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Welcome back, friends.
Our last episode — which was the other half of this episode — got a ton of traffic this week. Lord willing it was helpful for you as you prepare to navigate 2021.
If you didn’t catch that episode, check it out before you listen to this one.
And if you didn’t read “The Best Parenting Podcast Episodes of 2020,” don’t miss it. I’ll link it for you in today’s description.
If you’re new to the show, we welcome you. We’re a community of Christian parents learning to use God’s Word and the Holy Spirit’s strength to parent our children for life and godliness.
That blog post I just referenced can be found at TakingBackTheFamily.com and would be a great place for you to get introduced to our free, biblical parenting content.
Of course, you can also get to know us by spending some time at TruthLoveParent.com, your go-to source for all things biblical parenting.
And, for those of you who are returning with us for our 5th year of intentional, premeditated, disciple-making Ambassador Parenting, don’t forget to do all of your Amazon shopping by using our affiliate links.
If you go to TruthLoveParent.com and scroll to the bottom of our homepage, you’ll find an Amazon icon. If you click through to Amazon using that link, all eligible purchases will earn TLP a commission. You can also purchase all of your 2021 parenting reading from our recommended book list, and — as long as you use our link to the books — we’ll earn a commission.
It’s a really great, low-impact way for you to do your shopping and bless Truth.Love.Parent. at the same time.
Alright, as most of you know, free episode notes and transcripts will be linked in the description of this episode.
Now, let’s finish our discussion of 2021 parenting trends.
On our last episode we had a mixed bag of good and bad trends.
We predicted that — in 2021 — you can expect . . .
Today we’re going to discuss three more predictions . . . but these are going to be a little heavier. So, let’s start with a bang.
5. We can expect increased governmental oversight in our daily lives.
Now, we don’t have time to talk about what the Bible has to say about the role of government. Thankfully, though, you can check out episode 402, “How Your Children Should Think about the Government.” In that episode we work through the Scriptures to learn God’s will for the authority He’s instituted.
Suffice it to say, though, God’s plan for governmental roles and responsibilities is not nearly as robust as our modern concepts. Even conservatives who value small government have bigger plans for it than God does.
But since it looks like we’ll be experiencing a liberal government this year, you can be sure that they will be pushing as hard as they can to legislate as much of our lives as possible.
And this is not me being pejorative. In the same way conservatives value a small government, liberals greatly desire a big government. That’s part of their belief system. And this current administration has made that patently certain.
So, how will this affect Christian parents? Well, to the degree that the government injects itself into our daily lives, to that same degree Christian parents are going to have to grapple with their response.
Some disagreements will be based off our opinions and convictions, but some will be based off doctrinal realities as revealed in God’s Word. Though we may uncomfortably, yet righteously, set aside our opinions and still glorify God, we must never set aside God’s expectations for us.
So, let’s talk about the obvious ones with which Christians will struggle.
A. Our current administration advocates the murder of unborn children.
Evermind Ministries, Truth.Love.Parent., and The Celebration of God are unashamedly pro-life. We support anti-abortion legislation and causes as much as we can. We march for life. We vote for life. And we stand with the Scriptures on this point. God hates murder. Murder is never okay. It’s never excusable.
Now, I doubt this administration is going to force anyone in your family to get an abortion — we’re not China . . . yet — but they are going to do everything they can to indoctrinate our children that abortion is not only an option, it’s also a good idea that’s worth celebrating.
If your children attend a government school, you can know that they will be exposed to this wicked thinking early and often.
By the way, if you have not heard it, I strongly encourage you to listen to our “Spiritual Warfare in Your Home” series. Among many other vital topics, we discuss how Satan uses the World System to infiltrate our families with his diabolical propaganda.
But this will not be the only propaganda to which you’ll have to respond.
B. Our current administration advocates for wicked views on sexuality.
This is absolutely everywhere. A child will have to try a bit to encounter the world’s views on abortion, but sexuality is being forced into their eyes and ears at every turn.
Even once-respected children’s cartoons have capitulated to the vocal minority and are pushing transgenderism and homosexuality. And — I promise you — it won’t be long before they’re promoting sex outside of marriage to underage kids.
How are you going to prepare your kids for this godless propaganda? How are you going to equip them to respond to the temptations all around them.
If you’re uncertain how to proceed, we have a number of episodes that deal with sexuality. You are welcome to follow the link in the description or go to TruthLoveParent.com/sexuality to view those episodes.
Just remember Deuteronomy 6:5-9, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
Ephesians 6:4, Parents, bring up your children “in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
We must equip our kids to answer the cultures lies using God’s Truth. And that’s what Truth.Love.Parent. is all about. We exist to glorify God by equipping you to be the dad or mom that God called and created you to be.
But not only does our current administration advocate for murdering children and aberrant sexuality . . .
