As Christians, we often wrestle with questions concerning the state of our world and the role our faith plays out in our culture. Research shows we are gaining converts but losing influence. How do we influence the culture we live in when so many are opposed to our beliefs? More importantly, how do we help our children tackle this daunting task?
A great starting point is the reminder we find in Genesis when God commissioned Adam to be a steward of all Creation (Genesis 1:26-28). Just as God tasked Adam with taking care of the earth, He calls us to care for His creation too. The stewardship God mandates for us gives us a deep sense of purpose. We are to care for others.
Caring for others might be harder than it sounds since we find ourselves living in a culture that has become more aggressive, hyper-sensitive, and less moral. But God’s Word reminds us repeatedly that we are to be agents of grace. Grace is an unending gift God provides. Grace brings healing and leads us to repentance. We must freely give grace to others just as God gives grace to us (Psalm 145, Matthew 5:44-45).
We must be watchful. When we are, we will discover where God is working, and where He is leading us to serve, and we can join Him in His work. This is a precious privilege, opportunity, and responsibility. Here are some ideas to help guide you and your family on the journey to being a positive cultural influence:
Explore God’s Word together. Practice walking in integrity and humility, following Christ’s example.
Respond with gentleness and respect as you serve others. Listen well to their concerns and provide support when possible.
Teach your children about calling and cultural influence. Celebrate each success as you see your child embrace their calling and serve others for the sake of the Gospel.
As a family, look for ways to connect with your local community. Adopt a mission-minded approach as you seek to meet the needs of your neighbors.
Model the skill of “looking for the good.” Teach your children not to be overwhelmed with the ever-present negativity. Challenge them to discover the good in a variety of situations.
Remind your children of the biblical principles God calls us to. Discuss with your child the reality that we cannot demand these principles of others, but we can model them and encourage others to adopt them.
As parents, we have the privilege of being the biggest influence in our children’s lives. We must consider our family our first priority and ministry. As our love for God and service to God grows, our desire to serve our neighbors and influence our culture for the sake of the Gospel will grow as well.
It is important to understand, culture reflects the society. The culture is changed when hearts are turned to God.