I’m at an unusual place in life where my kids are ages 18 and older and I don’t have grandkids yet.
And this is the point in life when I’m thinking about how critical those years are from 0 to 18. In a life span of 7 decades, for example, the first two are foundational.
I find myself wondering what is the best way to pass our faith on to the next generation.
What is it that kids need?
There’s so much that falls on the parents. But, parents can’t do it all.
It really does take a village.
What should teachers, coaches, pastors, mentors and grandparents be doing to help kids during the formative years?
0 to 10 are important foundational years when kids need to know they’re loved, their needs will be met and they will be protected.
It is also a critical time for teaching them spiritual truths. Young children are not capable of thinking in abstract terms. Their thinking is concrete and they need to be taught that way, with images, stories and object lessons.
Ages 10 to 14 is the time to be learning competence and skills. Following their interests and getting good at something and helping to shape their identity around it.
I think that was the point of Dobson’s book, Hide or Seek.
Also, their views of sex during ages 10 to 14 are important, because by 14 the temptations have already started.
A lot of critical life decisions are made from ages 15 to 18.
Young adults can get a driver’s license, a job, start college classes, start dating, hang out with their friends, choose a church, choose a college, choose a major, choose a career path, leave home.
They are deciding their values, attitudes and beliefs as well.
Every child and young person needs to decide what to perpetuate and what to discard.
What kids are reading and watching and listening to is going to shape their values and that is going to shape our culture.
The messages that kids are getting from the culture are increasingly anti-Christian.
How can we influence that?
By writing better stories.
If we have better writers, if we promote and support better writers, our culture will be a better place.
This is how we can help. This is how we can be the village.
By writing and finding and sharing and promoting and supporting great stories.
This is a way to pass the ball without fumbling.
Emotionally healthy, spiritually sensitive kids grow up to be adults who lead strong families. Strong families make great societies.
More importantly, spiritually sensitive kids grow up to be adults who advance the kingdom. Adults that God uses to impact culture.
This is our mission for all the kids in our circle of influence.