1. Talk honestly and openly about sin, homosexuality, the LGBT community, and gay marriage with your children.
We live in a post-Genesis 3 world. Because of this, sin is a reality, both in our lives and in the lives of our children. Part of the goal of parenting is teaching our children to love God and hate sin. Using your conscience as a parent, and discerning the appropriateness of their age, talk openly with your children about homosexuality and gay marriage. Unless you live in the mountains, have no technology, and your children have zero friends, I promise they are already chatting about this issue with their friends. Six, seven, and eight-year-olds are already having these conversations in lunch rooms and on school playgrounds. Your children’s classmates might have 2 mommies or 2 daddies. Too often, parents want this to be a hush hush issue with their children until later in middle or high school. By then, it’s too late. As your conscience, the Holy Spirit, and Lady Wisdom guide you, talk honestly and openly about this issue with your children.
2. Model to your children a marriage that is a picture of the gospel.
As Owen Strachan put it, speaking about gay marriage (President of Center for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood), “Let’s allow this decision to shock us back into taking stock of the log in our own eye. Let’s use it to motivate us to dig into our marriage and truly love our God-given spouse. Let’s recommit to loving our children in a distinctly biblical way. May this Supreme Court decision awaken God’s people to display the beauty of complementarity as never before, to put the union of a self-sacrificial head to his loving bride on IMAX display wherever we are.” As Strachan alludes, the home is the most foundational place for your children to learn the gospel and see it modeled. Let us recommit to pursuing our marriages before anything else. Let us model to our children the entire gospel within our marriages–servant headship, submission, grace, repentance, and restoration.
3. Teach your children the biblical foundations for marriage.
Teach your children the foundation for marriage from Genesis 1-2, the mysteries of its relationship between Christ and the Church in Ephesians 5, and how marriage ultimately wins when Jesus returns in Revelation 19. Talk about this often with your children. Show your children often pictures and videos from your wedding. Never talk poorly about marriage. Elevate it as the most important pursuit.
4. Teach your children the biblical foundations for sex.
Many parents are waiting until late in middle school to talk with their children about sex for the first time. Again, in my opinion, this is too late. I would encourage somewhere around 4th, 5th, or 6th grade to truly begin the “sex talk” with your children. A good way to start this conversation is for dads to take sons, and moms to take daughters, on what is called a purity weekend. Take your children somewhere fun, do more expensive things (because this weekend should be awesome), and begin the conversation about sex with your children. Notice I said begin. This is not a one-time conversation. This needs to be an ongoing discussion with your children.
5. Protect your children from the influences of pornography.
Like a warrior fighting his enemy on the battle field, may parents fight to protect their children from the influences of pornography! This is not a light task. Some researchers have stated that the average age of first exposure to pornography is down to eight. Eight! I’ll repeat, EIGHT! Children can access pornography on any device in the home today (cell phones, television, iPads, computers, gaming systems, and more). What is more, Covenant Eyes is a great filtering software you can put on your devices. Teach your children why this filtering software is on your devices. It’s not because you don’t trust them (which you shouldn’t, though), it’s because we want to put guardrails in our lives and completely crush any form of temptation to sin.
6. Pray fervently for and with your children.
As the influences of culture creep closer to our doorsteps, let us pray fervently for the hearts and minds of our children. The battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual forces of this world (Eph. 6:12). Let us pray that God would protect, build up, and send out our children into the world as ambassadors for Him (2 Cor. 5:20).
7. Partner with a gospel-centered local church that will come alongside you and teach the truths of Scripture.
Discipleship primarily happens in the home, but the local church should also be a great resource for equipping and building up your family. So often, parents view the local church as the center of discipleship. It’s not. As parents, that is your job. The local church should come alongside of you in teaching your children the truths of Scripture.
8. Teach your children biblical gender roles.
As you teach marriage and model marriage to your children, it is important to teach your children biblical gender roles, too. Men are designed by God to be leaders, providers, and protectors in the home. Women are designed by God to be helpers and nurturers in the home. Men and women are equal in dignity, value, and worth, but different in role and function. This is powerhouse complementarianism.
9. Train your children towards courageous biblical manhood and womanhood.
Being a man who practices the marks of mature biblical manhood is completely counter-cultural–and likewise for women who practice mature biblical womanhood. We are called by God to pass down the truths of manhood and womanhood to the next generation (Titus 2). We pass these truths and characteristics down by teaching and modeling them.
10. Don’t panic. Trust in God. He is still in control. His plan will still win.
The sky is not falling. The world is not going to hell. God is still in control. Let us live with this bold posture. Talk with your children about this issue just like you would about any issue. As Christians, we are “sent into” the world to seek the redemption of the world (Rom. 8) and be instruments used by God in the building of his Church (Matt. 28:16-20). Remember, we are “sent into” the world by our Chief Commander armed with truth & love. We await His triumphant re-entry. For Christians, nothing changes. Same mindset. Same posture. Same mission. Same victorious King. When we understand this, we realize that love (and truth) wins.
Reaching, Teaching and Releasing,
Student Minster at FBC Stanleyville