In our look at the final beatitude, we already discussed how we should respond to persecution; but what about our when our children face rejection for being Christians? Today I am excited to have Julie from Unmasking the Mess here to share her thoughts on this topic.
The relationship had lasted nine months, and in the sand, a purity line was etched. All parties had agreed until a summer affair had crossed the line. My daughter had left for a mission trip, and her relationship seemed sound and sturdy, but when they returned, new expectations came into place.
When she declared her toes would not step over the lines of purity, the boy quickly fled to find another girl who would ruffle the sheets of the bed.
As the days and weeks went on, my daughter became labeled as the “good Christian girl” who wouldn’t sleep with a boy.
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.
We know words and labels do cut, and hearts do break. Rejection causes pain which can last longer than any physical pain will.
Standing Out for Christ
My husband was the only Christian boy on his public school bus route. On two different occasions, he was beaten up by an older kid on the bus.
The reason: he was Christian.
Nowadays, with the attention brought to bullying, we are led to believe stuff like this doesn’t happen. While we hope it doesn’t, we know from my example of my daughter, it still does.
The reality is, our kids will feel the effects of being Christians in a sinful world. So how do we encourage, inspire and protect them as they grow in faith?
What does God say about standing out?
In His word, God tells us that we are to stand out. We shouldn’t fit in with culture, it’s what makes us Christian and set apart.
(Romans 12:2, NLT).
2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
We weren’t meant to fit in; we were made to fulfill God’s calling.
Why does God want us to stand out?
We can’t show and lead people to Christ when we are blending in with the rest of society.
It’s a test of faith. Do we believe God will provide and protect us as we live apart?
When we do suffer harm or hurt from letting our light shine, God will reward us, and it won’t last long compared to eternity.
We won’t know God’s will for our lives if we blend into the mold of society.
But God doesn’t call us to be comfortable. He calls us to trust Him so completely that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where we will be in trouble if He doesn’t come through. ~Francis Chan
Our kids and we don’t have to do this alone for we have the Holy Spirit within us enabling us to have the strength and power to stand out.
Practical ways to encourage our kids to stand out
1. Model to them a living faith***this is the top way
2. Using Bible verses to support them
3. Study the Bible together
4. Pray for them and with them
5. Encourage them to be a part of a Christian youth group
6. Lead them to choose Christian friends
7. Study, watch videos or use curriculum that encompasses bold Christians
8. Show them places where they can serve others
Each of us was born to stand out. God had His eyes on us before we were conceived to fulfill His divine purpose for us.
The truth is our kids will always face rejection due to their faith. It’s promised us in the Bible. So it’s all the more important to teach our kids the tools to use when they encounter it, so they won’t be discouraged and despair.
Julie Loos is the mom of 5 kids and has been happily married to Greg for 17 years. She loves to read, eat chocolate, drink iced tea and spend time writing in the midst of messes. You can find her blog at http://www.unmaskingthemess.com and on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and on Twitter @juliealoos.