your own, call upon the Lord for help, and seek help from those close to you, so they can keep you accountable in your actions and pray for you!
Notes, For The Parents:
Always leave the door open for children to ask questions about anything.
Encourage the whys, and encourage the hows! Even if you have to do research on the answers!
Our children will gain confidence in their faith, through our confidence in challenging the word of the world, against the word of God. We just have to show them!
Put in the work, and research the answers to the tough questions they ask! They need to see us as a Christian, try.
Them waiting a little bit for an answer, is much better than a pointless, quick reply to get them out of your hair.
They are going to need that, because their faith will be tested.
Teach them the truth, before the world can teach the lies.
One Truth, and One God, Jesus Christ.
There is one truth, and one God. Everyone is always saying “what is your truth?” how do you, define things? It’s all about you; how you feel, and what you want. The world is becoming more and more selfish, as time goes on— relying on feelings to dictate decisions, and it has masked it to look like, compassion. If you are found disagreeing with “their truth,” you are outcasted as a person of hatred with little, to no compassion for others. That is a lie, straight out of hell. Unfortunately, the easiest way to make friends and relationships, is to agree, condone, or accept “their truth.” It can be very difficult to make friends, if you do not, do that.
I encourage you,
Do not give into the lie that is “you are not loving”, or even christianly, when you tell someone they are being sinful, against the Lord. If you see someone acting in sin, encourage them to stop, pray, and repent. If we allow feelings of “they will hate me, if I say they are wrong”, or “they will be so hurt with what I have to say.” etc, to dictate how we do things, we will surely be lost. Jesus probably hurt many feelings, when he told the truth.
Matthew 9:12 (ESV) “but when he heard it, he said, “those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.” I encourage you to read this chapter, in Matthew! We always hear that Jesus is “a friend of sinners”. He walked among them, and ate with them, but I don’t think he was a, by definition “friend“. At least not until they allowed him to change, their hearts and started following him. In this, it talks about him sitting with tax collectors, he refers to himself as “a physician helping the sick”. Maybe I’ll keep this topic for another time, but it is something to ponder over, and research more on!
I believe we can be honest, and kind at the same time. “Short term pain, long term gain.” Someone, somewhere, said that phrase and it stuck with me. Better to be hurt temporarily by the truth, than to hurt forever, because of a sin. so, teach or continue teaching your girls to be bold in their faith, and to be kind while doing it!
I think this is extremely important, for our children to know. As our daughters make friends and create relationships, they need to know to keep their faith in Jesus the top priority. Not to cower, or let go of the Lord’s word just to make a friendship, or to keep a relationship. If it means letting go of people to stay faithful, then so be it. It hurts, I understand all too well, but it may be necessary.
Another, Matthew 16:23 (ESV) “But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” Now, I am not saying to go around calling everyone the devil, but I am pointing out Jesus, did not hesitate to put Peter back in his place, when he saw he was in the wrong. Can you imagine, during that time especially, calling someone “the devil” must have been a huge shock to the system!
While “the truth can hurt” is a cliche phrase, it isn’t wrong. Sometimes it is really hard to hear, that we are being sinful, or in error. I would personally, much rather be told to look at the destruction I’m causing and try to fix it, than live like that without knowing, and face God’s wrath, because of it. Although, unfortunately some people will still knowingly choose destruction, regardless.
Lets teach our girls, to not rely on feelings, to make a decision. Feelings do not always line up, even when a correct decision is made, and even when we have compassion fora situation. Our own desires (whether Godly ones, or not) do not even always line upwith what God says, or His plans for us! We need to always rely on the Lord, and the Lord’s word. You can still care for someone and disagree with them, and you can completely desire something like a marriage, for example, and that may not be the Lord’s plan for you. So I encourage you, just trust Him, and do not worry about tomorrow!
Teach your children to be skeptical! The Lord encourages us to test everything! (so test what I’m saying too!) and that especially means testing things that seem God-sent! Even the Devil knows the Bible (and knows the churches), even he can make you feel calm, and nice inside.
1 Thessalonians 5:21 ESV “but test everything; hold fast to what is good.”
We are born into sin, yes, but because of God we do not have to give in, to sin.
