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Equipping Your Kids' Faith For A Challenging Culture

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Truth Network Radio
January 10, 2022 5:00 am

Equipping Your Kids' Faith For A Challenging Culture

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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January 10, 2022 5:00 am

Natasha Crain gives you the tools you need to build that foundation by conveying the most crucial facts about Jesus.

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You feel like my kid. I think the most important thing the shift in reality that you have to be honest with yourself as a parent can say that the number one most of her objective for my parenting is to raise kids that know and love the Lord. Number one thing because if that's not your priorities are not can have these conversations still has to start with identifying that in the next thing is to get yourself equipped. Get yourself an understanding of today's challenges.

It's not just the Sunday school basics anymore, but Dr. Crane joins us today on Focus on the Family euros. This book is president Dr. Jim Daly and Doug John from John is apparent. One of the most thing you can do is help your child have a solid foundation of faith that is job one you want the relationship with the Lord to flourish and stand the test of time and culture outside influences so that when questions and doubts arise will stand firm in their beliefs. That's were building a foundation is all about, you know here Focus on the Family we want you to be equipped and to know how to develop the kind of faith in your child, and that this is essential stuff I put on the first shelf of the bookshelf right so you're gonna want to stick around. As we talk with our guest today, Natosha Crane, who helps us to take a deep dive into faith conversations with our children. Natosha has been here before. She is the mom of three speaker, blogger and author. She's written a number of books in the one will zero in on today is talking with your kids about Jesus. 30 conversations every Christian parent must have. And of course we have that here at the ministry to stop by the website. The link is in the show notes Natosha, welcome back to focus, to be Good to see yeah. I mean, it's so funny to think you know you're the expert in helping parents talk about Jesus with their kids. That's a pretty big banner of an expert in anything. There's always plenty to write but I hope to help parents get equipped for the company so good that you know you are a blogger and speaker in your speaking to tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of parents. What is one thing that they're most concerned about what you hear back from them. In this space that they really are troubled about. I think that parents are increasingly realizing that the culture of our antennae is getting tough day for yet I think it's something that my parents don't know how to evaluate and are not sure how to actually pinpoint what the problems are, but they feel they see that their kids faith is going to be challenged or just not sure exactly what that means for them. You see a lot of the fear, I think, and just wondering how do I prepare my cancer. Today's world I'm praying about it and I am praying God's hands, the less I be doing as a parent I think of the question. A lot of parents have feeling the weight of the culture around you to. It's tough with parents because are so many demands on us.

You know work either in the home or outside the home to keep everything moving forward so we can get distracted.

I think on like I said earlier in the number one job we have right how do we pass our faith on directives you compare faith in the book, which I thought was really funny to housecleaning. How is housecleaning and faith development. Sheriff spot while I was talking in the black about how I personally struggle a lot with keeping a clean house.

I think that a lot of parents probably understand what I mean by that that would last lately and is on Facebook when damages, scrolling through and there was this article called five things that Heidi people don't do I look like one for me, like the elder and it actually had a really great insight said that Heidi people don't act like a slob all day and then only try to clean up everything in one house instead. Heidi people develop these small, non-drastic kind of habit that they're just tidying a little bit all the time that the claimant is also a really good insight for discipleship and faith conversations because if we feel overwhelmed by just having these huge conversations at some point our kids lives and were not going to do it. But if we see it more as a day-to-day kind of thing that were always tidying up their understanding of their faith by having these little bits of conversations. It's far less overwhelming is so good. That's the whole framework for your book talking with your kids about Jesus, you provide 30 thoughtful ways to bring up discussions that are really pertinent to their faith development right and I think you relate that your daughters love of Penguins was able to be turned into a faith statement to get there from her love of penguins while her level of pain lenses with lunches a little bit younger. She went to a Penguin phase which every kid just a phase of some kind that she loves Penguins on everything on toys and animals on her clothes everything and so we were going to see world one summer.

About that time and I thought a little celebration going to get to see real Penguins and is excited to see her excitement that we can't see the exhibit.

