There are three essential words that have been redefined in our culture and in, some case, our church. Hillary Ferrer, author of Mama Bear Apologetics, calls this redefinition of words, “linguistic theft.”
In raising Christian kids, we need to create a faith foundation for our children to walk in truth and love. Part of that process is having a Biblical understanding of words.
The most common redefined or misused words in our culture are truth, love, and identity.
Let’s dig into each…
Truth is what is real.
Jesus tells us that He is, “the Way, the Truth, and the Life” in John 14:6. He’s telling us that in Him we find the truth about all reality. The whole of the Bible gives us more insight into how this impacts our life, our salvation, our purpose, and so much more. The Bible also tells us how the world began, how it will end, and who is in control of it all.
The cultural narrative today; however, suggests that truth is dependent on a person’s individual opinion or lived experience with popular sayings like, “My truth is my truth and your truth is your truth” or even, “Live your truth.” This definition implies that one truth cannot be known for all people since we all have a different way of experiencing truth. In other words, the new definition of truth is now opinion, experience, or perspective, and puts self in the center of defining it all.
This belief is in direct contradiction with the word of God.
So, what do we do?
To raise Christian kids, we as parents first need to be aligned to the word and will of God. We need to be in agreement with what the word of God says even if we don’t like it. That may sound harsh, but He is the authority not us. He sits on the throne and we bow to it. This alignment with His word needs to be taught to our children so they understand the importance of submitting to His authority, order, and plans.
His word is the sole authority on truth and without it we will bend to the pervasive belief that no real truth exists – that your truth is yours and my truth is mine. And we will forget that there is freedom from bondage in His boundaries, order, and plans.
Identity is who we are and who we are created to be.
Scripture tells us in Genesis 1:27 that we are, “made in the image of God.” We are made in His likeness. Our identity is found in Him as our Creator, not in what the culture tells us. Psalm 139:13 reinforces this when it says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”
The culture; however, tells us that we are the ones who decide our identity, making it self-defined and fluid. It suggests that we can pick and choose our sexual preference and/or gender and that those decisions directly impact each person’s identity.
While God gives us unique traits and identifiers, these are not ultimately our identity. Our identity is found in God alone.
So, what do we do?
To help our children navigate this culture conversation around identity, especially with discussions around “gender fluidity” and the “gender spectrum,” it’s crucial that we begin educating our children on the differences between male and female. While the culture teaches us that we are interchangeable, God’s design and purpose indicate that we are not. We are not only different physically, we are also distinct mentally, emotionally, sexually, and spiritually.
Even though it may cause discomfort or fear to talk to our children on these topics, especially if they are younger, be diligent. Either we will be the authority in our children’s lives or the culture will be their authority.
To get a free guide on the “Divine Differences Between Male and Female,” download the Raising Christian Kids toolkit.
Love is a deep affection or care for someone else.
Jesus tells us that the greatest commandment is, “to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” in Matthew 22:37. All throughout Scripture, we see that to love God is to obey God. Jesus even tells us in John 14:15, “if you love me, keep my commands.”
Whereas the culture tells us to, “just love everyone,” which means to accept any and all “truths” someone decides for themselves. Not only should we accept it, but we should also celebrate and promote it to others.
Ultimately, this leads to us defining love by how we feel about someone else and, in turn, how we make them feel. But, God’s definition of love is much different.
So, what do we do?
Teaching our kids to first love God, and submit to His word and His ways, and then to love others out of the knowledge, adoration, and understanding of God and His word, will help them to demonstrate what real love looks like and how to respond to narratives that ultimately don’t align to God’s definition of love.
Let 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 guide us in all interactions as we demonstrate and teach our children how to love. We must always remember this, “Love is patient, love is kind…it does not delight in evil, but rejoices in the truth.”
Walking out our faith, in truth and love, is the greatest challenge of our day. We must rely daily on the Holy Spirit to give us the wisdom and discernment to raise our children under God’s authority and to respond to those God has placed in our lives with compassion, kindness, and truth. As we understand the Biblical definition of words, we can have a greater understanding for the truth. As Jesus says, “the truth (aka Jesus) will set us free.” John 8:32