12 Days of Giveaways - Spin & Win! Sign up before Dec. 25th to win daily prizes and a $250 Amazon.com Gift Card. Find out details.

10 Unpopular Truths Your Kids Need to Hear from You

10 Unpopular Truths Your Kids Need to Hear from You

More than ever, our kids are being bombarded by messages from a lost world, manipulated, and even lied to. What can we as parents do to combat the messages the world is telling our children? As Godly parents, it’s our responsibility to help our children learn the reality about this dark world, by not only setting the record straight but supporting the truth, by planting seeds of Scripture in their developing hearts.

Here are 10 unpopular truths our kids need to hear from us:

  • 1. A Want is Not the Same as a Need

    Needs are things we must have in order to survive and thrive in life. Wants, however, are things we desire but aren’t necessary for our existence. With the average household owing over $16,000 in credit card debt alone, it’s evident our society as a whole struggles with knowing the difference.

    So it’s no surprise that kids today have a difficult time distinguishing between their own needs and wants. Though they’re certain they’ll die a horrible death if they can’t have it, the newest smartphone actually isn’t necessary to their survival; it’s simply a want. And despite how they feel, they really will be able to live without it.

    It’s imperative that our children understand the difference between a need and a want so that they can be good stewards of God’s blessings, particularly as they become responsible for their own saving and spending.

    “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” - 1Peter 4:10

    Image Credit: Thinkstock.com

  • 2. Practice Doesn't Make Perfect

    I wonder if we don’t sometimes set our kids up for failure with that old well-meaning adage, practice makes perfect. Let’s face it: many times in life there is simply no amount of practice that will even put us close to being perfect. Our striving to be better than everyone else—to be perfect in the eyes of the world—is a ploy the enemy uses to keep us in a state of joy-robbing comparison. Our kids need to know that it’s okay not to be perfect. They need to see us fail as parents, too. And see us overcome failure gracefully.

    Let’s help our kids understand that being perfect isn’t a reality in this world. But what is a reality? The fact they are perfectly priceless in His eyes.  

    “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” -  Galatians 1:10

    Image Credit: Thinkstock.com

  • 3. You're Not the Center of the Universe

    It’s pretty normal for kids to put their own desires before those of everyone else. But, ultimately, I think most Christian parents would agree that we want our sons and daughters to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

    As parents, we can foster this through role modeling.  We can have our children join us when ministering to the needs of others. We’re never more like Christ than when we are being a blessing to someone else. And helping someone in need is the best way to fight society’s sweeping scourge of self-absorption.

    Our children need opportunities to understand that though this world doesn’t revolve around them, they have the power to make a positive difference in someone else’s world.  

    But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.- Hebrews 13:16

    Image Credit: Thinkstock.com

  • 4. 'Delete' Doesn't Really Mean It's Gone

    For the most part, life for a kid is all about living in the moment, whether we’d like to admit it or not. Unlike before the Web, much of that living in the moment won’t go unnoticed or be forgotten in today’s world. From spur-of-the-moment tirades to cyberbullying to revealing personal information to sexting on Snapchat, our children are not only toying with risky behavior but putting their reputation and safety at risk.

    And the biggest reason they do this is because they’ve been misled to believe these detrimental things can be erased. The fact is nothing online is ever truly deleted.  For example, it’s as easy as someone else taking a screenshot (which saves it to their own camera roll), to be used for future exploitation.

    It’s up to us to discuss with our kids the importance of exhibiting Christ-like behavior, thinking before they post, and to monitor their online behavior closely.

    Therefore, I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.- Romans 12:1:2

    Image Credit: Thinkstock.com

  • 5. There's Nothing Wrong with Waiting

    In our world of same-day delivery, can we really blame our kids for their irritation towards waiting? We as parents don’t care for it much either. We’ve all gotten quite accustomed to our rapid-response world of instant gratification.

    But there once was a time when we looked forward to things, wasn’t there? A time of expectancy and excitement—simply because we had to wait. It taught us how to be content with our blessings and to focus on our haves, not the have-nots. What was so wrong with that?