There are a couple topics I will touch on again in the future, individually, but in due time! I’m sure you have tons to bring up about raising Godly, young men and how they should also be brought up, because I do too! but that is set aside for a whole other discussion as well. Presently, my husband and I don’t even have a son, although we both hope too one day! However, regardless of that, I will write about raising young men too! So, hold tight to the Lord, and be bold in faith, because young girls (and even young guys) need to see that kind of fearlessness, right now.
I understand that a lot of women (not all) these days, think men are horrible, perverted, dominating creatures and while that may be true for some men, that’s also true for some women too, lest you forget. There are just bad people in this world, and we can’t use them as an excuse to treat the entire population of men (or population of women) like they are the exact same. Not everyone is so, horribly perverted.
“I can do all things through Christ…”
I will raise my daughter to know that she is preparing for a man that will raise children, and love the Lord well, with her. Most often, I hear that women don’t need a man bossing them around, or taking control over them. It’s the “I can do everything myself, and no man gets to tell me what to do” way of thinking. That perspective willleadyoudown a self-righteous, selfish path. It is only through, and because of God that anything is made possible, so we should not lead a life, with the view of being our own boss. If we lead ourselves, it will surely be straight into sin.
Lets raise our daughters to respect men, and to help them understand that good men, respect and honor us too. Teach them to first, be for God, and secondly, to find a husband who will lead them to God.
As a mother, it is our job to show our daughters what a mother should be like; how to nurture, how to care for others, and how to be a Godly wife. If you’re a father, it is your job to show your daughters what a Godly man looks like, and how they provide and protect the household. Good men lead you to the Lord, take care of you, and protect you from harm. Together as both parents, we need to show our children what a Godly marriage looks like, when the Lord is the foundation.
The enemy hates marriage, and he hates family, because it is something God loves and blesses people with. He tries to tear it all apart using the world, as his accomplice. The world, encourages you to give in to all of your temptations to sin, it encourages anything that dishonors God. Getting you to stray from your marriage, and family in this day and age is unfortunately, an easy task for the devil. So, our children need all the guidance they can get from us.
Let’s keep our eyes on the Lord, so our children can be encouraged to do the same. The enemy does not care if you idolize him in the process, he just wants you to idolize anything, but God.
The world right now, is very sexual. It is all about bodies, and what to do with them. I won’t go too far into how they encourage these kinds of behaviors, because we can all use our imagination on how they spread this around, but it encourages sex and sexual behavior to our young children and it is just going to get worse. We needtobeproactive in talking and having discussions with them on what and why, certain things are sinful, and what God truly designed sex for. Because, he did indeed, design it!
1 Corinthians 10:31 (ESV) “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
I encourage parents to leave openings for these kinds of conversations, and even have weekly discussions on these topics. Especially, if any of your children are in public schools! It may seem difficult if you aren’t in the habit of doing so, but it is quite easy to get in the habit of discussing worldly issues, and what the Bible says. My husband and I do it almost daily. Debates are fun, at our house! and we firmly believe they are a healthy thing to exercise! Proverbs 27:17 (ESV) “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”
I encourage you,
Welcome debates on any worldly issues vs God’s word with your kids! It will build confidence, and help them learn to combat those faith-testing questions they will get in the future! Worldly “truths” VS the truth!
What If I Don’t Find Someone?
Can a woman live a blessed and happy life, if she never finds and gets married to a good man? Yes, absolutely! It’s called celibacy. We are blessed, as soon as we accept Jesus into our hearts. We don’t need a marriage, for that. The good news is, the Lord loves to bless people with families! He loves the unity/covenant made between a husband and a wife. So, instead of instilling into our daughters that they can do without a man entirely, and that they can love whenever and whoever they want in replacement, let’s change our perspective away from that negative, and unbiblical outlook. We all, need God.
It’s not a sin to have temptations towards sinful things, it becomes a sin when you act upon them. So let’s help lift up our children to the Lord, especially if and when they start to have those temptations.
Encourage young girls, to prepare for a marriage and family, to be a wife one day, and encourage them to find a good, Godly man. Church groups and many people i’ve seen, have a tendency to emphasize singleness, but they never emphasize that it’s a time of preparation, before starting a family. It’s as if they are scared their young congregation will be lovestruck over every guy (or gal, if you’re a guy) if they emphasize finding one, while young. Maybe not every place does this, but i’ve personally seen a common theme.
