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Focus on the Family Broadcast

Raising Up Gen Z to Follow Christ (Part 2 of 2)

Raising Up Gen Z to Follow Christ (Part 2 of 2)

Jason Jimenez is a pastor, Christian apologist and the founder of STAND STRONG Ministries. He is a widely recognized worldview expert who specializes in cultural, philosophical, theological and religious issues, and as a national speaker, he addresses numerous topics including religious freedom, Islam, same-sex marriage and the reliability of the Bible. (Part 2 of 2)
Original Air Date: October 12, 2023

Excerpt:

Jason Jimenez: So one thing that I try to help parents understand is in that confusion, validate their concerns, own up to some of those things, but make sure that you teach them who Jesus Christ truly is in the gospels.

End of Excerpt

John Fuller: That’s Dr. Jason Jimenez with some of the wisdom he’s learned about parenting Gen Z. And, uh, he’s got a lot of great ideas and biblical insights to share today on Focus on the Family. Thanks for joining us. Your host is Focus President and author, Jim Daly. And I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: You know, our last conversation was really interesting, and I’m the father of two Gen Zers. So it’s been really illuminating for me, our conversation last time. Just to kinda connect some of the dots. What are some of the sensitivities of the Gen Zers? I think every generation has, uh, you know descriptors, adjectives, that describe them. Uh, you’ve got the Silent Generation, you know, the World War II people. And then the Boomers were kinda the out-of-the-box thinker (laughs) group. Then, and then you have a, a generation like Gen Zers who, if you were to pick three adjectives for them, maybe authentic, committed, uh, but willing to think of other ideas.

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: I mean, I don’t know that those would be the three, but, you know, uh, these business futurists like, I think her name was Faith Popcorn or something like that, where they try to describe for businesses what these generations are like-

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … so that people can market to them.

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: It’s not unwise for us as the Christian community to understand generationally where people are at.

John: Yeah.

Jim: And what the themes are as well.

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: So I’m looking forward, if you missed it last time, go to the website, get the download. Or if you have a smartphone, uh, you can certainly access it on our app.

John: Right. And there’s so much more there. So, uh, all the links for, uh, accessing that material, that content is, uh, on the website or in the show notes.

Well, Jason Jimenez is a Christian apologist, the founder of Stand Strong Ministries. He’s a national speaker. And, uh, he’s written a book we’re gonna be drawing from today, it’s called, Parenting Gen Z: Guiding Your Child Through a Hostile Culture. All the details are at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast or give us a call. Our number’s 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY.

Jim: Jason, welcome back.

Jason: Thank you guys.

Jim: (laughs) Um, man, it was such a good conversation last time and it got me thinking about a lot of things. But poring more into your book, uh, you have some very particular, uh, ways that parents might wanna consider parenting.

Jason: Mm-hmm.

Jim: And you created an acronym, LOVE.

Jason: Mm-hmm.

Jim: Who doesn’t love LOVE?

Jason: (laughs).

Jim: I mean, we should, as Christians, be enamored with love because Jesus said, it’s love.

Jason: Mm-hmm.

Jim: Um, so how does the acronym LOVE, what does it mean, and how do you apply it in your parenting?

John: Mm-hmm.

Jason: Yeah, that’s a great question. You know, one of the attempts I tried to do in that particular chapter was to help families, again, very discombobulated, you know, you got blended families which is becoming the norm among Gen Zers. And so, lot of times, when it comes to guiding and directing your family, it’s kinda all over the map, right? And you’re hoping that maybe if you got church in the equation, it’s gonna help kinda offset some of those pressures. So the one thing is I wanna help parents on the go.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Jason: Uh, especially if there’s blended families, step parents involved, is to think of a motto.

So, what I’ve done in my family is I put together this acronym LOVE. And it stands for Laugh, Open, Value, and Encourage. And what we do there now is every single day, when you’re on the go, you just evaluate how to love your family, right? Think about it. They’re there in good hands with you as a mom or a dad. One is, are you laughing with your kids? Have you done that this week? How are you looking to engage them and entertain? Laughing is medicine.

