5 Keys to Raising Independent Thinkers

icon-play Listen Now
Episode Summary

We live in the age of “itchy ears” and false doctrines. Christians are falling for what feels right versus what is grounded in sound doctrine. Will your kids be the people who bend doctrine to fit the way they want to live, or are they going to be people who adjust how they live to fit sound doctrine? It’s alarming to see so many young Christians siding with half- truths, false teaching, and even lies in today’s world. Don’t let that be your kids. Listen in as Angie & Isaac share 5 key ingredients to raising independent thinkers.

Kids are born with a naturally inquisitive mind. As parents, we want to further encourage their curiosity and love for learning and equip them with the tools necessary for deep and independent thinking in the future. The reality is that we now live in a day in age where people “will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.” 2 Tim. 4:3-4 

Before we can begin to even dream of raising confident, courageous, Christian Kids for an uncertain world we must be confident, courageous Christians ourselves. We must be able to learn and discern, beware and be wise; we must research, reason, and judge for ourselves, but most importantly, we must know the truth in God’s word and stand firm with His belt of truth wrapped around our waist. Today our kids must be independent thinkers or they may become like those we are warned about in Eph. 4:14, “so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.” We cannot have a biblical worldview unless we know the Bible, so we must be dwelling in the word to be able to recall it in those moments that require discernment.

Weekly Tip and Date Night One Sheet!


* indicates required

Scripture In This Episode:

Romans 1:20-25 –For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.”

Colossians 2:8 – “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.”

1 John 4:1 – “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

Romans 16:17-18 –Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.”

2 Timothy 4:3-4 –For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.”

1 Corinthians 2:12 – “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.”

  • All Ministry Resources: becourageousministry.org

    Social Media For Christians – BE COURAGEOUS app

    • Exclusive access to the courageous kid’s podcast. Play it for your kids to stir up good discussions.
    • Monthly LIVE Q&A with the Tolpins; ask the anything.
    • Powerful Biblically minded community.
    • Topic-based discussion groups.
    • You get your own profile and can connect with others.
    • Resources on marriage, parenting, homeschooling, pregnancy/birth, and more.

    We look forward to engaging with you on the inside!


    Relevant Resource Links:

    If The Spirit Prompts You to Financially Support (We are a for-profit, for social good organization.)

    • Financial Giving, is important to support our family and expand the impact of the ministry. We aim to impact 10 million families and their legacies. We are in full-time ministry as a family of 9 at home, so everything makes a difference. 

    Thank you for being part of this movement to equip 10 million families and their legacies with Biblical truth to raise confident Christian kids in an uncertain world.

Full Transcript:

Welcome to Courageous Parenting podcast, a weekly show to equip parents with biblical truth on raising confident Christian kids in an uncertain world. Hi, I’m Angie from Courageous Mom, and I’m Isaac from Resolute Man.

We’ve been married 20 years and have seen the fruit in raising our eight kids biblically. Based on the raw truth found in the Bible, we can no longer let the culture win the hearts of children. Too many children from Christian families are walking away from the faith by age 18. And it doesn’t have to be this way. It shouldn’t be this way. Join us as we start an important conversation about effective parenting in a fallen world.

Welcome back to the podcast.

Hey, guys, we’re so excited to do this episode because it’s so relevant to the way the world’s going, isn’t it?

It is. So we are going to be talking about five keys to raising independent thinkers. And this is relevant. Why, Isaac?

Well, it’s because so many people believe simple things, they say, and they don’t do research. And there’s a naivete today to really get the masses towards wrong belief, even Christians.

Well, and I think as parents, don’t we all we want a fun life for our kids. We don’t want them to be bogged down with the weight of this world. And sometimes because we love our kids so much, we can, you know, make the mistake of overprotecting or over sheltering our kids from the truth and the realities that are going on in the world. We don’t tend to do that. But I know a lot of parents that struggle with that a lot to where their kids are just unaware of what’s happening in the world. So then when they do step out into the world, it’s such a stark difference that they don’t know how to actually reconcile that in their mind and how to operate in a world that is so different from like the home in the world that their parents created for them.

So just for example, suicide is massively higher than it used to be. It’s the second leading cause of death to ages.

I think it’s seven to 14.

And it’s but it’s rising, rising, especially in the last six months. And so the question is, you know, at some point you’re going to have to have a conversation with your kids about that. Right. And how many other topics are you going to have to have a conversation or have a conversation about all the to all the topics?