Churches, maybe subconsciously, encourage young adults to stay single, by staying away from guidance and advice on marriage to young adults/teen, and the world encourages any sexual behavior. You put two and two together and what does that get you?
I’m not against being in a season of singleness, I think there are still plenty people (and have been plenty people) who have lived celibate, in their walk with Christ and that’s great! Everyone is in a season of singleness, at least once in their lives, and it is beneficial! However, I do believe that the Lord gives us that time to get close to Him, prepare for a family, and start our “search.” We don’t have to revolve around guys, and be that “obsessed girl after everyone in her sight” in order to do so either! It isn’t unbiblical to use that time to prepare for marriage and a family; for women to seek a husband, and men to seek a wife and to stay pure for your future significant other, until you’re married! All this to say, you must first and foremost, seek the Lord, and continue to do so, married or not!
Marriage may not be a part of everyones life, but I do think it’s still something we can make sure we are at least ready for, if it does happen! Especially, by counseling teens/young adults, about marriage! I know people make mistakes and sometimes things have already been done, but that is why the Lord forgives! and that is why we need to forgive. Whether it be forgiving someone else, or ourselves for things we’ve done in the past, If you are burdened by a sexual sin, I encourage you to pray, repent, forgive, and move on.
Being able to give that example to our children, especially in this sexually driven world is worth so much.
Always watch yourself, because we shouldn’t become prideful; we are not perfect either. That’s what the verse is saying in Matthew 7:3 (ESV) “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye?” This verse reminds usthat we are all sinners, we all make sinful errors. So do not become self-righteous, and remember that you were bought with a price; Jesus dying on the cross, for our sins.
We however, must still confront sins.
Give them the truth, whether they feel like hearing it, or not.
Did Jesus stay silent amongst sinners, because he didn’t want to hurt their feelings or risk them feeling disrespected? No. He told them the truth even if it meant losing that “potential follower.” Nothing stopped him from doing the Lord’s work, not even people walking away from Him. Why should we allow a relationship, potentially departing from us, stop us from doing the Lord’s work?
These are things we need to make sure is not happening especially, before we commit to something, like a marriage. In that case, you both need to be walking towards the Lord— both putting God first, or else you are setting yourselves up to potentially fail, that marriage.
Maybe you’re saying, “well, our kids won’t have any friends, if they do this.” Sadly, this very well may be true, but ask yourself what is more important for them;
To have relationship with their current best friends? or to have relationship with Jesus?
In God we have an eternal friend, and if in being bold in yourfaith, you lose your earthly friends or even some family members, isn’t something like that always making room for something better? Maybe new friends, or maybe something bigger, that God has planned, for your life?
We, as parents, have the duty to make the best decisions we can for our children until they are not under our house anymore, but even then it is still our duty to advise them, and remind themof God’s word, the only difference when they have reached adulthood, they may not take and use all of your advice. Maybe just bits and pieces, or maybe not any of it. Having an adult child, is not an excuse to not give them the advice, and not advise them against sins.
Proverbs 22:6 (ESV) “Train up a child the way he should go, even when he is old he shall not depart from it.”
You are still Someone’s Child— Adult or Not:
Just as it is our duty, to honor our parents. That does not stop when we reach “adulthood.” Esphesians 6:1-2 (ESV) “Children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right. Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise),” We are to always give honor to our parents. Obviously, as we become adults, get married and have our own children, we can make our own choices and make our own decisions for our own family. However, wemust always honor our parents, as our parents.
To You, Who Have Big Hearts:
I guess lastly, I want to discuss you people out there, who honestly are like most people. You have big hearts. You’re loving, and so compassionate. I personally know a few people who would continue to give you anything, until it killed them, just because God calls us to love. It is wonderful, to see so much passion, and empathy for others, as well as seeing someone take on that commandment from the Lord, so eagerly.
