When I was growing up, stores were closed on Sunday, and there were no athletic practices or games on Wednesday nights or Sunday mornings so kids could go to church. With few exceptions (like Chick-fil-A® and Hobby Lobby®), this is not true of today’s world. Unfortunately, our culture is becoming more hostile to God.
In my youth, other parents, teachers, and coaches would reinforce the truth I heard at church and home. Today that isn’t often true. As parents, we must communicate transparently and intentionally with our kids.
There are many lies that we must combat continually, most focus around the nature of God, the goodness of God, and the power of God.
Deceit #1: God is Distant
The lie that God is distant is not new. We feel God should communicate and reveal Himself to us as we desire. We want a sign that God is real but when He is distant or doesn’t speak to us or do for us what we want, we doubt His existence.
Abraham Kuyper famously said, “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!” So, the first thing we must help our kids understand about God is that they belong to Him, not the other way around. God reveals how He desires to be known to us, and most often, that is through His Word.
The Bible constantly affirms the closeness of God. No other religion views the God they serve as Father. Jesus, while on earth, modeled for us what God is like and how God desires to be approached. That approach is to come to God as His child and to refer to God as “Abba”—as Father. We belong to Him— not as His possession—although we are as His children. In Luke, Jesus tells us of God’s care for us.
“In fact, even the hairs on your head are all numbered. Do not be afraid; you are more valuable than many sparrows” (Luke 12:7, NET). God knows when a sparrow falls to the ground even when no one sees it. If that’s true, how much more does God care about your kids and the things that cause them sorrow?
Deceit #2: There are many ways to God
When Jesus’s ministry was winding down, the disciples asked to follow Him. Thomas said, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus replied, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:5-6, NET). Jesus’ answer to Thomas was direct and exclusive.
The idea that there are many ways to God is setting us up as God, as if we know better than God. It believes, “I know Jesus said that He was the only way but that’s not what He meant.” We must help our kids understand sin’s weight and direction. The truth is that there are many ways away from God but only one way to God. Jesus claimed that place. He said, “No one” will come to God without faith in Christ. Our kids need to know that kindness will not save Buddhists, the adherence to the Torah will not save the Jews, and that submission to Allah will not save a Muslim. We are saved not by kindness, goodness, merit, or goodness. Christ saves us—saves our kids—for Himself. The Apostle Paul reminds us of this. “For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so that no one can boast” (Eph. 2:8-9). We are not saved by anything we do, but only by what God has done in Christ.
If this is true, we must proclaim to our children that there is only one way we can be saved from God’s just wrath in this life and in the life to come. We must proclaim to them every day that we are saved:
- By grace alone
- Through faith alone
- In Christ alone
Declaring this does not mean that we are the elite. Instead, it should lead us to humility that comes from knowing Jesus is our only hope. And to a passion for proclaiming to ourselves, to others, and to our kids, that Jesus is always, always the only way.