A few days ago I started a discussion on how we direct our children with regard to faith in this chaotic post-modern environment. The story continues …
How do we guide our children in the fraught area of faith? Some parents try to surround their children with their values and beliefs and keep all other views at bay. We could call this a fortress approach. This method of parenting, especially in the area of faith, is very understandable. It can be a very nasty, seductive and confusing world out there. So these parents tend to limit the contact their children have with the outside world. TV and the internet is controlled, friends are screened and if at all possible they are home schooled. (I am not suggesting this the motive for all home schooling parents).
Is this approach sustainable? I would suggest not. It might be appropriate at young ages but there is also a need for our children to argue for their faith and to justify their beliefs. (I’ll say more about this in the future). The time will come when they are confronted by the world and they will need the foundation and the tools to withstand the onslaught, and advance their faith and worldview. In other words, it is naive to believe that only protecting them is sufficient to plant and grow a healthy and lasting faith.
I have seen too many young people lose their faith when they have gone to university or work for the first time and they haven’t had the where-with-all to counter and defend themselves against the worldviews, thinking and values that others hold. Why? Simply, because they hadn’t been prepared.
So how do we prepare them? More tomorrow.
Isolation has never truly served the Christian message. We are “in the world but not of the world.” There is great value in protecting our children from the ravenous nature of this world, but they must also know how to defend themselves from it by contending with it when they are old enough to do so.