Children as Worldview Warriors
Paul DeanDr. Paul J. Dean's Weblog
- 2009 Feb 20
Low expectations; that’s what we have in this culture when it comes to children and/or teens. We don’t believe that children can comprehend the deep issues of life. This notion is particularly problematic in the church as we constantly play with our children in Sunday School or church rather than teach them the things of God. That trend continues in youth ministry as the primary focus is often entertainment. Such a dynamic leads to immature adults who need more than God’s word to keep them in church. They’ve been trained to be that way from their formative years.
But, the reality is that children can be trained to think and act in a mature manner particularly if they know Christ; for then they are strengthened by the power of the Holy Spirit. Children can be taught a Christian worldview and they can make an impact for Christ.
Consider the recent story about a twelve year old girl who “has become a star at her school and on Youtube with her five-minute pro-life speech, crafted for a school competition. Despite discouragement and outright opposition, Lia's presentation was so well done that she reportedly won the contest she was told she would be disqualified from, due to the ‘controversial’ message of her speech, (LifeSiteNews.com).”
This young lady is an example for young people and adults alike. She is participating in the “as you go” part of the Great Commission. She is engaging our culture in her sphere of influence. Listen to her words: “‘What if I told you that right now, someone was choosing if you were gonna live or die?’. . .‘What if I told you that this choice wasn't based on what you could or couldn't do, what you'd done in the past, or what you would do in the future? And what if I told you, you could do nothing about it?’”
Lia offered cogent reasons to support the rights of unborn children and answered typical objections to the pro-life position. She addressed the unborn baby’s humanness, the issue of personal convenience, the denial of universal rights, and the fact that with rights we have obligations; namely, the duty to not take someone else’s rights to avoid one’s own responsibility.
This young girl has also set the example when it comes to standing for Christ in the face of opposition. Teachers told her the topic was too mature and controversial and that she would not be allowed to continue in the speech competition with that topic. Her mother encouraged her to find another subject but she refused saying that she would forfeit the opportunity to compete in order to share her heart. Further, during the school competition, one of the pro-choice judges refused to listen to the speech and left the panel.
As a side issue, this incident highlights the increasingly uphill battle we Christians face in this country. Free speech is foundational to our society. But, some feel the need to discourage it, suppress it, or walk away from it in protest. Of course, we must not wring our hands or resort to carnal weapons. We must simply be faithful to the Lord in what we do and how we do it.
She made an impact as well, something that we should ponder all the more seriously. “After the speech, which Lia's family said was well-received by both students and teachers, the judges initially told Lia she had indeed been disqualified. But controversy among the judges eventually led to a reversal, and Lia's family learned the next day that the panel agreed the girl deserved to win the competition.” But, more importantly, “the girl's homeroom teacher was supportive of Lia's speech even though she was pro-choice. ‘After helping Lia do the speech, it really got me thinking,’ the mom noted.”
Lia’s parents are pro-life Christians. We can’t know how they have trained their daughter (though the evidence looks pretty good). But, we can say two things. First, there are Daniel’s in the church; those who God raises up to take a stand despite being trained by pagans in a pagan environment. Second, the onus on Christian parents is to saturate their children with the word of God in the manner of Deut. 6:7 when they sit in the house, when they walk in the way, when they lie down, and when they rise up. That is how to raise expectations and make worldview warriors of our children.
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