Building Forts or Equipping Knights?

In the last week I have visited with several couples about their angst and concern for their kids.  The normal response for most Christian parents I have met is to build a fort to keep their kids safe, to protect them from the “world”.  The problem with that plan is that one day these kids we raise will leave the walls of the fort you have built and will engage the world…and most likely they will fail, in fact more than 80% of them will leave the Christian faith.The_Lahore_Forts_Alamgiri_Gate_Picture2_taken_at_night_-_July_20_2005

The problem I see is the belief that building forts is the right strategy.  Might I counter that with another approach, another way of raising kids?  Rather than building forts I would encourage parents to equip knights.  Give your kids the tools and weapons they will need when they go into the world and leave your home because one day they will face the world….ready or not.  If you don’t arm them intellectually, biblically, morally, and spiritually for the battles ahead they will find themselves speechless and “naked” before a world that has been battling the issues you have protected you child from for most of their lives.
Sending a child into this world unarmed is the cruelest of all parenting decisions.  Let me suggest that, rather than protecting them from the world you help them engage the world, deal with the hard issues of sex, homosexuality, morality, atheism….ETC….and do it with them while still in your home.  The difference in the outcome couldn’t be more clear. A child raised in a fort will face the world and fail not far from the castle gates, but a child prepared for the world around them will know the issues, know how to think and be ready with a living faith to face a cynical world.
These ideas are just seeds sown at the moment. I would love to hear your thoughts on these ideas as we raise children in a post-Christian world. How much better to send them out into the world dressed and ready for the battle, able to deal with the issues they will face when they leave home.

Here is an article on this topic I encourage you to read- “Listening to Young Atheists”

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Visit Mike at Finishing Well.

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