I'm watching her anxiously to see what she's going to do and she looks Winterset and so I finally say why you got that double yellow. These are real penguins. I don't like the real ones that matches like that cute toy version totally fell in the bug is an example of how to talk about the question of what is a Christian. That question sounds like you had a really obvious answer to a lot of parents, but the reality is that today, about 65% of people in America say that their questions they self identify as a Christian that when researchers dig into what they actually believe and how those beliefs inform their lives, they find only about 4% had a biblical worldview. This is really interesting because you have a lot of people say they're Christian but they're not believing the course is taught in the Bible are living according to that so another words the kind of like this cute toy Penguin version of Christianity.

That's very different than the real thing and sometimes at the conscious decision they're consciously rejecting certain Orthodox Christianity, but in a lot of cases they don't even realize that there's a difference. They think that all the penguins are the same.

In reality, these are very different things out in a culture that is redefining words and confusing words and definitions and meanings. It's so important that we just start with this question, what does it really mean to be a Christian because just because someone says our patient is because the church calls itself a Christian church doesn't necessarily mean that they're adhering to biblical truth that is so good you starting the conversation. If you don't have that Penguin exchange, how would you recommend to parents that they can do it under the discussion with their kids will have to get up in one case first.

The absolute easiest conversation to start with your kids because you can ask you what is a Christian be a Christian college answer and chances are 99 pounds on 100, your child will say someone you love Jesus, or someone who follows Jesus or someone who accepts Jesus but that's a great opportunity accomplish them a little bit further and they will follow what someone says that they follow Jesus, but they don't think that Jesus was actually the son of God, would they still be a Christian. As you can kind of push them on not because so many people today will define a Christian obviously not gap between 65% and the 4% plan Christian all kinds of ways such as introducing that concept to your kids again and I think about what does that mean how do you define let's go back to the Bible and see what it actually says that being a Christian, I would think age and stage plays into this greatly because in our kids are just phasing out of the teen years and as you're talking 20789-year-olds can be very different. Talking to your 15 1617-year-old, and that idea Jesus being a myth. Maybe take us to that older conversation because they're in school to come home one day and they say and I'm not. I'm not sure of Jesus was actual historical figure.

How do you address the parent and that's that's a good big clue that you got them out, get off the block right. We gotta start talking about this. Absolutely I say really encourage Cassie talk about these things before NRB comes the question why we want to prepare our kids to understand the things in this is one of the questions that most parents are thinking about when you think about raising your kids? Think about how my going to explain to my kids that Jesus isn't just they're just not thinking in that way. But yet this is a very common claim.

Today, especially on the Internet. We call these people Jesus met the sex they believed that Jesus never even existed as a person in history, and so you'll see all kinds of writings online about that and they actually seem to be at first glance.

If you haven't been educated in any of this historical sources. They seem to be sort of credible. The way that this is presented in similar talking to our kids about that.

The first thing is to say, okay, well if you were going to figure out whether or not Jesus was actually a person in history.

What are some of the things that you would look for and this can work with little kids or older kids like you're saying and I can introduce them to conversation about the nature of historical sources and so what we actually finally look back at historical sources is that we have three different types of references to Jesus that were currently were not talking about 800 years after Jesus when lots of stuff could have been made out where talking about three different data sources that work within the first hundred years of Jesus's life and so we have the references from Paul in Paul's letters.

We have references in the Gospels obviously to Jesus and we have references to Jesus in non-Christian sources. A lot of people today skeptics will say and probably your teenage child will say that doesn't count the stuff that's in the Bible in Paul's letters in the Gospels.

Why would that that's bias at the Bible. But even if you don't accept what's taught in the Bible. If you don't think it's true.

Even scholars who are believers will acknowledge that those sources were written in response to the life of someone who actually existed. Risa were just saying at this point were establishing that Jesus existed as a person in history, and so those are multiple sources just in the Bible of individual documents that point to the life of Jesus. And there's great resources for developing that a member that was one of my quests looking at writings of antiquity.

How do you prove them true. There's nothing more supportive than the New Testament in ancient philosopher Socrates, Plato, therefore, was credible and we believe them not believe those people existed, but there's less external evidence for those figures than for Jesus just by that measure of writings of antiquity, so it's good to get caught up on that as a parent be able to your son love science kits. I think you bought him a science could use some kind of illusion and how did you translate that into the existence of Christ while my son science kit every year.

