“Parenting” Session 7:
Exposure to the Real World
Read chapters 14-16 of Raising Giant Killers before beginning this study.
Engaging in Society’s Pain
Exposure to the “real world” is essential for raising children who are empowered to change it. As parents, we are responsible for allowing our children to experience life outside of our confined corner of the world. If we expect to raise “giant killers” we must give our children the opportunity to see the Kingdom of God on display in our own day and age. This process often starts with exposing our children to need. This produces a natural response of compassion in them. In the right amount, this kind of regular exposure to a world in need allows the Holy Spirit to develop His heart within our children.
1. Have you thought about intentional ways that you can engage in society’s pain alongside your children? Have you considered going on a mission trip together or serving at a local homeless ministry? Discuss ways that you can creatively interact with the needs of humanity for the benefit of your child’s worldview.
When we live our lives as a ministry to the Lord and to people in need, our lives become a lesson to our children in the school of compassion. In today’s day and age, we must be very intentional about battling the prevailing spirit of entitlement within this generation. A great way to do that is by dismantling the illusion of prosperity by giving our children a glimpse into life outside the bubble that we live in as privileged Americans.
Invitation into Community
It is important that we do not only expose our children to need, as this could result in hopelessness. We must also expose our children to the hope that comes through transformation. This is rooted in the advancement of the Kingdom of God. The most obvious place to find examples of transformation is in healthy, Christian community. If you have experienced the joys of living in a genuine Kingdom-culture community, you know the joys of doing life together with other Believers. There is nothing quite like it. If you have a community that you are invested in, invite your children into it! Don’t be the only Christian that your children know. Allow your children the advantage of having many spiritual mothers and fathers, in the form or your trusted friends.
1. How does this concept of inviting your children into your community strike you? Is this something that you think would be beneficial for them?
2. Discuss with your small group some practical ways of helping your children engage in Christian community.
If you don’t have a community, find one! This is invaluable not only to you but also to your children. ***Hint: if you are doing this study in a small group, look around you. These people you gather with to study parenting might provide for you the community you are looking for. (If not, reach out to us at livingstreams.online. We would love to get you plugged in to a thriving community group!)
Remember the proverb, “if you want to go fast, go alone. But if you want to go far, go together.” Teaching our children the value of deep, life-long relationships is essential. It will help them to go the distance in life and experience all the joys of a life lived together.
*** For additional resources on the topic of community, check out Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s masterpiece, Life Together.
Exposure to God
Even more than we want our children to be exposed to the needs of society, or the joys of community, we want our children to grow up with consistent exposure to God. We want to raise our children to encounter God and be transformed by His Spirit. This starts at home. We are the ones who cultivate an atmosphere where our kids can get to know the God that we serve.
1. How are you intentionally exposing your children to the supernatural? Are you establishing a home that values the Presence of God and His Word? Are you teaching your children to be hungry for the things of God?
2. Discuss how to do this in your small group. The people around you might have some wisdom that they would love to share with you.