Jim: Let me ask you about that. I mean, I, I enjoy that and that’s part of, you know, I like to look at life-

Jason: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … and laugh-

Jason: Mm-hmm, yeah.

Jim: … because, uh, it’s good. It’s medicine. And, uh, but I can understand, too, more serious people frown on that. Their personalities may not be given toward, uh, frivolity (laughs).

Jason: Yeah.

Jim: You know? And I get that. You know, a person whose more scientific, engineering minded, their senses of humor can be not as, as big. So it’s not about guilt though. How-

Jason: Right.

Jim: … do you coach somebody who isn’t naturally a laugher and a humorous person?

Jason: Yeah, and that’s a good question. And that, that is the case. A lot of times we engage parents. A lot of times they have difficulty with that, you know? Their personality’s dry, and the kids know that, right? So they don’t think that their mom or their dad is fun, they’re just very strict and boring, okay? I totally get that. But there are ways around that.

The first thing I talk about in the book when it comes to laughing is to remember yourself as a child.

Jim: (laughs).

Jason: Right? I mean, if there were things, moments in your life of people you thought were funny, why? I’m not saying mimic them, but there are people in our life that we love, Jim, that were laughable, that really drew us in and- and told good stories. The other thing is, guess what? There’s a lot of cheesy dad jokes out there that you could use.

Jim: (laughs) I hear you like those.

Jason: I like dad jokes, okay?

Jim: (laughs).

Jason: Um, there’s funny YouTube videos sometimes.

John: They even, they even have bad dad joke books-

Jason: Yeah (laughs).

John: … if you can believe it.

Jim: (laughs) Yeah, if you can believe that.

Jason: I, I think Jim wrote one of those, John, you know?

John: (laughs) I love the fact that we could sit at the, uh, dinner table, Trent, Troy and I and we would laugh so hard-

Jason: Yeah.

John: … milk would come out of our nose.

Jason: Yeah (laughs).

Jim: (laughs).

John: And I mean, and I am like, I was like 40.

Jim: Yeah, that’s true (laughs).

Jason: Yeah, yeah, I know. Well, see that’s the-

John: Yeah.

Jason: … okay, that’s the point. Some people have an easier time at that.

John: Yeah.

Jason: But the point is, find things that you can laugh about. And one thing’s, guess what, if you’re a little hard nose or strict and rigid, sometimes your kids, if they can poke fun at you, right?

Jim: Let them.

Jason: Uh, let them do that. And if you’re a little self-deprecating sometimes, use that as funny moments. But look to try to do that as a way to engage your kids and have fun, okay? That’s key.

And then, I would actually, a more difficult challenge for a lot of parents is to be open. What I mean by that is looking for opportunities to be vulnerable with your children; letting them know that you struggle; letting them know that there’s times that you struggled in your faith. That you’ve had doubts. And how you learned to overcome those kinda things.

Be open about challenges in relationships. When your son or daughter is going through a situation right now and they’re trying to figure things out and you have to give them room to figure it out. Give them open opportunity to, you know, think things through and show signs of maturity and take responsibility. You can let them know that there were times in your own life where you made mistakes and how you learned from your failures. That’s being open. Making sure that you are engaging that way.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Jason: And then V is value. Every family member has value. And everybody in this family has something to contribute to build into the family. Our jobs as parents, as we instruct them in the ways of the Lord, is to always value who that person is. Meaning, where that child is-

John: Mm-hmm.

Jason: … in the order of how they came. Even if there’s a blended family. And the last one is encourage.

Jim: Okay.

Jason: Who doesn’t need more encouragement?

Jim: And speak to that, uh, particularly with Gen Z. Why encouragement is so critical.

Jason: It’s so encouraging because in 1 Thessalonians 5:11, we are told to build up one another. So, one, it’s at the core of our faith as Christians, but as human beings, we are designed to need encouragement. Encouragement not only brings comfort, but it also gives stability, and it gives guidance. When you intentionally encourage somebody in the process, as they’re learning and growing, that feeds them.

Go back to the Gary Chapman stuff, right, the love tank. It feeds their love tank like never before. So it’s easy to tear things down as we know, right? But it’s a lot more difficult to build things up, especially when it comes to like Legos. I like to build Legos.