    Our kids need more opportunities to sit with contentment and wait with a sense of anticipation, not annoyance. Then they’ll be much better prepared to wait well when God presses life’s pause button.

    “ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” - Matthew 6:32-33

    Image Credit: Thinkstock.com

  • 6. You Shouldn't Always Follow Your Heart

    Contrary to popular belief, just because it feels good doesn’t mean it is good. More so than ever, our kids are growing up in a live-for-the-day-feel-good society with little tolerance for any degree of uncomfortableness.

    But the reality is that feelings are fickle, fierce, and fleeting, and our hearts are incapable of always leading us to what’s best.

    Let’s caution our kids to not focus on their hearts, but focus their hearts on Him, only following when its desires line up in accordance to His reliable Word.

    The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it? - Jeremiah 17:9

    Image Credit: Thinkstock.com

  • 7. Your Worth Isn't Determined by This World

    True worth isn’t measured by how much money you make, how big your house is, or what kind of car you drive. Despite what the world of marketing would have our kids believe, their worth really isn’t dependent upon their possessions, nor their current social status.

    Being in bondage to a life of measuring self-worth by what the world calls success is exactly what the enemy wants for our kids. It’s imperative we teach our children the importance of their identity in Christ and help them claim it as truth.

    Let’s model for our children that their worth is found in His Word, not this world. It’s imperative if they’re to live the life Christ died for them to have.

    What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? - Matthew 16:26

    Image Credit: Thinkstock.com

  • 8. Not Everyone Will Like You

    We probably don’t have to think too hard about the last time we found out someone didn’t like us and how that made us feel. Even as adults it can be a hard pill to swallow.

    More than ever, we humans are expected to be all things to all people, urging us to do whatever it takes to avoid rejection. But, we must reassure our kids that rejection is a part of life and that it really is okay if someone doesn’t like them. By working to come to terms with this unpopular reality, our children will move away from a people-pleasing mentality toward a God-pleasing mindset.

    Our kids must know that even Christ in all his perfection was rejected, but as believers, they will never be rejected by Him—the One whose acceptance matters most.  

    “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” - Isaiah 41:10

    Image Credit: Thinkstock.com

  • 9. Most Things are Really Better Left Unsaid

    I remember as a child being bullied. And I recall the first time my mother taught me that old rhyme: Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.  As well-meaning as Mom was, truth is that names hurt just about as bad (or worse) as any stick or stone ever could.

    Unfortunately, times haven’t changed that much where this is concerned—perhaps gotten worse. In fact, there’s a trend in today’s world to applaud those who just let it fly—say whatever they want without regard for anyone else. But His Word warns us that life and death are in the power of the tongue.

    It’s up to us to remind our children that their words have the power to break down or build up. May we as parents model self-control and the importance of speaking life.

    Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips. - Psalm 141:3

    Image Credit: Thinkstock.com

  • 10. Less Really is More

    One of the biggest lies we’ve bought into as a society is that we must have more, more, more, increasing our already insatiable appetite for bigger and better, latest and greatest. The slogan ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ now reads ‘eat our dust, Joneses.’

    But in all honesty, less really is more. There is freedom in simplicity. And there is freedom when we refuse to continue trying to impress those around us. There’s a tremendous shift that needs to happen so we can move toward placing a higher value on the things of God rather than the things of this world.

    We can role model this freedom to our children by practicing gratitude for what we already have and clinging to those things which are simple—yet eternal.

    “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” - Galatians 5:1

    ----

    Renee Davis is a boy mom, PPD survivor, recovering fear-a-holic, and former educator. She lives on Christ and caffeine as she attempts to finally transcend mediocrity and live the life Jesus died for her to have. When not tied to her desktop and swimming in coffee, the native Floridian can be found wherever the water is salty, spending time with her son and husband of 15 years.

    She’s a contributor to The Good Men Project, Crosswalk, and, most recently, The Washington Post. You can learn more about Renee’s journey and her passion for helping women find their worth in the Word, not the world, at The [email protected] Scribe.

    Image Credit: Thinkstock.com