It’s not hard to find examples of people making poor moral decisions (just look at the daily news). In a world struggling under the sway of subjective moral standards, how can we empower the next generation with the freedom to choose right?
Josh McDowell says raising your kids to trust biblical truth starts from a bedrock of loving relationship.
“We have to demonstrate grace to our children in order for them to grasp it. I’ve said to myself, ‘I’m tired of extending grace,’ and no sooner did I say that then God says to me, “Aren’t you thankful I’ve never grown tired of extending grace to you?” I had a revival in my life.”
“As parents, any time we extend loving grace to our children, instead of saying well, there you go doing it again, we remember how many times our Heavenly Father’s extended grace to us.
The relationships we had as children with our parents can impact the way we raise our own children, and in turn, shape their views of God.
“If there’s anything we project upon our heavenly Father, it is the image of our earthly father. One of my greatest barriers to coming to Christ was when Christians would say to me, ‘You have a Heavenly Father who loves you.’ That didn’t bring me joy because I grew up believing fathers hurt–my father hurt me.”
“So I had to realize that for my children, I’m God to them in a sense; what my children as are growing up thinking about God is dependent on what they think of me. That humbled me! When it comes to learning right from wrong, I have got to demonstrate in my life that I’m making the right choices, because my children will reflect what I do, not so much what I teach them.
When the outside culture rejects the notion of objective moral truth, how can we help our kids understand that God is real, and following His way leads to the best life? How can we help our children think about morality as more than just an arbitrary set of rules? Josh recommends teaching the Three Ps: Person, Principle, Precept.
“With every choice you make, there’s first the person of God. For example, God is truth.”
“So what principle comes out of that? Honesty.”
“There’s a precept which comes out of that: Thou shall not lie. Because God is truth, we must love and embody honesty. Therefore, we do not lie. Every choice we have to make goes back to a principle that’s based upon an aspect of the character of God.
Josh McDowell never intended to be a defender of the Christian faith. He has authored and co-authored over 100 books, including the best-selling Evidence That Demands a Verdict: Life-Changing Truth for a Skeptical World, More Than a Carpenter, Beyond Belief to Convictions (Beyond Belief Campaign). Josh McDowell joined the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ International and became a traveling representative focusing primarily on issues facing young people. He has spoken to more than ten million youth in 84 countries, including over 700 university and college campuses.