Teaching Our Kids to Be “In, Not of, the World”

Raising our children in the admonition of the Lord is done through the little decisions we make daily.

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

“Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name… They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.” – John 17:11, 14-15

Have you ever wondered what it means to be “in the world, not of the world”? As a young mother, it was hard for me to wrap my mind around exactly what that meant. After all, this earthly world was all I really knew. There was so much to love about the world God has created for us, especially my new little family.

Not long ago, my daughter Sarah, shared with me a conversation she had with her older sister. The two were discussing their childhood. Reminiscing, and confessing how they both had tried to give their children the kind of childhood they had growing up. Both felt like they had failed. Through that conversation they realized why they could not give their children same childhood they enjoyed.

This was not the same world as it was when they were children.

Sarah went on to explain, that not only could she not replicate the childhood she grew up in. She had decided it wasn’t wise to try. Simply put, the world her children are going to enter as adults will be far different than today.

I too wanted to give my children the best parts of my childhood memories. My childhood was filled cartoons and puzzles, Mickey Mouse, and riding my bike for hours–far from my parents’ view. My children spent hours playing outside, watching the latest Pixar movie, and building empires with blocks.

It’s only natural to want to share, and pass down our treasured childhood memories to our children. Sadly, for today’s families, the result will not be the same. As Sarah observed, the world is not the same. I would add neither are the institutions we enjoyed, or our parents loved.

Beloved Children’s Entertainment Caves to Activism

Disney is no longer a trusted family friend, and parental controls are now a must for Disney+. As a child, I spent hours pouring over Highlights magazines. As a visual learner, it captivated me. Over the last few years, both of these treasured childhood memories have succumbed to the pressure of activists.

A few years ago Highlights suffered the usual activist assault for not including same-sex couples. Highlights, succumbed to the pressure. The Washington Post, reported the children’s public repentance for non-compliance, “We want to reiterate that we believe all families matter. We know that there are many ways to build a family, and that love is the essential ingredient… This conversation has helped us see that we can be more reflective of all kinds of families in our publications. We are committed to doing so as we plan future issues.”

That was a few years ago. They have kept their word.

Paul Batura, over at Daily Citizen explains, “Given the slide of culture, it might not surprise you that Highlights’ noble goals and first-class standards have slid significantly in recent years. The magazine has featured same-sex couples, and annually touts and endorses LGBT books for kids. They’ve also championed resources that embrace critical race theory. On a list of resources for parents to share with children, Highlights has become a lowlight.”

As Jesus prayed in John 17:15, “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.”

As parents, we can’t give them our past. However, we can give them a solid foundation for their future by not opening the door to the evil one.

Nurturing the Spirit and the Intellect

  • Empower Future Generations: By equipping your children in a humorous, interactive way, to enable them to navigate the world while maintaining their faith.
  • Biblical principles that help children understand God’s role in their lives.
  • Clubhouse and Clubhouse Jr. combines faith with fun, nurturing both the spirit and intellect your children.

Clubhouse magazine, from Focus on the Family, is aimed at helping our children to be “not of the world” as it intertwines faith with fun, embedding biblical principles within its stories, activities, and lessons. Each page prayerfully created, and rooted a Christian worldview. Clubhouse and Clubhouse Jr. both offer children guidance in developing their relationship with God and understanding His role in their daily lives.

The difference between Highlights and Clubhouse lies in the foundation. Clubhouse, aligned with the scripture, doesn’t shy away from being ‘not of the world’ nor does it bend to cultural pressure. Highlights, on the other hand, while once dedicated to nurturing young minds, now does attempts to prepare children to accept new cultural ideologies as the norm.

Shaping Character and Faith

Similarly, Trail Life and the Boy Scouts offer contrasting experiences. Trail Life, rooted in Christian values, aims to develop character and leadership skills within a biblical framework. To help boys grow into godly men. Its activities, while similar to those in scouting, such as camping and community service, are infused with the intent of fostering a strong Christian character.

One temptation, is to overlook faith-based alternatives, because of our own childhood experiences, or wanting our children to be the light in dark places. Mark Hancock, CEO Trail Life explains why this is a false security.

“While it’s fitting and even admirable for believer to remain as witnesses and “lights” in places that don’t honor God, parents must be especially careful in putting their children in those places. My wife and I spent years in dark places ministering to the homeless because their need for the gospel was so great, but I would never have taken my boys there.

This same sense of discernment must be part of every decision we make when balancing the call to be in the world while not being of it.”

John 17:11, 14–15 in Practice

Jesus acknowledges the reality of living in a secular world, but He prays for protection and sanctification in the truth, which is God’s word. This scripture underpins the mission of Christian-focused resources like Clubhouse, Clubhouse Jr. and Trail Life.

Daily we make choices for our children. Sometimes we make them consciously and other times without much thought at all. As good parents we all want the best for our children, and sometimes that means letting go of what was, and embracing what God has provided as alternatives to what the world has to offer.

Sometimes, it’s the little decisions we make that make the most impact in our children’s lives that show them how to be of the world–or not.

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