C. Our current administration wants to dismantle the biblical understanding of family.
I don’t have time to cite all of the liberal and far-left groups who have publicly acknowledged that one of their desires is to undermine the atomic family. Modern feminism and the authors of Critical Race Theory and so many others want to absolutely destroy God’s plan for the family.
For example, Black Lives Matter removed their core beliefs from their website when they realized their extreme marxist positions were less tasteful than they hoped. But before it was removed, I read the whole thing, and one of their statements was “We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure.”
They want a village approach to indoctrination where everyone in the accepted community is equally important as the parents. It’s a practical application of a communistic mindset that parents cannot be trusted to rear their children as the government wants.
This is why our current administration is pushing to remove parental involvement. Children are taken off of life support against the parents wishes, fathers have no say if the mother wants to abort the baby, the government is setting up hotlines where children can be given sexual education without their parent’s consent, parents aren’t being allowed access to their children’s classrooms (in-person or virtual), parents are being told they have no right to deny their child’s desire for a sex change or tell their children that homosexuality is a sin, churches and Christian schools are being threatened with closures and the loss of tax-exempt status, ivy league professors are preaching that homeschooling is dangerous to kids, activists are demanding that parents not be allowed to dictate their child’s gender until the child — themselves — decides what it is, and the list goes on and on.
And — what’s really interesting — is that this attempt to dismantle the family attacks only one philosophy . . . that which aligns with biblical teaching.
Everything else is accepted. Christianity that submits to the Scripture, though, is rejected. Other religions that mistreat women and children are accepted, but Christianity is the enemy to be destroyed.
And that ties into our final sub-point . . .
D. Our current administration wants to silence biblical voices.
There will come a time in first-world countries — sooner than we think — when Christian parents will be threatened with losing their children unless the parents stop parenting according to the Bible.
Will we be ready for it?
Now, I know this was a heavy, long point, and not all of these things are guaranteed to happen in 2021, but this is the current trajectory. We need to choose this day whom we will serve because we can’t wait to make the decision until we’re in the middle of the crisis.
Parents are going to experience increased governmental oversight in their daily lives. How do we respond to it? We must know the truth, understand the truth, and live the truth regardless of the consequences. We must be a city set on a hill, salty salt, and our parenting must point directly to God.
6. We will likely see a greater push toward child autonomy.
We’ve already given examples of this from a governmental perspective, but here are some more — minors are allowed to get abortions without their parent’s consent, pedophials are pushing for children to be given the right to “consent” to sexual relations with adults, and our very own president elect has said that children as young as eight years old — children too young to have a realistic understanding of what they want to be when they grow up — should be allowed to decide their gender.
But as I was researching parenting trends for this year, I kept seeing a theme. One article talked about the decrease of people sharing their children’s pictures on social media in an attempt to respect the child’s “rights.”
Another article talked about parents having less say in what their children are eating.
Another post talked about those ridiculous onesies that say things like, “If you think I’m handsome, you should see my dad,” — well, apparently, their popularity is declining because people are being told that their child shouldn’t be a billboard for their parent’s humor.
But even “christians” are pushing for children to be able to make their own-life changing decisions at the mature age of elementary school. Cindy Wang Brandt, a “progressive christian” with a “parenting podcast” tweeted: “Do not evangelize a child. Do not colonize a child's spirituality. Do not threaten a child with religious control. Your religion does not have a right to stake claim to a child's allegiance.”
Only the problem is that the Bible she says she reads, and the God she claims to follow . . . commands the exact opposite. Sure, we shouldn’t use fear to manipulate our kids into following Christ (that would be impossible anyway). But we read a few moments ago that God expects us to teach our children God’s law and rear them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
That’s a non-negotiable.
So, in a world where you can post a video on YouTube of your child throwing a massive temper tantrum in a store, but you’re not allowed to tell that same child “No,” what is a Christian to do?
Again, all we can do is soak ourselves in the all-sufficient Word of God. Find and regularly attend a church that roots itself in the Scriptures. And surround yourself with a community of believers who will challenge you and keep you accountable and disciple you.
Stay true to the Bible no matter how far the world runs from It.
And, lastly . . .
7. We can expect more fear in 2021.
Now, why would I say that? Is this just me being a pessimist?
Some people might listen to this episode and come to that conclusion, but that could not be farther from the Truth.
I’m a realist. I see the world for what it is. I see it for what God says it is. But I also see God for Who He is.
Why is it the most repeated command in Scripture “Fear not”?
I’m really looking forward to our upcoming series called “The Biggest Parenting Challenges You Will Ever Face.” We’re going to be talking a lot about fear in the near future.
But — without God — every individual is on their own to figure this life out and make it work the way they want.
That’s actually really scary.
If it’s completely up to me and my power and intelligence to figure life out and make my job and finances and family and friends and pleasure and health and everything work out just the way I want it to . . . I will have no hope.