Jim: (laughs) yeah.

Jason: Right?

Jim: I’ve got thousands (laughs).

Jason: Yeah, I bet (laughs).

Jim: Still on the floor somewhere (laughs).

Jason: Yeah. We like to do that but then, of course, when you have that young kid, they like to tear it down, right?

So it’s, it’s hard to encourage, but the more that we do it, especially coming from Mom and Dad, who are the most important person in a child’s life. Never forget that. I get it Jim and John, there are a lot of parents who feel very discouraged. They feel very depleted. I have not achieved a lot of this stuff. I l- talked a lot of older parents who say, “I was not really that spiritual leader that I should’ve been when they were younger. And now that they’re older, I don’t know how to speak into that.”

You know what you can do? Find ways to encourage your son or daughter.

Jim: Yeah. That actually is spiritual right there.

Jason: Absolutely.

Jim: Um, exercising biblical authority as a parent is so key to helping, uh, kids develop in a healthy way.

Jason: Mm-hmm.

Jim: But it also is probably under studied, you know? I don’t know that we know how to apply healthy biblical authority. So describe the importance of biblical authority and how parents need to apply it. Then how do, how do parents equip themselves to do it correctly-

Jason: Mm-hmm.

Jim: …so they don’t damage the relationship?

Jason: Yeah.

Jim: ‘Cause I mean, uh, uh, you can really hurt that relationship-

Jason: Oh.

Jim: … by simply being the authority. I told you not to do that.

Jason: Yeah.

Jim: Why? Because I told you to.

Jason: Right, yeah.

Jim: That kinda thing.

Jason: So, you guys know this already, but when we were investigating, looking at Gen Z, I thought it was very important. And this is a lesson I learned talking to parents raising Millennials, and it was the waves of regret that they had and how they lacked exercising their authority, okay, as a guardian, as a leader, someone that they respected. So, when I looked at, when you look at the parents raising Gen Z today, they do more bribing than exercising a proper authority.

Jim: What does that sound like? So we catch it.

Jason: So what that, what that looks like is what you’re doing is you negotiate with kids-

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Jason: … rather than saying, “Listen, I am your authority in this life.” A lot of parents, you’re raising Gen Z, feel that that’s too authoritarian, too legalistic. They don’t know how to exercise proper authority that is God given. Meaning, what the husband’s role and responsibility is, and what the wife’s role and responsibility is.

So what we’re finding with a lot of people raising Gen Z today, they’re not on the same page, if you will, when it comes to what those roles and responsibilities looks like. Typically, what we’re finding is, if the man is present, he’s not leading the family spiritually. And he’s not making sure that there’s actual repercussions to certain types of behavior that is demonstrated in the home, right?

So what I talk about in the book is that what parents do, often times, is they do these scattered consequences, meaning they’re reactionary. So if the bribing doesn’t work, if the negotiating isn’t necessarily work- l- working. Like, for example, if you take out the trash, I’ll let you play more time on your, on the device, right? No. That should be a responsibility that your son or daughter has because you’ve given it to them in the context of your family because you value them-

Jim: Yeah, separate that.

Jason: … constructively, right? Now, if they do things on good behavior, then, again, good consequences follow. Hey, because you’ve been doing such a good job, I want to reward you, but you have to make sure that you’re keeping kids within these set boundaries.

Jim: Another aspect that you mention in the book, and this is a funny one, with bike riding.

Jason: Oh, yeah.

Jim: Teaching the kids how to ride a bike. So we had a funny story with that.

Jason: Yeah.

Jim: The boys, I had set cones out in the driveway, so they’re both going, and Trent was doing quite well. And he was saying, “Look! Look at me. Look how good I’m going.” And I said, “Be careful. Pride goes before the fall.” And-

John: And then boom.

Jim: … bam. And Troy started laughing-

John: Yep.

Jim: … like, Dad that was incredible.

Jason: (laughs).

Jim: He loved it.

Jason: Yeah.

Jim: And, uh, that was our bike riding experience.

Jason: Yeah.

