What’s in the Bible? is thrilled to partner with our friend Jessica Wolstenholm from Grace for Moms for this new series on helping our kids to be in but not of the world. It can be a tricky balance to raise kids with resilient faith who can engage with an increasingly unfaithful world. We pray that Jessica’s wisdom and experience help you navigate this tension.
“Don’t copy the behavior or customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:2 (NLT)
No matter how much or how little we talk about faith in our homes throughout the year, the Easter season is the time many parents crack open picture Bibles and break out the Resurrection Eggs to share the gospel with their children. It’s a beautiful thing to imagine homes all over the world filled with conversations of God’s great love and grace, made real to us through his son, Jesus. This season always reminds me that even if we haven’t been as intentional as we’ve wanted to be all year. . .even if our kids still don’t seem to get it. . .we get to begin the Story all over again with its foundation.
And though our ultimate goal in leading our children to Jesus may be their eternal destiny, it’s first about guiding them in how to live and love well right here on this earth. Because although this world is not our forever home, it’s the only home they know and understand at this moment.
In a culture so driven by self-indulgence and imitation, how do we live in this world but not conform to its trends? And how do we teach our children to adapt to their surroundings and love others without judgment and with abandon while remaining true to the character and values of Jesus? The new life we are reminded of and experience through the Easter season can rejuvenate our hearts to discover what it truly means to be a Jesus follower today.
If we want to raise children to stand up for truth in the midst of the world instead of merely hiding behind their Christianity, we must first lead them to Jesus, the One who perfectly modeled what it means to be in and not of, the world. A successful journey through life in their ever-changing environment begins by finding and developing a friendship with Jesus.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
When I think about the challenges my children will likely face as they grow up in today’s world, I can easily become overwhelmed with fear and doubt. But the Word reminds me that Jesus has already won every battle for their mind, their purity, their character and their destiny. My job is to guide them towards relationship with him and model what it looks like to follow his ways.
For the remainder of the year we’re going to dig into this idea of raising our children to be in the world but not of it. We hope you’ll join us as we explore what this means for the thoughts, identity, relationships and purpose of our kids. I imagine we’ll also learn a thing or two about how to apply this principle to our own lives as we try to model for our families what it means to follow Jesus while navigating life in an ever-changing world. Look for our next post in this series coming in May: In, Not Of: The Power of the Mind.
Jessica Wolstenholm is co-founder of Grace for Moms. After 15 years in the music and publishing industries, Jessica came home to be with her two small children. Although the transition from the corporate world to the playground has been an adjustment, she is learning every day to access the grace available to us through Christ as she navigates the full time job of motherhood. She is the co-author of The Pregnancy Companion: A Faith-Filled Guide for Your Journey to Motherhood and The Baby Companion: A Faith-Filled Guide for Your Journey Through Baby’s First Year. Jessica lives in Nolensville, TN with her husband, Dave and two miracle babies, Hope (6) and Joshua (3).