“...I say this so that no one will deceive you through arguments that sound reasonable.”
It used to be that we could feel pretty safe about the influences in our children’s lives until they hit college age and were exposed to a more diverse culture. It seems, however, that radical views are coming into play as early as 3rd grade. And, by middle school, many church going children have decided they do not believe in God.
Some religions are more obvious in how they contradict Scripture; but, many religions have an element of truth which make them seem feasible which makes them dangerous. In fact, these differences may even make more sense from a human standpoint. So, how can you help them tell what is true and what is counterfeit?
Here are four areas we can encourage them in to help them stay true to their faith:
1. Study the Word
Cultural norms, fads and new aged religious philosophies change ever day. The Word of God is never-changing and is an anchor for their faith. Encourage them to check everything they see, hear, and read against it and if it isn’t supported in Scripture, then don’t give it any space to take root in their heart and life.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
“Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the person dedicated to God may be capable and equipped for every good work.”
I love what the Apostle Paul told the church in Corinth in his second letter to them. He said, We demolish arguments and “every arrogant obstacle that is raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to make it obey Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5)
2. Pray for Wisdom
Encourage them to ask God to help them not only understand and apply Scripture to the situation but also that they will know how to give an answer delivered with grace so the hearer will see Jesus in them.
“But if anyone is deficient in wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without reprimand, and it will be given to him.”
Look for a group of like believers to hang out with at school. There are usually some religious clubs to join; or, at the very least, a few other Christians that would be willing to get together. If there is a faith based group, help them find out when these groups meet, check their doctrine. Having an accountability group is a great way to stay on track with their faith and challenge growth toward maturity in Christ.
“Two people are better than one,
because they can reap more benefit from their labor.
For if they fall, one will help his companion up,
but pity the person who falls down and has no one to help him up.
Furthermore, if two lie down together, they can keep each other warm, but how can one person keep warm by himself?
Although an assailant may overpower one person,
two can withstand him.
Moreover, a three-stranded cord is not quickly broken.”
4. Explore the Difference
Help them explore the different beliefs. If they can learn about different religions in the safety of home and church where the Bible can be used to solidify their faith, they will be stronger for it and ready to stand true in their beliefs.
1 Peter 3:15
“But set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts and always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess.”
Being challenged in our belief is the best way to help us and children grow, we just need to make sure that when our kids step out into new areas that doesn’t mean stepping away from their faith.