Jim: I mean, put a little scripture in there and then-

Jason: Yeah.

Jim: … wow, Lord, you brought that one right to-

Jason: Yeah.

Jim: … full blossom.

Jason: Yeah, I mean, that’s a good point too, Jim, because what I do in the book is I, I wanna use as an illustration, ’cause I have four. So, boy, girl, boy, girl.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Jason: Of course, we didn’t plan that, right?

Jim: Yeah (laughs).

Jason: That’s all, that’s all, totally the Lord. But when I first took out Tyler, my oldest, years back, when he wanted to learn how to ride. He’s very methodical, very proper. You know, downloads all the information.

Jim: Right.

Jason: Right? Very safe. Always looking at Dad for approval. And it took me maybe two nights in total to teach him how to ride, and he was sufficient. He always made sure the pads were on right. I mean he wanted-

Jim: Yeah.

Jason: … knee pads and everything.

Jim: Yeah.

Jason: Right? Like, that’s Tyler. Helmet and everything, right? It was properly tied on. You know, if it slightly fell back a little bit, he’d make sure that it was over his forehead, kinda thing. So that was my experience. Very easy. Everybody was celebrating him. And then I’m like, dang, this is pretty easy.

Jim: I’m such a good dad (laughs).

Jason: Yeah, I, I should do a YouTube channel now, teaching, you know-

Jim: (laughs).

Jason: … people how to ride bikes. Then it came my daughter Amy.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Jason: And my daughter Amy is a lot like me. And she’s a philosopher, and she challenges everything. And she would not listen about balance and core and hold the handles like this. She’s always questioning why. I wanna do it my way. It got to a point where I couldn’t teach her anymore. I was fed up so I went and got Mom. And then within a few hours, Mom helped her ride, even though it was Dad, but I didn’t get the credit. It was very difficult. I couldn’t help her through the process. Mom had to step in there ’cause I lost patience.

John: Mm-hmm.

Jason: Right? I didn’t wanna argue and discourage her. Jackson on the other hand, Jackson kept falling, tripping up. You know, he’s always anticipating the next move. And so it took a long, arduous time for Jackson. He was the same guy where he was very, very fearful of the water and how to swim. He was always locked on with me. So he has a lot of more insecurity issues, right?

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Jason: ‘Cause he doesn’t wanna fail.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Jason: Hailey, when it came to her time, our youngest. She was already out there trying to ride the bike before I showed up.

John: (laughs).

Jason: Right?

Jim: Yeah.

Jason: So the point is, is that each child is gonna be uniquely crafted and different in their approach and their personality, which is beautiful, but we as parents have to adapt to those things.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Jason: And the key thing about it is be patient. Don’t try to conform them to what we expect out of them. That’s where the training up of the child is that we are to understand how God has wired them, and as the guider, as the instructor, the disciplinary, we have to then navigate that based on how they are wired and how they perceive life and its challenges.

John: Yeah. Mmm. That’s so good. This is, uh, Focus on the Family with Jim Daly. And our guest today is Jason Jimenez, and, uh, he’s got a great book, Parenting Gen Z. You can learn more about Jason, his ministry and that book when you call 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY. Or stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: Uh, Jason, you didn’t have both parents with you all the way through growing up, neither did I. I-

Jason: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … had a single parent mom for a few years and, and, uh, so we both experienced that. Um, what was that like for you? What do you remember about that? What were the challenges-

Jason: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … that that posed for you?

Jason: Yeah. I mean, it was July 5th of 1994. I was 15 going into my sophomore year of high school and my mom was leaving her office. She was a secretary at a Christian radio station. And she was on her way to go pick up my youngest brother, and she had gotten tickets through the radio station to take us to a baseball game. And this was just the day after Fourth of July, so I just saw her that night. And me and another brother decided to stay over at Grandma’s house, right? Who doesn’t like staying at Grandma’s house ’cause she was gonna make a-

Jim: Oh, yeah.

Jason: … big breakfast the next morning, spoil us. So we enjoyed that time, in, uh, then we got a call. Uh, hours later, when we didn’t know where my mom was, she already supposed to be there but she never showed up, which unlike my mom, was totally uncharacteristic. And that’s when we got the call that the hospital reached out to my dad and she was hit, uh, by an ambulance that was going on a call.

