Parents, if you weren’t aware that you are engaged in a battle with the world for the hearts and minds of your little children, it should have become crystal clear to you the moment the #GiveElsaAGirlfriend hashtag surfaced. For too long we have been living in a sort of twilight sleep, telling ourselves that the culture around us is benign. That it’s not so bad for our kids to listen to that music or watch those TV shows. That funny movies are, of course, going to have some off-color stuff in them. But, honestly, our kids will hear worse than this at school tomorrow. That cell phones aren’t a temptation to sin for our kids because THEY would NEVER look at things they shouldn’t.
And then one morning we wake up to a hashtag and we finally start to understand that everything about this culture is lined up in direct opposition to what the Bible teaches. What took us so long?
Things have changed, dear parents. The way we live has to change. Christianity is about to become the most radical mission we were ever a part of, if we’re doing it right. We aren’t culture warriors anymore–the culture is lost and we aren’t getting it back. But, our children are still ours. And, I propose that it’s going to take some radical reform in our homes in order to lead them in Christ’s way.
The hashtag isn’t really about Elsa. At least, that isn’t what should concern us, even if our house is filled with her (and ours is). It’s really just a symptom of the enormous, dark, devastating problem of a culture that has grown more and more convinced that the Bible isn’t true. So convinced, in fact, that the Bible really isn’t even a consideration anymore.
I’ll be surprised if Elsa actually ends up with a girlfriend. But, it’s only a matter of very little time before a gay princess emerges. Or until a character on a teen show on Nickelodeon is speaking against Christian beliefs the way they speak against racism or bullying. The dark, godless culture that our kids are growing up in is coming for them. The worst part is that it looks like love and acceptance, like kindness. Satan disguised as an angel of light.
So, how do we combat the coming darkness? How do we plant God’s word in our kids’ hearts? How do we make sure that our teachings take root and the culture’s lies don’t?
We have to live the truth.
We have to walk in love.
We have to be committed to living in opposition to a culture that lives in opposition to Christ.
I’m not talking boycotts or protests. I’m talking about living what we say we believe. I’m talking about examining what kind of influences we allow to stream into our homes. And, I’m talking about having the courage to make some radical changes in our lives and our kids’ lives. What will it take? Getting rid of kids’ cell phones, maybe. Getting rid of TV? Saying no more often. Being in our kids’ business. Teaching theology at home. Learning the why behind what we believe and teaching it to our kids.
Let’s stop allowing a godless culture to yell its “truth” at our kids all day while we barely croak out a whisper about Jesus Christ and His Truth. I don’t know if Elsa will get a girlfriend, but it doesn’t really matter. The next princess will. What this hashtag shows us is that we have been fooling ourselves for too long about this world’s intentions for our kids. We buried our heads in the sand until one day, we looked up and wordly wisdom was gunning for our four year old Elsa fanatics. The battle for the culture is over. But, the battle for our kids’ hearts and minds and very souls is just getting started. How far will we go to show our kids the foolishness of this world and the wisdom of our good God? I hope we don’t care more about cell phones and pop culture and funny movies than we care about our kids’ knowledge of Christ. Radical changes need to be made. In our habits. In our hearts. In our homes. If we don’t teach our kids the truth of the gospel, if we don’t show them that sin is bad for them and that Christ’s way is the best way, then this world will teach them the opposite. The culture isn’t a friend that helps us reinforce the truth anymore. It’s a direct enemy of the Truth. And, our knowledge of that reality needs to start showing up in our parenting.
The battle for our kids is real. And, it’s raging, whether we admit it or not. Let it be known that our families live according to the truth of God’s word. And, as that idea gets more and more radical in a culture that hates God, let’s keep going, living lives that prove to our kids how serious we are about living according to His word. This battle isn’t about hating anyone. It isn’t about getting the last word or yelling louder or boycotting. It’s about living quiet lives that are truly dedicated to the Truth. It’s about loving people enough to show them what Christianity looks like, lived out in a hostile culture. It’s about refusing to compromise our families for the sake of entertainment or popularity or ease. We can be warriors and still be good neighbors and friends. But, we can’t afford to spend any more time trying to convince ourselves that the culture belongs to us. It’s over, dear Christians. But, the truth of God’s word is eternal. Cling to the truth, and anchor your family to it. In the coming days, it will make all the difference.
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel–which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse! Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:6-10
You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. Matthew 10:22