Are Your Kids Okay with Being“Different”?
Joey and Carla Link
September 4, 2019
Do you remember playing “Follow the Leader” when you were a kid? We had one guy who liked to be the leader and if we didn’t walk exactly like him or twist and configure our bodies just like he did, he called us out.
When Christian kids are following Jesus it often makes others uncomfortable so they don’t like it. Living like Jesus can shine a flood light on the sinful actions of others, including other Christians so these “others” work hard to call the “living for Jesus” Christian kids out by embarrassing them so their peers won’t follow them. This is how they preserve and defend their leader status.
Some of the “living for Jesus” kids might have been long-time friends of the “living for self” kids and they don’t want to be put out or kicked out of the group of kids they have grown up with, so they are tempted to go along with the group instead of being “different”. To decide to go along with the crowd is the exact opposite of what Jesus called us to do! In I Corinthians 6:17, He says “Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord.” God knows how hard this is for any believer as the standard of the world is becoming more and more anti-God.
Jesus talked about this separation in His “Sermon on the Mount” in Matthew 5-7. He says over and over again, “You have heard people say this, but I tell you to do this.” Jesus has always told us how to live and it is always different from how everyone else lives. We were made to stand out and should never be ashamed for doing so!
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven.”Matthew 5:10-12
Questions To Ponder About Your Kids:
- Do your kids need to be accepted by their peers? Or, can they be different than their friends and are they okay with that?
- Rarely are Christians accepted in how they live. If your kids can’t learn to be accepted amongst non-Christians before they reach adulthood, when will they learn how to be friends with them and how to become their leader showing them how to live God’s way?
- If your kids are called out for being different or for choosing not to use their peer’s bad language, act certain ways, watch certain movies or TV shows on Netflix, or dress a certain way because of how they live, is your family going to be a strong enough support system to hold them steady? Are your kids friendly with each other?
It is good for kids who are not accepted by peers to know they are accepted and loved by their parents and siblings. When they feel safe at home they don’t have to feel safe with their peers. Peers will come and go, but family is and should always be a safety net for kids.
So, we encourage YOU to be different AS A FAMILY! A few years ago a 10 year old boy we knew was going through cancer treatment and as a result he lost his hair. His dad and brothers all shaved their heads to show support for him as a family. It is one thing to say you are there for a person, yet it is an entirely different thing to show it. It was one thing for Dad to support his son, but another for the older brothers to signify they were supporting him too, and that he could count on each of them at any time. Those older brothers had to stand up to their peers, listening to their jeers and jokes about being skin heads. Did they care? No, they were proud to stand in support of their brother and what he was going through.
How far will your family go being different to support and encourage not only each other, but in support for each member of the family of God.