We were trying to find some kind of science For him and almost always the science kits the parents and I'm getting some have little chemical reaction and it makes a volcano in your driveway so we decided to get one. That was about optical illusions. That's one year and one of the things that really stood out to me from that year that we found in this optical illusions With this picture and it had thousands of coffee beans on it and somewhere in the picture. There is a space that was hit and we've all seen things like the site and it was so funny to us because we couldn't find it usually takes enough you said we could not find a faith. It took us a very long time.

But once we had found the faith. We could never look at the picture again without saying that you can't un-see it. Once you know it's there and you would always see the face in the coffee beans. So in the same way. This really comes back to the question in IE's and the buckeyes is Jesus of God because a lot of times today skeptics will say why do you Christians even believe that Jesus is God, because Jesus claimed to be God himself had the words I am not so how and why do you think that for the piercer. He did so if you see me using the father the richer people know we do read the word absolutely the people. A lot of times are looking for those literal words over and over. I am God, I am God.

I'm not. And we don't that there are all kinds of ways. Like you're saying all kinds of different forms that Jesus does in fact claim to be God. In the Gospels and so I use this acronym that a couple of scholars aimed at, Chesky and Robert Bowman used in their book and basically it just takes you through the sacrament of hands HAND and it's a great album for kids to remember to see all the different ways that Jesus claimed to share in the unique identity of God that go beyond just three words that skeptics sell often look for and when you understand all these different ways of how Jesus claimed to be God is like the face in the coffee beans you can't un-see it every time you read the Bible from that point on, you see all the different ways that Jesus claimed to be God. And just as an example, the H dance floor on her cell. Jesus shares in the honors due only to God, because people were worshiping him, and he accepted that worship or a stance for attributes that Jesus shares in the unique attributes of God such as preexistence, Jesus claims have existed before the beginning of the world.

This is not just a normal human claim right right so the acronym locks kids through these different ways that he claims were here yeah okay great will and is for the names of God. So Jesus actually claim certain titles for himself that only God claims such as being the bride going on in the Old Testament God is the bridegroom of Israel and the D stands for deed sale Jesus dead miraculous deeds deems that only God would do, and the S stands for the seat of God's throne which is that he would be sovereign over all things.

That's good. This is Focus on the Family with Jim Daly under guest today is Natasha Crane and will get into some really deep stuff and some practical things you can do as a parent to cultivate a curiosity about God about the Scriptures about truth and help them. As Jim said earlier build a foundation and it's all captured really wonderfully. All of this in the book that Natasha wrote talking with your kids about Jesus. 30 conversations every Christian parent must have and are to get your copy. Just click the link in the show notes or give us a call 800 the letter a in the word family structure. I think if I were asked toward particular, my son, Troy. This is so well-connected. Trent would be more scientific note, but you know what is evidence of knowing God. I think they both would be toward really going toward the fruit of the spirit because I would talk about that all the time. You know, love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, mercy. If you have these things the spirits and then it's one of the questions you raise in your book or answering your book. How do we help our kids learn what Jesus said about loving others. That's kind of the corresponding right. Love your neighbor as yourself. Such such an important attribute to get across to your children, how did you do it now alive is another one of these big words that needs a definition today. Just like we talked about earlier with the word Christian. There's a huge difference in what Christians mean by the word love or what they should mean by the word love and what the secular culture around us means by the word love. So this is another one of those places where we have to prepare our kids to understand how different we are in our meanings of the things that we say and for Christians it really comes back to we want to love others based on God's standards for love, where as a secular culture want to love others based on self defined standards for left to sufficiently go back to the Bible and Jesus was asked by a Pharisee, teacher, what is the greatest commandment of the law and Jesus as the greatest commandment is to love God and the second commandment is to love others without the really important sequence that first comes loving God and then comes.