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: Oh my goodness.

Jason: And she was taking a left turn. She had the right of way, and they T-boned her. Helicopter had to come, take her, uh, fly her to the hospital. They tried to stop the bleeding, the internal bleeding, but she suffered such brain damage that if she survived from the internal bleeding as they’re doing surgery on her, she would’ve been a vegetable.

So, I remember, my dad took his four boys ranging from 18 to 11 years old, married for 17 years to my mom. They were on the brink of divorce, though. They struggled in their marriage.

But I just remember a man who didn’t really lead us in strong faith, but loved the Lord, and certainly loved his kids and his family is now in this situation of crisis where he’s praying, “God, if you wanna take my wife, my kids’ mom, your will be done.” Within that hour, she didn’t make it.

John: Hmm.

Jason: And at that point, I will tell you guys that I was not angry towards God. But the closest person in my life was my mom.

Jim: Yeah.

Jason: No question. She was a beautiful woman who loved Jesus. She was only 35 at the time.

Jim: Wow.

Jason: But I learned in that loss that God was faithful, that God was there for me. And God used that suffrage to open the hearts of my brothers and myself, even my dad, to go deeper in our faith as we were searching for hope and healing.

Jim: Hmm.

Jason: And so, even now, all these years later, that tragedy, God has used as part of my testimony to talk to families who have also have had traumatic experience, or have also been raised by a single parent or they have a blended family, and try to help them understand, those are challenges, those are difficulties, but God is faithful and he’ll see you through it.

So, I think about her every day. I miss her. Um, but I’m thankful that through the loss I’ve gained, as Paul says in Philippians 3, I’ve gained Christ more in my life.

Jim: Yeah. I feel the exact same way.

Jason: Yeah.

Jim: I really do. And it’s hard to express that to people that are still carrying the burden of what their loss was. And it, it’s the hardest question to answer.

Jason: Mm-hmm.

Jim: How did you let go of all that bitterness or resentment? And I, I just never really even had it. It’s hard to say.

Jason: Yeah, I, I never said, “Why God?” I said, “What God?”

Jim: Yeah.

Jason: What do you want me to learn from this? And that was the key.

Jim: You know, and, yeah, in that regard, you know, there, we have a lot of single parents. And you become a single parent in a variety of ways. Through divorce or through the loss, uh, of your spouse et cetera, so you end up a single parent. What help can you give them in this regard, you know? Like your dad.

Jason: Mm-hmm.

Jim: The situation he was in and now he’s gotta father and mother four boys. At, right at critical time. You’re all kinda in teen-

Jason: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … age hood, and, and coming into teenager. So that had to be hard. Is there anything unique for a single parent to understand about the love concept and all the content of the book?

Jason: Yeah, I mean that, that is so true, Jim. I, one thing that I know for me personally was my dad was not equipped. I mean, within a year he got remarried, um-

Jim: I don’t know that any single parent-

Jason: Yeah. He’s not.

Jim: … is ever-

Jason: Yeah, yeah.

Jim: … equipped.

Jason: He wa- he-

Jim: It’s like, wow.

Jason: … he wasn’t equipped, but one thing that my dad did that was so important for us in those critical stages of our life was that he made sure that he was available for us no matter what.

Jim: And that’s a core principle.

Jason: And that was a, that is a huge thing.

Jim: Wow.

Jason: And sometimes what happens with single parents is, again, you have to, you have to make ends meet. So some people are having to work two jobs or having to work overtime to provide for their family ’cause the, they’re just a one income family. And so I know that more, anybody listening right now, all of us would love to have more time with our kids. Especially if we know, as time goes on, you savor those moments because you see how fast it is.

Jim: Yeah, it’s less and less.