And that’s the next step. Fear leads to hopelessness. And when I feel hopeless, what do I do? Well I do what everyone does, I fight to get control of my life before it train-wrecks.
Fear always leads to hopelessness which always leads to control.
But God wants us to relinquish our faux-control to His ultimate sovereignty because we have a guaranteed hope that removes all fear from life.
In Matthew 19:26, “Jesus said to them, ‘With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’”
I Peter 1:13 commands, “prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
And when we trust God, rejoice in Him, live within His boundaries, reject anxiety, and embrace the Lord, Philippians 4:7 promises, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Fear, hopelessness, and a fight for control is the human condition that rejects God. It’s the reason every single one of us sins.
But there’s more to this fear-hope-control conundrum. God doesn’t command us not to fear simply because people are fearful. It’s because fear is a tool that sinners use against other people.
Our society knows the cycle. They’ve all experienced it, and we all know how to manipulate it in others.
I am ashamed of my country. I’m ashamed how more and more people are resorting to violence to get their way. And — guess what? Your kids are seeing it too. Even if they’re not watching the Daily Wire or the evening news, they’re seeing the consequences of it on the playground and in the store and at school.
But what is this violence really?
Well, if I’m afraid that what you’re doing is going to hurt me, and I lose hope that you’re ever going to see things the way I see them and stop treating me the way I don’t want to be treated, then I’m going to want to fix this situation. I’m going to want to control you. And — if I have no legitimate authority to make you do what I want — I’ll threaten you and resort to violence. I’m hoping that by increasing your fear, you’ll become hopeless that the threat will ever stop unless you capitulate to my desires. And most people will try to regain control of the situation by willingly going along with the crowd that scares them so much.
But that’s not the only way to manipulate the fear-hope-control cycle.
Now, what if I’m not scaring you with my violence? What if I’m scaring you with a situation or an event or a worldview that is too big for you to influence?
What if I can scare you with something that’s too big for you to control? Well, you’ll become even more hopeless. And then what if I can step in with a promise that I can control the situation in a way that you can’t. Well, most people would gladly do whatever I say.
“Bigotry. Hatred. Prejudice. Intolerance.”
All of those are so huge. They’re nationwide if not international. And what can little-old-me hope to do for such deep-seated and irreconcilable issues?
Nothing . . . on my own. But I am told that I can trust the social justice warriors to protect us from racism and intolerance. I can trust the government to shield our nation from the ravages of capitalistic greed. I can give all of my control over my health to the established medical system to protect me from a virus that wants to annihilate me and my family.
And so — once again — I control my fear and hopelessness by giving my autonomy away.
Just look at our world! We’ve been told this pandemic is going to kill billions of people, and it will only be the mandates and vaccines and lockdowns that will protect us.
And billions of people — out of fear — handed governments all over the world direct control of their lives . . . control that — in some cases — the country’s own legal documents forbid the government from having.
So, what is a Christian parent to do?
Rejecting fear is the only way to protect ourselves from the manipulation of this World. I tell my kids all the time, “We do not make decisions based out of fear for anything but God.”
Once again, I beg you root your every belief, desire, thought, word, deed, and feeling in God’s Word.
The last half of Season 16 was all about the absolute necessity for us to ground our families on the unchanging, all-sufficient, completely practical, and eternally relevant Word of God.
That is the only way we can stay grounded.
Colossians 2:6-10 tells us, “Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude. 8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. 9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, 10 and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority.”
Now, if these Parenting Trends episodes are your first interaction with us, please know that this is not our normal format.
These episodes will fade as culture changes and new trends emerge, and they’re intended to be merely an informational warning. “Watch out! This stuff is likely going to affect your family this year.”
And though I have offered trajectory and reminded us of the importance of making God and His Word our foundation . . . I acknowledge that these episodes don’t go into a lot of practical detail.
But that’s why the hundreds of other episodes exist. Those episodes are not informational, they’re transformational. They’re not tied to cultural fads, they’re as relevant and evergreen as the Scriptures in which they rest.
So, I hope you’ll start at the beginning of this podcast. That’s right. If you’ve never listened to all the episodes, you should start at the beginning and work your way through. Just make sure you keep up with the newest interview episodes so you don’t miss a chance to win resources during our giveaways!
Please, come join us on this journey in biblical parenting.
And for those of you who are caught up to the newest episodes, please continue with us this year as we strive to unpack more and more of the Scriptures and apply it to our parenting.
Also, please share this episode on your favorite social media outlets so more and more families can be blessed by God’s Word.
And I hope you’ll join us next time as we open the Bible to discover how to parent our children for life and godliness.
To that very end, we’ll be talking with Todd Friel from Wretched Radio about his book, “Reset for Parents: how to keep your kids from backsliding.” You may even have a chance to win a free copy for yourself!
See you then!
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