The World is Changing. Are My Kids Prepared?

November 01, 2022

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Struggling with fear and anxiety about how to best equip your children for a rapidly changing world? It's more important than ever to make sure our kids are prepared for the challenges they'll face. In this podcast episode, Elizabeth Urbanowicz explores how we can help our kids navigate differing beliefs and succeed from a biblical perspective. Learn how to prepare your kids for a bright future grounded in the gospel and the body of Christ.


Note: The following is an auto-transcript of the podcast recording.

Hello, friends, and welcome to the Foundation Worldview Podcast. Where we seek to answer your questions, so that you can equip the children that God has placed in your care to carefully evaluate every idea they encounter, and understand the truth of the biblical worldview. I'm your host, Elizabeth Urbanowicz, and I'm thrilled that you've joined me for another episode today.

Now, our question today is one that I'm sure is on a lot of people's hearts and minds, so I thought it would be important to go over. This question says, "I'm struggling with fear and anxiety about the way the world is changing, and worry I'm not doing enough to prepare my kids. Any advice on tips to intentionally train my kids toward conviction of beliefs."

Now, this is a question that I think is probably in a lot of people's minds, because it can just be intimidating thinking about the way the world is and the way the world is influencing the children that God has placed in our care. So, if this is you, just want to encourage you that you're not alone in this fear and anxiety. That a lot of people are experiencing this because we love our children and we want them to know and love and trust Jesus, and not to be taken captive by the hollow and deceptive philosophies that are all around us. So, my encouragement, if this is you, if you're experiencing this fear and anxiety, is the first thing that you really need to do is to evaluate, is the fear that you have, is it a healthy fear or is it a sinful fear? This is actually something we need to evaluate in our own hearts and minds. You may never have thought about the difference between the two of those, the difference between a healthy fear and a sinful fear.

Now, a healthy fear that we have about what's going on in the world around us and as it relates to our children, a healthy fear is a realistic caution of what we are up against. This healthy fear is understanding that we have an enemy of our souls, who is out there prowling around like a roaring lion seeking who he may devour. A healthy fear is understanding that this enemy is using the world, our culture, against our children. That we don't live in a neutral world where we wake up in the morning and we just see what's going to happen. That we wake up in the morning and we have this active enemy of our souls, who's seeking to devour us, who's seeking to use the culture around us to really just enthrall and captivate our children.

A healthy fear is also an understanding that our own flesh is at odds with the way of God. It is. This side of the fall, our flesh is just programmed to be selfish, to not want the things of God, to not crave the things of God, to not follow the ways of God. So, this healthy understanding involves understanding our enemy, involves understanding the culture, involves understanding the reality of our own flesh, and most importantly, it involves understanding that God is both sovereign and good. That God is sovereignly in control of all that is going on. Now, that doesn't mean that there's no free will or that we don't actually get to make choices, but it does mean that nothing can happen that God either hasn't ordained or sovereignly allowed.

And then also, the understanding that God is good. That God is good, and that He is working together all things for the good of those who love Him. So, that's a healthy fear, just this realistic understanding of what we're up against. The enemy of our souls, our culture, and our own flesh. And also recognizing, with those three things, that God is sovereign and He is good.

Now, on the other hand, a sinful fear is anxiety about what is happening and what might happen, and this anxiety is irrational. So, it's an irrational anxiety about what is happening and what might happen. I say irrational, that this sinful fear is irrational because it does not recognize God's sovereign care over us. It's a fear that views us as the captain of our own destinies. That somehow we could try to be seeking to follow God's will, and somehow we could still majorly mess it up because we are ultimately the ones that are in control. So, it's this irrational fear that does not recognize God's sovereign care over us. That as we submit ourselves and our desires and our actions to the Lord, that He will give us the wisdom that we need as we need it.

I also say that it's an irrational fear because it does not rest in the fact, it does not trust that God is sovereignly working all things together for the good of those who love Him. Okay? So, a healthy fear is a fear that recognizes the situation that we're in and the God that is sovereign over it. An irrational fear worries about what's happening and what is to come in an irrational way because it does not recognize the sovereignty of God, and the fact that God is working all things together for the good of those who love Him.

This sinful fear, it tries to lead us to control. That we want to control everything that's happening in our children's lives, everything that they're exposed to, everything that they're doing, everything that they're saying, everyone that they're interacting with. So, a sinful fear leads to anxiety and a desire to control everything. Where a healthy fear frees us up to invest our energies in discipling our children, while leaving the results to God, while recognizing that God is sovereign over the results. That we cannot control our children. What we can do is we can be faithful with what God has given us.

