God never intended his people to shy away from discussing uncomfortable subjects with their children. Unfortunately, many in the ranks of us Christians choose to avoid topics with our kids that we think will make them grow up too fast. So we cut off certain conversations when children ask us some difficult questions that could lead to discussing subjects we believe should only be discussed by adults. Having such a mindset, in my opinion, is a disservice to children and hampers them from having the knowledge, wisdom, and understanding to make well-informed and God-influenced decisions.
Sometimes Christian parents don’t stop to think that if they don’t discuss uncomfortable topics with their kids from a biblical worldview, their kids will have those discussions with unsaved peers or unsaved authority figures. Without that biblical foundation on hard topics, kids whose parents mistakenly raised them under the “ignorance is bliss” mentality will find their kids easily swayed into embracing the ungodly philosophies and doctrines espoused by unsaved peers and unsaved authority figures they encounter. That’s one reason (among several) why young people raised in Christian homes decide to forsake all things Christian when they reach high school and/or college.
In Deuteronomy, God gave instructions to parents on what they should talk about and teach their kids. He said the following:
4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord:
5 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.
9 And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates. Deuteronomy 6
These are principles that carry over into the New Testament. The Lord made it clear that he wanted the Israelites to follow his commandments so the Israelites would be blessed in their endeavors because to do otherwise would bring punishment since he is a just God (Deuteronomy 6:24-25). To stress the importance of diligently teaching kids at every opportunity about the Lord’s testimonies and judgments, God repeated Deut. 6:6-9 almost word-for-word in Deut. 11:18-20.
These testimonies, judgments, and commandments not only covered simple things like the Passover, sacrifices, and prayers, the Lord also had Moses cover “adult” situations that included the following:
- Manslaughter (Deut. 19)
- Murder (Deut. 19)
- Cross-dressing (Deut. 22:5)
- Adultery (Deut. 22:22-24)
- Rape (Deut. 22:25-27)
- Both female & male prostitution/homosexuality (Deut. 23:17)
- Witchcraft (Deut. 18:10-12)
- Bestiality (Deut. 27:21)
God commanded his people to teach their children about these subjects from a godly perspective since they lived near ungodly people who practiced these things and could exert influence on Israel. Shouldn’t Christians do the same seeing what type of world we live in also?
When Israel became lax in teaching their kids diligently about these things and saw God’s testimonies as burdensome (Isaiah 28:12-14), it resulted in a lack of knowledge, wisdom, and understanding throughout the nation, and led to Israel’s downfall. This same scenario is now playing out all over the Western Hemisphere because we are repeating the same mistakes Israel made after being blessed with God’s word. But renewed diligence for godly things can reverse the curse.
…the Lord hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. Hosea 4:1
Harry A. Gaylord