Recently, Target stores partnered with a transgender designer, who has used Satanist imagery in the past, to create LGBTQ+ designs for a few of their Pride Month items. That’s a sentence I never thought I would write, but here we are, and Pride Month is just beginning.
Drag queen story hours at libraries, cartoons celebrating same-sex marriage, and, most recently, children’s swimsuits constructed for “tucking” male genitalia so the wearer can appear to be female. The constant attempt to indoctrinate children with LGBTQ+ ideology keeps coming, and it isn’t going to stop.
So, what do we do? As tempting as it might be, don’t move your family to a plot of land without internet, electricity, and running water. I’m suggesting that instead of being overwhelmed, we intentionally inoculate our children. Let me explain.
I have seen two primary parenting approaches when it comes to raising Christian children. The first is the quarantine approach. These parents try to keep evil from reaching their children. They attempt to protect and insulate their children by keeping all evil influences from infiltrating their children’s lives. This approach typically fails for two reasons.
First, it’s impossible to successfully keep all evil away from your children because your children are sinners and commit evil deeds. Sorry to be harsh, but it’s biblical.
Second, when children are eventually exposed to all of the things they were insulated from, it’s overwhelming, and they don’t know how to cope with it.
The better parenting approach is inoculation. Stand to Reason has taught this principle for many years, and I have found it helpful in training my children to follow Jesus. Instead of trying to quarantine our children from the evil in the world, we need to inoculate them from it.
Medical inoculations expose a person to a small dose of a harmful virus so their body can build up a resistance to it. When that person later encounters a stronger, more lethal dose of the virus, their immune system is prepared to resist the virus.
In a similar fashion, we need to expose our children to small doses of evil in our world and talk with them about why those things are wrong and harmful. By doing this, we can build up their immunity against the evil they will encounter in the future.
This approach is more successful because parents are showing their children how to handle evil and giving them the tools they need to navigate their world. The inoculation approach lends itself to cultivating disciples of Jesus who think critically, have moral virtue, and stand for truth.
There are some helpful principles about this approach laid out for us by the father in Proverbs 5 who is instructing his son.
First, a wise parent points out the danger. “For the lips of an adulteress drip honey and smoother than oil is her speech” (Prov. 5:3). The father doesn’t hide his son from the evil in the world, but he brings it up in conversation. Good parents are intentional about discussing things their children will encounter, even if those things are evil.
The second principle is acknowledging why the evil thing is so enticing. The father points out that the adulteress sounds good, smooth, and sweet. It’s tempting, as parents, to revert to the quarantine method by saying things like, “Don’t stare at that,” or, “You shouldn’t talk about that.” These statements attempt to scare our kids away from the bad thing, but they don’t answer why the bad thing seems so enticing. Be like the wise father from Proverbs and acknowledge what is attractive about sin, but don’t stop there.
The next principle is to warn about the consequences of evil. “But in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death, her steps take hold of Sheol” (Prov. 5:4–5). Although the adulteress may be fun for a time, eventually she is bitter. Sin has consequences that are harmful and ultimately lead to death. Our children need to know this.
The last thing we see the wise father do is lead his son to the righteous path. “Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth. As a loving hind and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times; be exhilarated always with her love” (Prov. 5:18–19). Our children need to know the right path to follow. They need to know that the right path brings satisfaction and peace, not bitterness and death.
This month, you will have plenty of opportunities to inoculate your children from the evil they’ll encounter. Be intentional. Point out the dangers and why they’re enticing. Warn about the consequences of sin, and lead your children toward the righteous path.
Be a wise parent and intentionally inoculate your children. Quarantine is not a good option.