The first step is we need to recognize, which type of fear do we have? If we have this healthy, biblical fear, we can move forward. If we have a sinful, irrational fear, we need to stop. We need to confess that to the Lord, "God, I'm not trusting you. I'm failing to recognize that you are sovereign and that you are good, and that you were working all things together for my good, even when I cannot understand it." We need to confess that to the Lord and we need to cry out to Him for help. Just like that father of the demoniac boy in the gospels. Cry out saying, "I believe, help my unbelief, and God will meet us there in our weakness."

So, then, once we have just traded out that sinful, irrational fear for a healthy, biblical fear, just some tips for discipling our kids in this very hostile culture.

Number one tip is relationship. Seek to intentionally build relationship with our children. The gospel is all about relationship. It's about how our relationship with God was broken because of our sin, and us being under the just condemnation of God's wrath. God sending His son, His only son to pay the penalty for that sin, to bear the weight of God's wrath and to reconcile us to God. Now God has given us the ministry of reconciliation, of calling others to be reconciled to God. So, if we want our children to be reconciled to God, we need to make sure we're building relationship with them. Not that we're going to be their buddy, buddy best friend. That's not what God has called us to do. But that we know our children, we understand our children, we seek to love our children intentionally.

When we sin against our children, we confess that sin and repent of it both before God and before our children. When our children sin against us, we don't just sweep that sin under the rug and think, "Oh, maybe they'll do better next time." No, we intentionally discipline them. We help them to see their sin and their need for Jesus. So, intentionally building relationship with the children that God has placed in our care. Because relationship is foundational to any worldview formation. So, intentionally seek to build a relationship.

Then, would really encourage you to intentionally build biblical literacy in your children. If you want them to hold fast to the truth of scripture, if you want them to even know what scripture says so that they can live it out, they can believe it, they can trust it, they can walk through life with it, we have to develop biblical literacy. We can't throw them a Bible story here and there and tell them, "Be a Daniel. Be a David." There's nothing wrong with looking at the amazing things that God did through Daniel and David and other biblical characters, but a Bible story here and there is not biblical literacy. We need to equip our kids to understand the entire story of scripture. We need to equip them to understand how to read, interpret, and apply scripture. How to read verses in context. To tell the difference between a descriptive text and a prescriptive text. We need to have them understand how to read the different biblical genres correctly, so that they actually understand what God's word says, and then they can filter everything that they encounter through the lens of that word.

So, first, build relationships with our children, then develop in them biblical literacy. After that, we need to develop critical thinking skills. We need to equip them to look at an idea and say, "Okay, what is being said here? What is the idea communicated? Okay, what is the evidence that's supporting that idea? Is that evidence sufficient to prove that that idea is most likely true?" Because the world that our children are growing up in is one where they are faced with hundreds of competing ideas each and every day. When we think about the volume of information that our children take in, even if we limit their amount of screen time, their interaction with the internet, they are still faced with so many competing ideas every day, every week, every month, every year. In fact, on average, in one year of our children's life, they will be faced with more competing ideas than most people throughout human history have been faced with for their entire lives. So, we need to give them critical thinking skills to be able to carefully evaluate every idea that they encounter.

So, first, encourage, build relationships intentionally. Develop biblical literacy. Equip our kids with the skills that they need to carefully evaluate every idea they encounter. And then we need to make sure that we are living out the gospel before them. We need to make sure that we are actively being the body of Christ. Talking about Christianity can't just be some theoretical thing that stays within the pages of scripture. We need the pages of scripture to come alive for them through the way that we live our lives. Which means we need to be involved in a local body of Christ that's faithfully preaching God's word, that's faithfully, in community, living out the call to love one another intentionally, to serve one another. We need to be practicing biblical hospitality. So, we need to live out the gospel before our children by being the body of Christ.

We can't think that being a Christian is just about me and my personal relationship with Jesus. Yes, it is about personally being reconciled to God, but we're not reconciled to God just to have this one-on-one relationship with Him. We're reconciled to God to then be part of the body of Christ. Our children need to understand this. Our families need to be grounded in the gospel, grounded in the body of Christ.

If this is you, who's just feeling fear and anxiety about the state of our culture and where things are, first, just encourage you discern. Do you have a healthy biblical fear about this, or do you have a sinful, irrational fear? If you do, repent of that. Confess it to the Lord, turn from it. Ask Him to give you a healthy, biblical fear. Then, focus on building relationship with the children God has placed in your care. Develop biblical literacy. Develop critical thinking skills. And then live out the gospel by being the body of Christ.

Well, that's a wrap for our time together today. As always, as we leave our time together, my prayer for you is that God would bless you as you intentionally disciple the children He's placed in your care. I'll see you next time.

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