I couldn’t turn the channel fast enough.
All five of us piled on the queen bed watching a cooking show when the commercial break brought an invitation to watch 50 Shades of Grey. My teen daughter gave me a look that told me her peers were talking about this film, too, as I fumbled for the remote. My 7th grade son asked what it was about, “Because it looks just like a love story,” he said.
That’s what they want you to think. It’s a movie about violence and sex. The world wants us to think it’s about romance and love, but it’s not. I’m shaking.
I flipped to the next channel and the latest news of terror in the middle east filled the room.
My 8 year old looked at me with her deep brown eyes and said, “The world is scary.”
I turned the TV off and wondered how to teach my kids about real love-the kind that makes us pray for our neighbors in the war on terror while shutting out the lure of our anything-goes culture.
I want to pin recipes on Pinterest and google how to make a sliding barn door. I want to protect them from the world. Some days I want to live in my bubble and not think about how the rest of the world lives.
Two days later 21 people were beheaded in Egypt. More death. More terror.
It hit close to home. And it made me long for another home. Because I can’t protect my kids from the world we live in.
It made me think about living widely obedient and what that really means.
It made me wonder at my upcoming trips with my daughter to a predominately muslim world. (Updated to add: We work with women, some who are Muslim. I certainly don’t think every Muslim is “bad” any more than I think every Christian is “good.” I’m simply being honest–these events make me pause and wonder, “Is this safe?” But I still go.)
I can’t say anything that’s not already been said in all the Internet noise this week. There are as many opinions as there are shades of gray.
And in our constantly changing world, some things don’t change:
I’m still teaching my kids right from wrong.
I am reminding them of absolute truths in a culture that decides day-to-day what is politically correct.
We still choose to follow Christ.
We think and pray for our brothers and sisters who live the same way even when it means death for them.
Experts tell us ISIS doesn’t want to rule the world, they want to end it. And as I raise my children to follow Christ, I must also teach them truth:
One day this world will end. But it will not be the end.
5 truths our kids need to hear in our world today:
1. God is in control- Our world can be a very scary place. But no matter what happens here or over there, God is in charge. It might look really bad, but He is not surprised by what happens and somehow, someway God will work things out for our good. He loves us and He is in control.
2. There is right from wrong– Domestic violence, pornography for men and women, living a life that doesn’t matter, loving and hating others-these are the right from wrong choices we make everyday. Truth does not change, no matter what society or media says.
3. The world does not live like we do-Attending church on Sunday and school on Monday, owning a Bible, going where we want, when we want, this is called freedom. But nothing about it is free. It cost something. Someone.
4. Prayer is a weapon-Sometimes we feel helpless and hopeless when we watch the news or hear how bad the world is, or we are fearful it will effect us in same way. There is something important we can do-we can pray for the world and for our own faith. We wear our bracelets to help us remember to pray for the oppressed. It feels small, but it’s not.
5. There is hope-no matter how bad it gets-and I personally believe it will get worse-from terror to shifting cultural truths, there is always hope. We call it The Blessed Hope. This world is not the end and I want my kids to know that life is temporary. Eternity is forever. And one day, Jesus will right all the wrong in the world and we will live with Him forever.
I whisper truth in their ears. I comfort them with these words. We hold onto these promises together.