I run into so many parents who ask me what they can do to reach their children. That’s a tough question, considering I don’t have kids. However, I was once a child (some might still say I am).
I know how my parents raised me and remember the discussions I had with both my mother and father throughout my teenage years.
Each week my father would sit down with me and discuss an important issue that I was facing. As a young man, I was becoming exposed to everything that, sadly, most young boys and girls in their adolescent years are exposed: sex, drugs, (rock n’ roll!), church, and many other topics. Politics back then had not yet become mainstream in public schools, as this was back around 2001. But that would swiftly change a few years later.
From the day I was born, my father had decided that I would be raised understanding the love and power of Jesus and His Kingdom. My father believed deep in his heart that Proverbs 22:6 meant something, which says:
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
My parents raised me and provided me with a foundation of morals, principles, and conversation as to how everything worked together and made sense of it all. They explained to me the purpose of sex. What it was designed for, as well as how it would affect my life in years to come. They explained to me the importance of waiting for the right woman, which clearly helped because I’m 30 years of age and still waiting. I can’t say the same for many of my peers.
Mom and dad explained to me the purpose and/or value of guns, money, authority, business, church, relationships, and yes, even and especially, government.
My father did not shy away from any discussion, no matter how controversial and uncomfortable it may have been. Because of this, I learned how to process information. And to conclude what would be the best and most prudent decision, according to the values by which I was raised. Most importantly, I was raised understanding that I had made a commitment to serve God and love Him; to follow Jesus.
Where did the parents of my peers miss it?
I was driving a young man to Logan airport last week through my daily work (Uber). This man is pursuing his Ph.D. degree in engineering. We began discussing culture, government, and God (Yes, I know, the three topics you don’t discuss at work… I can’t help it!). We found out that we agreed quite a bit on various political issues, even though he, as it turns out, was more left-of-center. He began telling me about his upbringing.
Raised in India, his parents were quite conservative but never had time for him or any of his siblings. He said they worked all day, every day, to make sure he was taking care of his family. This young man believed that his left-leaning political views were a complete lack of any engagement with his family, particularly his mom and dad. He even admitted to me that he probably would think just like me, had he been exposed to more conversations with his parents.
What really hit home, was when he told me that he really appreciated his conversation with me, because most of his friends are very left-leaning, and he was refreshed to hear a different perspective on the issues.
His story as a perfect example, to illustrate the extreme importance of raising children in the way they should go; with correct morals and principles. In the case of this young man, his parents may have had the correct values, but failed to instruct him in them, which is what I believe to be the majority of American families today.
Now, does this mean every adult man and female will respond as he did? No. But how many more millions of adults in their 20’s think like that?! I believe they are silent but ready to be empowered.
It’s up to YOU to make it right.
This is not just some typical article I’m writing here. This is a call to action.
If you have children, it’s time for you to raise them up in the way they should go. That means having honest and open conversations with them, which you may very well find uncomfortable. Because if you don’t, your child’s friend will. And your child’s friend may not have parents like you; they just might (and likely) think opposite of your values.
If you don’t talk to your children, someone else will. Your child should be empowered to take a stand at school. If a friend or peer comes to your child and attempts to lead your child astray, they should be bold enough to advise and instruct their friend or peer as the right way of thinking, and the right choice, and why! Your kids should be the influence, not the other way around.
This is part of restoring the family. Beginning with your own home, teaching your children about what is right and wrong, and where that standard of morality comes from; God. Quit complaining about the news and why things are so bad. Begin to affect change in your own home.
Your castle must be defended
John Locke, in his Treatises of Government, describes a man’s home as his castle. Men, you have a castle, and it’s being invaded without anyone stepping a physical foot in the door. Your family is flooded with immorality and deceit from the outside. And that is being brought in, right through your castle gates. Teach and instruct your family how to stand strong and engage, but with love and patience.
If you are already a parent whose children are already adults or in their late teens, you find it much easier to vote at the polls and complain about social media, rather than risk ruining their relationship with their children. I get it. It is not a judgment against you it is simply something to correct.
But what choice do you have? You can talk about the problems that exist, all day, and never actually affect the change you wish to see, only for that to result in further inevitable divide, or you can prepare your heart and mind to engage the root of the problem and begin to mend what is broken.
Many Americans look at the news and the world around them, wondering how they will ever make a difference, not realizing the difference is right in their own castle; their sons and daughters.
People feel so overwhelmed. They think their voice is lost, and without their voice, they have no hope. I hear people all the time, as I go around talking about The Patriot Initiative, how do we fight back against the corruption, deceit, lies, immorality, and barbarism that we see in our culture.
My answer: Your home.