Jason: One minute they’re in elementary and the next, you know, they’re getting married. And so, one thing I encourage, uh, single moms or single dads is, listen, as little opportunity as you may have because of your schedule, when you do have, limited time, use that time that’s undistracted, right? Guard it. And tell your kids and reaffirm them all the time that even though these tragedies have happened in our life, even though there’s been losses, or even though you have difficulty with your dad or your mom and you’re bounced around to different houses, that kinda stuff. Always make sure that your home is a home of safety, refuge, and stability.

And when parents do that as a single parent, but I’d also say this, you can’t do it alone. So you have to make sure that your family is supported by a local church.

Jim: I would agree, yeah.

Jason: That is so critical. Now, that goes for any family-

Jim: Yeah.

Jason: … where there’s a mom and dad. But you have to make sure, especially with the sanity that a lot of single parents are dealing with. You have to make sure that you have people, spiritual leaders in a church, based on Titus 2, that are modeling the faith to help you-

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Jason: … to o- kinda offset that.

Jim: Uh, Jason, we’re right at the end here, but a big problem that we have in the Christian community particularly is our kids not embracing the faith. And this is all kinda tied with what we’ve talked about, you know? We’re 40, 50 year old parents expecting our 16 year olds to behave like we do.

Jason: Mm-hmm.

Jim: And we don’t remember what we were like at 16. And, uh, embracing that gentle journey toward the Lord. But speak to this issue, uh, where there’s a distance, you know, where the kids don’t want organized religion. They’re turned off by it. This is a Gen Z factor. Uh, they generally don’t like the orchestration of church. They’re, they’re into spiritual things but-

Jason: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … they think that’s too much of a concoction.

Jason: Mm-hmm.

Jim: However they would describe it. You’ve heard them describe it.

Jason: Mm-hmm.

Jim: But just mention that. And how does a parent keep the salt in front of their child so that the big issue’s how do you get them to embrace the faith for themselves so they’re not living off of your faith?

Jason: Yeah.

Jim: But they become based in-

Jason: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … the faith.

Jason: Yeah. One of the biggest things is for every parent to remember is that it’s transferable faith. That’s a Hebraic method. We see that in Deuteronomy 6 and Psalm 78.

And one thing that I try to tell parents, this whole notion of its, you know, the Christian faith is caught not taught. That’s actually nonsense. That is not a phrase that we should be using.

When you look at the Hebraic method and you look at Christianity, it is consistently with the conduct of living in what I have taught or instructed you, over and over again. Paul talked to Titus like that. Elders are supposed to be that. You see the guardianship of instruction with fathers in Ephesians 6.

So, for parents to understand, we’re making sure that we’re not constructing an institutionalized evangelicalism that is embedded with a bunch of different, you know, movements and contradictions, right? That it’s abhorrent to the very truth teaching of scripture. So make sure that you’re not living a hypocritical life. But as moms and dads, our job is to model the faith and to transfer that to the next generation.

So, you use the word, Jim, and I like it, embracing that. Every child at its core innately wants that. They wanna be able to imitate the faith that is set before them from their mom and their dad. So that’s number one. I don’t think that we’ve done a good job. And this isn’t belittling anybody. But one thing we have to recognize, I don’t think we’ve done a good job, when we’ve looked to the brand of a movement, right? Uh, an evangelicalism where it’s just drawing young people and say, oh, man, see, they’re plugged into this great church. There’s all these multi-campus satellites and the celebrity pastor, this and that and that kinda stuff.

Great. Hopefully they’re teaching the word of God, but not at the expense of them not looking to you first and foremost when it comes to their life. So that’s number one. It’s so critical about modeling the faith.

Number two, yes. There’s a lot of this rigidity. That’s a main term that young people use, or this fragmented faith.

John: Mm-hmm.

Jason: Right? Because for them, church has been something orchestrated through the lens of like the pharmacy or a gas station. Just these pick-me-ups. Or when I’m sick I go and I get a prescription and boom, you know, that Z-pack, spiritual Z-pack if you will, help resolve some type of anxiety or distress because of porn addiction. That is not Christianity. Christianity’s not just this therapeutic faith that we inject when it’s convenient.

So what we’re trying to help parents understand because most of them are biblically illiterate, is to teach them the fundamentals of the Christian faith. Do not live a hypocritical life. Own up to the mistakes that you’ve made. And demonstrate to your kids, what does your prayer life look like? You know, have you ever read through the bible with your kids?