Loving others because in order even know what it means to love other people, we have to first know what it means to love God. So for Christians only love people. We are loving them in the way that God would want us to love them regardless of what they want for themselves, whereas secular culture wants to love others based on what those others want for themselves. Those are two totally different things and we talk about God's love. We want to make sure they understand not only what it means for God to love, then do Jesus's death on the cross and the things that we usually talk about in charge, but also what it means to love others and how it has to be informed by love for God first, which is so good judgment in this culture can be a hot button topic. In effect, again you turned and experience into an illustration which I thought was really good.

Something about your daughter wearing mismatched close out of that trestle I could do a lesson she came downstairs one day and she was wearing. That's just not horribly matched Shar and pants and I just like that and I think you should probably change that doesn't really go together and she kind elected me a little bit indignant that will stop judging me because those are words that we use in our house that that's not something that would be like flying around in our home but it was clear to me from her comment that she already internalized this whole idea from her Christian school and from her peers and from what she's hearing culture around us, that any kind of disagreements is vocalize this agreement is judgment and judgment is bad and that is ultimately what culture wants us to believe today that if there's anything if culture calls anything they called judging others may send because judgment is supposed to be bad because again going back to our definition of love. If you're lucky people quite a secular definition you're affirming them in whatever it is that they want for themselves. So therefore if you're judging and you're saying that maybe this isn't the best thing. Maybe this is objectively wrong, then culture say that is very unloving and hostile. It's interesting because it's something about Christians and nonbelievers get wrong by looking at something that Jesus said 97 one Jesus says do not judge, or you too will be judged and people take that and they cried out with this razor like precision.

They say senior not supposed to judge, but we have to keep reading. Beyond that, because when Jesus says that it's a prelude to this whole passage about not judging hypocritically says take the log out of your own eye so you can see clearly to help your neighbor to take the speck out of there. I say take the logon, then you're done. We want to see clearly to help someone else and in another place he says judge with right judgment so we want to judgment by judging we mean discerning between what's right and wrong. Absolutely, Christians are called to it in that context, I think our children and we are drenched in this idea of tolerance, you know, if you suggest something to somebody to help improve their path than that's a judgment and it's amazing how we turn tolerance into the religion of the absolutely that's that's what you're getting after you and your children watch the sound of music. John did you want plastic units. Only time it would appeal to Jean very deeply. I'd be thinking how the Broncos I want to be on the sound of music. I have so I was as good for much younger. Tell us about how you parlayed the sound of music into a spiritual lesson will have trouble. As a family finding maybe they'll all like in part because we had different perspectives like you wanting to watch the Broncos I told you so.

We one point is that okay the sound of music.

Maybe that this one is something that would appeal to everyone. I think my kids were maybe in fourth grade and second grade at the time and so we sat down to watch the sound of music and Oz were starting to go through this movie. I'm finding myself hitting pods constantly because there's so much background information that's needed to explain to these young kids about World War II and what are they running from what's going on here is that it was just very painful but a couple weeks after that my younger daughter and second grade said that she came from schools that mom today at school did you do that, given how much contact you have to get it with Alex and she said well what kind of understood in their own way. We didn't have to have any kind of understanding from the teacher so interesting because today we hear so often that people want to understand the death of Jesus and what Jesus accomplished rest on the cross in their own land so much from secular culture as a challenge, but this is a challenge within the Christian church because a lot of progressive Christian churches in particular are teaching that Jesus's death on the cross had nothing to do with atoning for our sins and and that Jesus died for us to see that as a negative thing that one productive children's pastor.

I know of. Said it was traumatic for kids to think that Jesus had died for them.

This is something that progressive Christian churches are just taking out of theology completely insane that Jesus was just a model of love, basically traumatized in order not nor do not cause any kind of psychological damage to your kids and sell that led to this conversation about no, it's not just up to us to determine meaning you can pretend that you come up with your own meeting for the sound of music, but he really is about something that's actual and real.

Just as Jesus's death on the cross is actually about Jesus's purpose for coming.

He said he came to give his life as a ransom for many. And so he said what his purpose was and then taking an opportunity to talk to my daughter about the meaning of the cross is something very objective is something that he actually did by dying fire sensor that we can have eternal life. And again I think part of it here.

Part of the skill set for the parent is speaking to the child at an age-appropriate way right certainly don't want to traumatize a child so you you go into it.

