How to Raise Strong Kids in a World that’s Against Them

Raising good kids

Today I am disturbed. This week I’ve seen some awful things. The devil has an agenda for our kids, and it’s evil.

Read here and here to see how the world is objectifying and sexualising children. (These articles are already 1 and 2 years old). I’m reluctant to share these because I prefer to focus on purity and beauty, but maybe you need a wake-up call.

How do we protect our kids yet raise them to live in an evil world that is opposed to everything good and pure?  

In a world that presses its occultist, sexualised, gender-warped ideas onto our kids, how much protection is too much? How much is too little?  

How do you know what’s okay for your kids to watch and listen to? Should they have access to technology and when?

A family member once told me I should expose my kids to both bad stuff and good stuff so they could make an informed choice when they got older. Is that the answer?

Thankfully the Bible has something to say about this!  

What does the Bible say?

The Bible offers a safe guideline for what we should feed our minds:

“ Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8 KJV).

Let this be the filter for what you feed your children’s minds.

The Psalmist said, “I will set no wicked thing before my eyes” (Psalm 101:3 KJV). As parents, we have the responsibility to do this for our kids.

And Paul wrote to the Roman church that he “would have (them) wise unto that which is good, and simple (without a mixture of evil, innocent) concerning evil” (Romans 16:19 KJV).

These verses call us to protect the minds of our kids. To create a healthy, safe environment for them to become spiritually grounded.

Exposing kids to evil stunts the growth of good in them and hinders healthy development.

Protect Your Kids

So, put up a fence around your kids. As high as it needs to be. Keep the evil out. Create a healthy environment for character growth:

  • Healthy food
  • Sunshine
  • Outside exploration
  • Character building stories
  • Consistent discipline
  • Consistent routine
  • Choose their friends carefully
  • Build their characters by teaching right from wrong and nipping any negative traits in the bud
  • Avoid technology as much as possible until they are a good way into their teens  

In 2018 France banned cell phones in school for kids under 15 because they were becoming a distraction. They also banned the broadcast of TV shows for children under 3 years old to shield them from the developmental risks TV poses.

If a country can do it, so can we, at home.

Once you have your fence in place, don’t sit back and relax. Don’t assume that innocence is a hedge, that just avoiding stuff is enough protection for your kids.

 Be sure that while you have a fence around your kids, you are building them up and strengthening them.

If you don’t prepare your kids internally you haven’t made them strong; you’ve made them vulnerable.

Prepare Your Kids

The Bible calls us all to be insulated from within against sin:

“That He (God) would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man.” (Ephesians 3:16 KJV).

How do you strengthen your kids?

  • Teach them how to have a daily devotional time.
  • Expose them to good things – good music, nature, character-building stories
  • Teach them self-control. Teach them to deny self in the moment for a long term goal in the future.
  • Give them practice making choices.
  • Talk, talk, talk. Teach them what porn is. Tell them about sex-trafficking. Explain what consent and rape is. Talk about why you don’t watch certain movies or listen to certain music. Talk about drugs, smoking, alcohol. (Read how to get your teenager to talk to you.)
  • Plan and debrief – help your kids be prepared. Develop a plan for what they will do if someone shows them pornography or tries to persuade them to drink. If it happens, debrief. Talk about how to do better next time.

Protection and preparation are great, but an essential part of growing strong is testing.  

I don’t know how to say this without sounding like I’m compromising principle, but you don’t want your kids to be too innocent.

It’s essential to shelter your kids when they are young, but they have to be exposed to some of life’s realities or be overwhelmed by the force of the evil when it does hit them (and it will).

I’m not saying feed your kids a mental diet of murder, sex, the occult, and the rest of the smut the world offers, but find a way to expose your kids gradually to the realities of the world we live in.

Test Your Kids

God’s method of building character in His children is to leave them in the presence of sin while warning them to take the initiative to flee from it. God did not remove the tree from the Garden of Eden. He left it there on purpose as a test.

Children that are good, but untested, do not necessarily possess character. Character is the end result of repeatedly choosing right over wrong, choosing to go against natural inclinations and pressure from others.

I’m not saying surround your kids with evil. I’m saying prepare them well and then allow them to be tested – but not too much or too soon, or they will crumble.

This testing process should be happening while you are protecting and strengthening your kids, and they don’t have to be teens before they are tested.

  • Does your toddler obey you when you say no to emptying the kitchen cupboards?
  • Does he stay in bed when you tell him to?
  • Does your older child do the chores you ask her to do? Are they done properly?
  • Does your teen choose right over wrong consistently – on their own?

What you do to today prepares your kids for tomorrow.

Make the Transition

As your children get older and are grounded in what is right, you must slacken your reigns and move from being governor to counsellor. The teenage years are not the time to be a dictator – you will only create rebellion.  

How and when you start loosening your control over your kids’ exposure to the world is something you will have to pray about.

Be the Parent

Every stage demands that you be the parent.

In the protection stage you need guts to go against the flow of what everyone else is doing.

In the preparation and strengthening phase you must sacrifice time to teach and train your kids.

And in the testing stage you must be wise in transitioning from governor to counsellor, allowing your kids to make choices for themselves with your guidance, and being there for them when they fail.  

Your Aim

Instead of aiming to raise perfect kids, completely innocent and pure, aim to raise wise kids – kids that will recognise evil when they see it and have the strength of character to turn away from it.

What’s your biggest challenge with things like movies, music, and media? Are you protecting and preparing your kids? Are you raising wise kids?  

About The Author

Jennifer Lovemore

Jennifer has diplomas in relationship counselling and CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), is a certified SYMBIS facilitator, and is certified in TPM (Transformation Prayer Minsitry). She lives in South Africa, has three grown children, and is married to her best friend – Richard.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Jonathan | 6th Aug 20

    If you want to raise kids to become completely innocent adults, a good amount of the Bible would need to be stripped away because it reveals too much. If you want to raise kids to be wise adults, the Bible is perfect because it draws the contrast between light and darkness.

  2. 3 Ways to Prepare your Kids for Tough Times Ahead - Love More to Live | 28th Oct 20

    […] For more on raising tough kids read How to Raise Strong Kids in a World that’s Against Them. […]

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