Guest / Limited Access /
Christian Parents: Your Children Need More Than a Bomb Shelter
Dragon Images / Shutterstock

The image of the nuclear family has always been an ambiguous one for me. Of course it’s meant to convey a picture of a centered family, anchored by a mom and a dad, with children orbiting around them as satellites, together serving as one of the basic units of society—an “atomic unit,” if you will. But having been raised during the denouement of the cold war and shaped by movies like Red Dawn, for me the notion of a “nuclear” family also carried connotations of a bomb shelter or concrete bunker, a fortress to protect us from the threats of a menacing world.

The metaphor is stark but not entirely off base. We rightly have a sense of caution when it comes to the influence of the world on our families, especially on our children. Indeed, it’s a biblical admonition: we are both incubators and defenders of our children’s hearts and minds, stewards of their imaginations, responsible for their instruction. It’s only natural that we should be their defenders, on guard like sentinels watching in the distance for oncoming threats.

But what if we’re missing the real threats? What if we’re constructing defenses against the intellectual blasts of ideas and messages from the world but not insulating against the sort of toxic radiation that can seep through our intellectual defenses? Every parenting strategy assumes something about the nature of human beings. We tend to treat our children as intellectual receptacles, veritable brains-on-a-stick, and we parent and protect them accordingly. We try to foster their faith by providing them with biblical knowledge and then gradually equipping them to also discern the false teachings the world will throw at them.

But what does it ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Also in this IssueWhen Altar Calls Don't Work
Subscriber Access Only When Altar Calls Don't Work
How many times did I need to get saved before truly loving God?
RecommendedAre Religious Kids Meaner or Nicer?
Are Religious Kids Meaner or Nicer?
A Christian sociologist responds to two contradictory studies and what they tell us about science.
TrendingWhy Max Lucado Broke His Political Silence for Trump
Why Max Lucado Broke His Political Silence for Trump
In the face of a candidate’s antics, ‘America’s Pastor’ speaks out.
Editor's PickThe Year of Living Hopelessly
The Year of Living Hopelessly
2016 tempted us toward nihilism. We don’t have to go there.
You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit
Brazos Press
224 pp., $13.59
Buy %%var.bookTitle%% from Amazon
Christianity Today
Christian Parents: Your Children Need More Than a Bomb Shelter
hide thisApril April

In the Magazine

April 2016

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.