The Source for Youth Ministry


Jonathan: Do some people go back to Old Testament, though, and say, "No, we're supposed to totally remove ourselves?" I mean, do some people try to make that biblical?

Walt: Well see, I don't know if it was total removal of, or if it was, you know, we equate that with, you know, physical…a lack of physical presence with. And I think what the Scriptures are pointing to is, "Stay away from assimilating this way of living and this way of thinking in your life."

Jonathan: Sure.

Walt: OK? So, now the other extreme would be where you just say, "You know, they're kids. It'll all work out OK in the end." So it's just a hands-off. That's not biblical.

Jonathan: Do what you're gonna do.

Walt: Yeah! You're forfeiting your parental responsibility to guide your kids. I get asked this question all the time. The jury's still out on how well it's gonna work in my family, because we are in process. We're all in process. The problem is that we all want the instant, you know, push the button, flip the switch, take the pill, and have it fixed. That's the way we've grown up.

Jonathan: Absolutely.

Walt: So, this is gonna take time. And the approach that we've taken is pretty simply stated this: When your children are young because of where they're at developmentally, you think for them. You want to protect them from harm, provide for their well being, don't go out and take candy from strangers, and you've got to watch them when they go out. You have to think for them. When you release them into the world, as adults, and this is part of what our task is as parents, you want them to be able to think Christianly for themselves.

Jonathan: So in our culture, is that like 18, or when they graduate?

Walt: It could be 18, or 30. Depends on when they leave the house, right?

Jonathan: Ha ha! Alright, exactly.

Walt: It could be even later than that. Who knows how that's gonna work? I think when you send them off to college, when they leave the house, whether it's to go work in a trade or go off to college or whatever, they're adults now, you better have them because of where they're at developmentally, instilled in them an ability to think for themselves. Now, you and I know because of developmental things the brain's not fully formed till 24 or 25.

Jonathan: Exactly. This new research.

Walt: yeah. However, what happens is, if we want to move from thinking for them to preparing them to think for themselves, there is this section in between there, this space in between there, known as adolescence, where they're going through all these God-ordained changes in the way they think and the way they live, and it's when peer pressure rears its ugly head, this is what we're talking about, during that period, we need to think with them. Alright?

Jonathan: OK. So it used to be think for them. Now it's think with them.