Different ages differently absolutely yeah and I think that you know Dick kids are definitely sensitive to death.

Sometimes when they're younger and so you can go into that with that kind of sensitivity, but at the same time. When they understand that that wasn't the end of the story. I think that is the key to helping kids, especially when I younger and sensitive to understand that this was victory because after Jesus death.

He came back to life and because of that we have the hope for eternal life in Jesus. And that's the ultimate display of God's love for us and it's kind of the core understanding that they need to Choose why why Jesus had to die for us, absolutely. And you know Natosha, I'm thinking of the mom and dad who feel like they haven't done a very good job of having these kinds of faith conversations taking this all the way back to your no tidying of the home analogy that you do a little bit every day and things will go well. How do we recalibrate them.

If we haven't really done that micro tidying.

We haven't had the small discussion. So the word drip irrigating our faith into our children will come to mom and dad do over 1314-year-old who just hasn't been that much time or we haven't taken that much time to talk about these important concepts.

What can they do today and I think that's a hugely part question because a lot of parents do feel like man I haven't talked about any of this kind of stuff with my kids.

I think the most important thing is actually just a shift in mentality so that you have to be honest with yourself as a parent and say that the number one most important objective for my parenting is to raise kids that know and love the Lord. That's the number one thing because if that's not your priority or not and how these conversations still has to start with identifying that in the next thing is to get yourself equipped get yourself equipped with an understanding of today's challenges.

It's not just the Sunday school basics anymore is not just Jesus loves me and now I'm to be happy the rest of my life. That's not what it is there so much more to our Christian faith monetizes not talked about a church that we have to take that responsibility as parents.

Remember we are the primary disciple others of our kids and get equipped to understand what's going on in culture.

What do I need to talk about with my kids like the questions that we talked about today and once you start to have that understanding, you start to have the radar of the worldview radar that allows you to go through and each day CDs opportunities like the coffee face in the beans and things like that before you and the thought death, but when you're a quit start status opportunities. I had to ask you is there an age limit again. I have 19 and 21-year-olds. I think some of these discussions still play their more adult like you're not going to talk in general, childlike ways, but the concepts are still true to have those conversations with your twentysomethings absolutely parish and never give up.

I wouldn't want any parent listening to Nesta think out my kids. 20 you know that ship sailed because you can still have the conversation with your adult kids and I know a lot of parents you have actually contacted me and talked about how this kind of content has helped him to have conversations that they didn't otherwise know how to relate to their kids about the now they're having it on a deeper level. When this is been so insightful and you know beyond just helping children develop their faith in Christ and deepen the boots sure to help many parents do the same thing as they contemplate these questions and then study up to build to have the discussion with their children. This is been terrific.

Thanks for being with us to the right return to the listener. Every this is exactly the kind of resource focus wants to provide you as a parent to get in touch with us. We love doing ministry together it has to work that way. So if you can make a gift on a monthly basis. That's terrific and will send you a copy of Natosha's book as our way of saying thank you for joining us in ministry. If you can only make a one-time gift that's good to be counted as help and will send the book to you to say thank you as well. So either way were doing ministry together and you're getting a great resource to help you in your parenting journey and is Natosha's been talking about today. This is a journey of a thousand little steps in the thousand interactions with your child in everyday circumstances. Focus on the Family has something to help you combat on a day-to-day basis. It's called the limit challenge and we got details on the website about that. Donate. Learn more about the liver challenge and get a copy of Natosha's book talking with your kids about Jesus phone numbers 800 the letter in the word family and the link is in the show notes.

Join us again tomorrow. Pastor Ted Cunningham explains what it really means to understand were created in the image of God and how to affirm that in others. Honor recognizes value. It does not set value when I honor you. I am calling out the value in your life.

I'm not determining you know that me there's nothing I can say or do that adds to or takes away from your value.

Nothing Jim Daly and the entire team. Thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back once more help you and your family thrive in Christ for children with good spiritual nutrition for children as well about provided spiritual nutrition program you can help your kids grow in their faith with Focus on the Family clubhouse and Focus on the Family clubhouse Junior magazine great resources for your family@focusonthefamily.com/public


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