I’m not necessarily in this place personally, but I’m just around the corner with my 12 /2 year old and my 10 year old following right behind.
I’m speaking to the tension that exists between our families’ beliefs and our own personal convictions.
The longer we wait to allow our kids to substantiate their own personal beliefs and require them to hold to a family belief, the less of a foundation that they will trust in when they leave your home.
My kids are starting to watch movies where they can hear some choice words that “we don’t say.” They understand through school, friends, and environments that they are in that they cannot control what other people say. I want my kids to understand the value of choosing better words to describe or identify something rather than slang, cussing, or cursing.
The FAMILY BELIEF brings rules that have consequences for using that kind of language in my home. However, that’s not enough to cause my kids to hold these beliefs as a personal choice, especially when they are not in our home!
This applies to all areas of life & faith – our kids HAVE to take steps to make their faith and beliefs their own! It might look different for every family in what areas and ages you want to take these steps, but here are 3 steps I believe can help the next generation go from Family Belief to Personal Belief.
1. Explain WHY.
Our youth need to know WHY we believe what we believe (I certainly hope YOU know why you believe what you believe). It’s simply not enough to say “because the Bible says so.” They have to know WHY the Bible is an absolute truth they can trust as a foundation of their lives. They have to know WHY agreeing with Jesus is not only the BEST option, but often times the one that will cause the most tension in their lives. When they get to a certain age, WHY becomes more important than the behavior or rule itself.
I read an article recently in the Washington Post that posed a fascinating question that targeted a tension I feel when engaging in political discussions and current cultural issues.
The question – “Where are the Christian intellectuals in the public square?”
The article does a good job predicting the reasons that Christian perspectives are no longer a part of the world’s stage in these discussions. However, no matter the reason why – I do agree with the overall argument that there is a vacuum right now in our discussions when we don’t have (fill in your preferred historical Christian leader) presence involved. Is there a voice of faith that can challenge the status quo?
I also read a report about the recent 20/20 episode entitled “The Girl We Left Behind.” It is the tragic story of Kayla Mueller who was an ISIS hostage in 2014-2015 for 18 months. This story was told by those she encountered while held hostage. I was proud of ABC’s willingness to air the testimony of fellow prisoners who spoke about Mueller’s faith in God and the way that it effected her attitude and hope during the abuse, torture, and rape she endued while being held hostage. Do her actions speak loud enough for anyone to hear?
Welcome to The Tension is Real Podcast. A podcast dedicated to real discussion about the TENSION that exists between Life and Faith and how to embrace it so we can live with purpose and freedom.
Today’s Topic – The Tension of a House Divided
1. Subscribe in iTunes (Search “The Tension is Real” or plug in this URL –http://mattdawsontv.libsyn.com/rss).
2. RATE and REVIEW the Podcast in iTunes to help us promote MattDawson.TV.
3. Listen to Podcast on this page.
4. Download MP3
Recently, an Atheist blog called “Rational Doubt” came across my FlipBoard newsfeed and I was intrigued by the headline so I decided to read the story. By the end of the article, I was just pissed off! I will always link to articles I reference, so feel free to read it yourself here, but I didn’t turn out well for me.
Why? Because this particular story (the blog has many) is one I’ve heard a hundred times and for some reason I am continually shocked and amazed at how many people blame the “church” or their “religious system” for their lack of faith or belief in Jesus Christ! It drive me nuts!
LISTEN: Someone struggling with belief in the “church” or the “system of religion” they have and making it synonymous with their belief or trust in God is a connection that was NEVER supported by Jesus Christ.
After 30 years of loyalty and service to his RELIGION, this clergyman was tired, sick, and could no longer continue on his current path. So he gave up his faith in God – because he could not reconcile the religious system he was stuck in.
Notice, the article is pretty clear to articulate that he had massive issues with the religious system and the stuff he was preaching. Yet because the religious system and faith in God were tied together… He felt he had to turn from God in order to be set free.
Sir… I’d like to re-introduce you to Jesus! He knew you’d feel this was – but you’ve made the wrong choice if FREEDOM and REST is what you are looking for!
It’s impossible to solve problem when we don’t know what is wrong to begin with. It’s impossible to experience freedom, if you don’t know where you are stuck. We usually have a theory about what the problem may be in our lives and many of us have been working on “us” for a long time. We spend money working on us, time in therapy, new toys, gyms, diet plans, vacations, and we think that if we just make better decisions or better choices – we can experience a different outcome in our lives. However, this doesn’t seem to be working that well. Self-Help publication is still on the rise and folks around every turn promise happiness is just a small tweak away – but the problems usually remain.
OUTCOMES (we all desire Freedom, but cannot seem to achieve it in every area of our lives)
I want to suggest a radical idea!!! READY… The problem may be, that we don’t know what the problem may be.