And the last thing is this: Most of the false portrayal of Jesus in America that is held by Millennials and Gen Z, and these are self-identifying Christians, which most of them are not. They view Jesus either as a mystic. Or as a woke teacher who embraces all ideas and all sexuality and all ways of life. Or he was this revolutionist who was, he was reforming Judaism and he’s changing the ways.

And so a lot of times when young people are de converting from the faith that they’re raised in, and maybe that was a, a fragmented faith, they look at that as rigid doctrine that doesn’t help advance social justice.

So one thing that I try to help parents understand is, in that confusion, validate their concerns, own up to some of those things, but make sure that you teach them who Jesus Christ truly is in the gospels.

And separate it from the noise out there and these different institutionalized systems of celebrity pastor this, and these scandals here. Or, you know, if you blew it in the past, ask for forgiveness because remember, God’s grace is far greater than any sin that we’ve committed.

And when you come with that type of humility, I think your kids are gonna be a lot more forgiving. That’s one thing I will end on this note, that’s so, so important if I can convey to people listening. If you’ve messed up, there’s always grace. And your kids actually wanna see that. That is a great model of faith because we know that we’re born sinners.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Jason: And we’re saved by grace. This is not of ourselves, this is a gift of God. And when you convey that and live that and transfer that, that speaks volumes to young people in this midst of confusion about, do I trust the Bible? Who is Jesus really? What about these scandals, and using all these excuses to draw away from God or deconstruct their faith, when in fact, let’s own it for what it is in the grace of Jesus Christ and start engaging our kids on who Jesus Christ really is.

And one way is say, “Hey, who is Jesus to you?” And if they start bringing these false portrayals, these false versions, use that, then to counter it with the truth of God’s word with your kid. Ask them, invite them in, that they wanna be a part of that. That is a critical point. I just did that with a, a father in his 60s. He’s now having breakfast with one of his adult children and they’re going through the gospels together and they’re exploring who Jesus is and they’re praying together. His son is not fully there yet. He’s got a lot of bitterness, but he loves the fact that he’s spending time with his dad. They’re eating at a restaurant that they enjoy.

Jim: (laughs).

Jason: And they’re actually learning some things that he never knew about with Jesus.

Jim: Yeah. It’s good. So good.

Jason, this has been really informative. And I hope, uh, the listeners and the viewers have caught the content of this book. I mean, it’s rich. And you’ve done an excellent job-

Jason: Thank you.

Jim: …to, uh, pull the right things together to talk about parenting the Gen Z generation. So thank you for being with us.

Jason: Thank you Jim. Thank you John.

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: And, uh, get your copy. I mean, you might have some friends, maybe your kids are now in their late 20s but you have, uh, friends that are still in the midst of it and, uh, this’ll be a great gift.

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: A gentle gift (laughs).

John: (laughs).

Jim: But get in touch with us. And if you can make a donation of any amount, one-time gift or get on the monthly bandwagon, as John and I do-

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … for Focus. But that’s how we support the ministry. And, uh, if you can do either one we’ll send you a copy of the book as our way of saying thank you. Parenting Gen Z: Guiding Your Child Through a Hostile Culture. I think the title says it all.

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: Who doesn’t want that resource.

John: Mm-hmm. Yeah. Contact us today. Donate monthly if you can or a one-time gift is deeply appreciated. Our number is 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY. Or you can donate by going online at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

And while you’re there, be sure to sign up for our free video series, “Raising Your Teen to be a Resilient Christian” by researcher and author Dr. David Kinnaman. This is a great resource to help you continue conversations with your teen on Christianity and, uh, how to deal with the cultural issues we’re facing. Find out more about “Raising Your Teen to be a Resilient Christian” when you’re at the website.

And next time, we’ll talk about the impact of miscarriage on men.

And, uh, for now, on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, thanks for joining us for Focus on the Family. I’m John Fuller inviting you back as we once more help you and your family thrive in Christ.

Today's Guests

Parenting Gen Z: Guiding Your Child Through a Hostile Culture

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