25 lies the world tells to our children.

4:14 PM

There are many things that the culture we live in, tries to tell us.  Here are a few:

1. If you've got it, flaunt it.
2. "Less is more" only applies to clothing.
3. Seduction is power.
4. Revealing is appealing.
5. Submission is objectifying, degrading and humiliating.
6. Respect is overrated.
7. Obedience is naieve.
8. Belief is subjective.
9. Nothing is absolute.
10. Darkness is light.
11. The only un-changing truth is that there are no un-changing truths.
12. Look out for yourself first.
13. Pursue happiness, wealth, sex and success at the expense of others.
14. Trust no one.
15. Break the rules.
16. Tolerance means agreement.
17. Do whatever feels good.
18. Promises aren't necessarily meant to be kept.
19. Temptation is meant to give in to.
20. If you want it, make it yours.
21. It's only a little white lie.
22. If you don't get caught, it's o.k.
23. Money can buy you happiness.
24. Follow your heart.
25. Love never lasts.

   And to be honest, wading upstream in a culture of self-centeredness can be overwhelming for any one person, but for parents?  It's nearly defeating.

   I think of my two precious daughters and I wilt.  Two fresh, new, young souls that are observing and learning and absorbing and mimicking at the speed of life, and soaking up everything around them like a thirsty sponge plunged underneath the water.  I can't remove them from our culture.  I have seen people try to do that, and it usually does more damage than good, in my opinion.

   No, we're here, and we're here for better or for worse.  We're a part of this world, and though it be a dark place, I only hope that they will choose to be a shining light.  But it's scary.  Terrifying, really, to raise daughters in a culture that tells them that morals and values are demeaning and laughable.  It's scary raising children in a culture that tells them that being tolerant and truly loving their neighbor really just means to agree with/condone everything, whether you believe it or not.

   Sometimes I'm not sure I know how to approach it all.  I do not believe in the tactic of removing my family completely from culture, from the world and the environment in which we live, and sequestering them in an isolated, protected space.  Neither do I believe it is safe or wise to plunge my family knee-deep into culture, soaking up bits and pieces of all that is has to offer as a form of nutrition as they grow and thrive.
Phillipians 4:8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 

   How then, shall we do that, hmmm?  HOW, in the world in which we live today do you "think on these things"?  At times, it seems almost an insurmountable task.  I mean, basically every influencing force around us shouting something quite different.  As I raise my children and try to instill in them my beliefs and values,  I will be criticized for not giving them the "freedom of choice".  But at the very same time, the culture around me is trying their hardest to instill THEIR values and beliefs into my children.

   Why the double-standard?  Why is it o.k. for the culture to teach their values, but not for me to teach mine?  Why is it ok to be offended sometimes, like when everyone was offended by Miley Cyrus at the VMAs, but not other times, like when no one was allowed to be offended by the Grammys this year?

   And why are we ever even surprised?  I mean seriously, WHY did Miley's performance shock people? Our very culture worships and idolizes that kind of behavior.  Not to mention behavior that is mimicked by every "role model" that precedes them.  These are the money-makers.  The trend-setters.  The super stars.  Beyonce does the same thing and garners admiration, applause and affluence. And we wonder why young girls aspire to be like that.  Why are we kidding ourselves?

   My heart is heavy.  THIS is the culture that my daughters are growing up in.  This is the generation that my children are a part of.  It makes me want to run and hide sometimes, but I strongly feel that no good comes from "playing the ostrich" with our heads in the sand and pretending like the outside world does not exist, or that darkness cannot reach us.  It does exist.  It is perhaps more real today than ever before.  And I cannot remain silent.

   So, now for the 25 things I will tell my daughters, in a quiet voice that will hopefully pierce through the dull roar of everyone else:

1. God is love.
2. His Word is truth.
3. You are beautiful.
4. Beauty is a mystery.
5. Mystery that is revealed is no mystery at all.
6. You are salt and light in this world.
7. Standing alone is never easy, but it is worth it.
8. Dream, plan, create, and imagine wildly.
9. A true lady never needs to "demand" respect.
10. Lavish love on others.
11. Selfishness will only bring unhappiness.
12. You can never out-give God.
13. All of your days are already known to God.
14. He has a marvelous plan for you.
15. He wants to do you good, and never to harm you.
16. Things are just things.
17. People are souls.
18. Don't follow your heart…follow Him.
19. There is freedom in surrender.
20. He has given you everything you need.
21. Marriage is wonderful work.
22. Motherhood is a high privilege.
23. If you have to prove yourself to someone, walk away.
24. You are perfect in His sight.
25. I will always love you.

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  1. So true, Shelley. and with four daughters of my own I have wrestled with these same issues. I tell them our culture has accepted 2 huge lies; 1) that if you disagree with someone's lifestyle than you must fear or hate them. and 2) to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense, of course You do not have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.

    I saw a post the other day that sums up the world we live in right now: Tim Tebow says, "I'm a Christian!" The media says "Shhhhh, keep it to yourself!" Jason Collins says, "I'm gay!" The media says, "You're a hero!"

  2. The one main thing I can think to do is to show them REAL love, REAL beauty, REAL pleasure, which means my main goal in life is to expose them to the God Man Jesus. show them that only one kind of thing really satisfies and fills the heart -Jesus..It's a high calling that only works as we go low in humility and ask for help from the Father :) OH LORD HELP!

  3. Excellent lists, Shelley. Appreciate your tender heart and wisdom, as always. You're doing a great job.

  4. Excellent lists, Shelley. Appreciate your tender heart and wisdom, as always. You're doing a great job.

  5. 18. Don't follow your heart…follow Him. - I really liked this one. I could relate to this post so much with two daughters of my own. I love the list. We must be a voice of truth in this culture.

  6. such a great list! and yes.. deep breaths in and holding onto grace raising these kiddos in a God-less society like ours.

    i felt the same watching the grammy's, before clicking it off - - the double standard of hollywood. bashing miley but embracing beyonce? yet, when everyone lives and governs their lives based on what is "right" in their own eyes the result is always confusion.

    so agree about not trying to hide our kids from the culture but rather training and preparing them to be salt and light and what a sobering responsibility. i'm always so aware and convicted at my own heart and seeing the need in my life to pursue righteousness and truth - because at the end of the day, more is caught than taught and i know my kids will mirror who i am even more than what i tell them.~

    wonderful post!! this inspires me to step up and be intentional and not slack off with where my kids are at in their faith and pursuit of God.

    happy thursday dear. xo

  7. Great post! Sometimes it is overwhelming, trying to raise Godly children in a society that works overtime trying to remove Him and His values. The quote from Abraham Lincoln comes to mind, "I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that i had no where else to go."

  8. You're doing a great job!


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