From almost every angle (movies, TV, YouTube, school) our kids are receiving the same basic message. They hear that every child is his or her own independent, self-sufficient, self-directed, self-governing person. Like a scratched vinyl record, the world expresses related mantras:
- You’re awesome!
- Be who you are on the inside.
- Listen to your heart.
- You can do it!
Instead of helping kids to become confident, stable, and secure—because of humble dependency upon God and His wisdom—messages like these feed the inborn, natural elevation of self.
Awareness of this cultural tension highlights how much we need to approach Christian parenting as intentional discipleship. Like every parent, every child is a depraved sinner whose heart naturally gravitates toward personal autonomy. Therefore (also like their parents), every kid’s greatest need is to be redeemed by the grace of God, and renewed according to the image of Jesus Christ. So how can we help our kids think rightly about themselves and God? How can we train them to see themselves as God’s special creatures, while at the same time not lead them to believe they are the masters of their own destiny?
The purpose of my newest book is to answer these kinds of questions. To simplify matters for you (not that the answer or the application is simple!) I draw a basic road map for parenting in today’s world, with eight road signs marking the landmark truths our kids need to understand. I will assume that you, the parent, are driving (or at least you want to) the car that carries your kids down this road. I trust that you want to say to them, “Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching” (Prov. 1:8).
Therefore, I want to come alongside you to provide you with biblical guidance. This book is not aimed at your kids; it’s aimed at you, it’s aimed at me. That being said, however, at the end of the book you will find age-appropriate questions to help you discuss the truths you learn with your children.
What are the most important signs to read and follow? Read Raising Kids in a ‘You Can Do It! World.