The issue to this is, Most people like this struggle deeply, with rejection. They fear making someone else potentiallyfeel rejected or unloved, because they were hurt by that so much themselves, that they usually just allow those people to walk on them, instead. How could someone reject you, after you just gave them so much love and compassion, right? and so what happens that i’ve seen, is they keep this vicious, cycle going. They spin in circles, where they keep pouring love, and pouring the gospel into something/someone that will throw it away every time, because of their unwillingness to listen. Or another scenario, the vicious cycle is, you are not pouring the gospel into someone, to prevent them from feeling hurt. Whatever the issue, and however you’re handling it, give this fight to God.
Love is not a feeling. Why do we rely on our feelings, to show us what love is? When we base love, off of how we feel or how we make others feel, we are setting ourselves up to never understand the love of God, and eventually might even reject Him, because he won’t always make us feel great. Sometimes following Him, will be tough. How will we withstand those hard places when we base love off of our ever-changing emotions?
Fruitful, and Fruitless:
If your children can understand, talk with them about this issue and decision, use this as a teaching moment, and ask them questions. Do not end up, subconsciously teaching them to chase people who throw the gospel away, or to base what love is off emotions. Teach them to show the love of Christ to everyone, but to only pursue any friendship or relationship with those who have willing hearts to listen. Like I said before, they [children] are the most vulnerable, so let’s help them to identify fruitful and fruitless relationships.
Have them do the thinking and problem solving, see what answers they come up with. Teaching them using real life, is a great way to help them problem-solve independently, getting them ready for the world when they are older, and have their own family to make decisions with. Talk with them about fruitful relationships and why we should keep them close, and fruitless relationships and why we should not keep them close. This should not change, if it happens to be family members who are involved. The Lord has told us to be watchful of who we surround ourselves with. 1 Corinthians 15:33 (ESV) “Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”Proverbs is also a great place to read, for more guidance on this.
Matthew 15:13-14 (ESV) “He answered, “Every plant that my Heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up. Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”
Matthew 7:6 (ESV) “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.”
If i’m honest, I don’t have the answer to how people can be so full of anger, and hate. I still struggle sometimes trying to understand how God could even send his only Son for us, knowing how sinful, we truly are. But I do know, that the Lord will never do that with us, If we accept Him, He will never forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5-6 ESV). I encourage you,tell someone when you see them struggling, talk it out and remind them you would like to help,but do not push your faith in God, or God’s word to the side lines in order to cater to their feelings, or to yours.
Proverbs 27:17 (ESV) “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”
To Think About:
With discussing that, what relationship should you be worried about? The one you have with them? or the one you have with God?
If you are worried this person, or these people, will never speak to you again or even hate you, because of you shining a light on the truth, you should re-examine your relationship with them, altogether. That does not sound like a fruitful relationship you should keep close, nor allow or advise your children to keep close either.
We need to encourage our children to have “close when fruitful, far when fruitless” type of relationships. Especially, right now.
We need to be able to guide our children, so they understand their faith in Jesus Christ should and does, matter more than anything. We also need to be able to help them when they potentially lose relationships, due to their faith in Christ and are feeling discouraged through that. We are to be salt and light of the world. We cannot be the world’s friend, and the friend of God, at the same time.
Colossians 4:6 (ESV) “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”
Matthew 5:13 (ESV) “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.”
How can we guide our children, to stand firm in faith and lift others up?
Through leading a Godly example, even through our errors.
As parents, we know our children’s maturity level, as well as what they can, and can’t grasp. Guide them through the Bible at the pace you think is best for them to understand fully, and go from there. The Bible is at a 3rd grade reading level, so even if you are worried, thinking “even I don’t know the Bible that well.” It’s not too late, at all. I encourage you, to just dive in and learn with your children!
To end it here, I’m not saying go up to people who are obviously sinning, and tell them they are going to hell. That would not be a beneficial conversation, for either of you. Start conversations with genuine questions like, “Why do you think that?” and “What do you mean by that?”. Draw out their perspective and their why’s, and then tell them what the Lord says about it. Keep conversations fruitful and calm as much as possible, and if it’s not staying that way, I encourage you to end the conversation there. Maybe try again at a different time when tempers are gone, or leave them be entirely. But again, always speak the truth. Don’t ever dim it down, don’t hide it, and don’t ignore itfor someone, or yourself.
And, remember the sacrificeGod made, only for us;
John 3:16-18 (ESV) “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.