In addition to a personal relationship with Christ and godly adult influences, what does a kid need to successfully withstand the pressures of the culture? I believe there are a few.
They need conviction. When they hear God’s Word and practice it they are taking God’s Word from their mind (knowledge) to their heart (conviction).
As you think about developing a conviction for God’s Truth in your children’s hearts, it’s key to know that a conviction starts in their thought life and over time (yes, it takes time!) results in a purposeful life. Waldo Emerson sums it up well with this quote: “Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny.”
Building their lives on the rock of Jesus takes applying His Word daily until it become conviction.
They need external and internal assets. Search Institute (www.search-institute.org) has identified 40 healthy building blocks (or “developmental assets”) for children ages 3-18. As defined by Search Institute, developmental assets are: “supports, strengths, and non-cognitive skills they experience in themselves, their families, their schools, and their communities.”
The studies Search Institute has conducted consistently show a correlation between the level of assets and diverse outcomes. Basically, the more assets children have in their lives, the more likely they are to successfully grow up and make wise decisions.
Godly convictions around sexuality and a healthy amount of developmental assets will help your children withstand the pressures of the culture.
Reflect and Respond:
• Have you developed a personal conviction around God’s design for sexuality? It’s hard to pass along to your children something you don’t possess yourself! Don’t be overwhelmed if this is true for you. I would encourage you to open your Bible and read Scripture passages that provide principles and guidelines for holy sexuality. Consider starting with a few of the following:
– Proverbs 5-7 – Romans 1:18-32
– 1 Corinthians 6:9-7:7 – 2 Thessalonians 4:3-5
– Hebrews 12: 14-17, 13:4-6
• Share these passages with your spouse and at the right time, with your children. Ask yourself (and them): What does this reveal about God? What is God saying to me? What is one step I can take today to apply this truth to my life?
• Visit Search Institute’s website (www.search-institute.org/research/developmental-assets) to download the 40 Developmental Assets that pertain to your child’s age bracket. Work together with your spouse to assess the number of assets each of your children currently have in their lives. (Depending on their age and maturity level, consider inviting your kids into your assessment process.) Brainstorm ideas of how to foster the remaining assets that are missing.