I mean, I even think it’s already being quarantined. Right. Like a lot of families are more quarantined than they’ve ever been before. Parents still need to find ways to work. And so kids are oftentimes I’ve seen this. I’ve heard of this kids left unsupervised, right with a video game or whatever. And then eventually they find their way to pornography and they can become addicted to it and struggle with it. Right. So obviously, you need to have those conversations with your kids, too.

You need to have like a system set up to protect your kids, but you also need to equip them. Right? Protecting them not and preparing them for the world is actually equipping them with the tools they need to be able to fight against the evils, attacks, the enemy’s attacks towards them.

You want to be the first one to introduce these topics to your kids because you were the got authorized leaders of your kids lives while their grown up well, and you want to make sure that what’s told to them is accurate.

I’m sorry. I mean, the reality is, is like you you don’t know what the other neighbor kid is going to tell your child. Yeah. You don’t know what’s accurate.

Right in. There will be other leaders in their lives, of course. But for sure you should have that first point of contact with them about these tough subjects and give them a biblical perspective on these things. And even beyond a biblical perspective, give them an understanding of why that’s happening in the world, what’s going on in the world. Talk about morals. Yes, but then you have to temper it and season it with no fear.

Right. And that actually is only able to happen if you don’t have fear as a parent right now. If you don’t all of a sudden, like, get overly protective and not let your kids outside.

And what are we seeing rampant in culture today? Just fear about all kinds of things.

Absolutely everything.

And I think the enemy is using fear to divide us o- on so many topics, you guys. So being independent thinkers. So, you know, I want we’re and dive into that. But first we just wanted to say thank you.

We are at exactly a year and a half of doing ministry. That’s amazing. Hit me because today is actually our oldest daughter’s 20th birthday. Yeah. And it’s six months after January. So anyway, it just like dawned on me that we are at a year and a half of doing courageous parenting.

And so we just wanted to say thank you to you guys because you’ve been a huge part of that. And it’s been encouraging. Like when we first set out, it was because honestly, like we’ve had both encouraging friendships with people, but also been discouraged as we’ve been parenting our kids in the world.

Right. Like putting kids in different sports and different activities and going, wow, I can’t believe that these kids are so disrespectful to the coaches. And they’re they’re cursing at the kids.

And they are like nine years old, and I would say in some instances we’ve experienced that and in some instances we have experienced amazing things with an amazing coach and many kids. It just depends on the situation.

Right. But just being out and being active, you can see both within a team. Right. Like you can you see that? You see that. And it’s just really sad. It’s sad to me that parents like kids talk to their parents the way they talk to them. And in a lot of times, I think that kids forget that parents have feelings, too, that they’re human, too. And and so we want to encourage you. You are the parents. You’re listening today. We want to encourage you. We want to be part of encouraging is helping to give courage. Yeah, I love that. Right. To help build up courage is to encourage.

So the one million legacy movement is alive and well. We’re super excited to be part of it. And what helps is when you share on social media anything we’re doing, even the podcast.

Yeah. Reviews on iTunes is huge.

And all you have to do is tap to give a five star review on iTunes to so or wherever you listen, there’s probably a way to do it and share the message. So we are so encouraged by that we have a scripture to kick things off.

Ok, so we’re going to talk about why it’s important that our kids are independent thinkers.

But we wanted to read from Romans chapter one, verse 20-25first. OK, so just bear with me here. Chapter one twenty says first, since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes are clearly seen being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and godhead so that they are without excuse, because although they knew God, they did not glorify him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, futile in their thoughts. You guys, is what we’re talking about, being independent thinkers, being they became futile in their thoughts and their foolish hearts were darkened, professing to be wise. They became fools and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like a corruptible man and birds and four footed animals and creeping things. Therefore, God also gave them up to uncleanliness in the loss of their hearts to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worship the search and served the creature rather than the creator who is blessed forever. Amen. There is so much in this passage that we can unpack.

There’s the danger of idolatry. There is.

And I got to tell you, like this is one of the main triggers for Isaac and I as why we’re talking about why it’s so important that you raise your kids to be independent thinkers, that they’re able to actually discern that they can see these things, that they are able to go hold on a second.

Doesn’t the Bible say that making an idol out of something is bad? And so when they see that someone is making an idol out of themselves or out of something else. Right. They’re able to discern that and go false teaching and walk away.

And that’s super important because you guys, parenting is a long game, but your kids are only with you twenty percent of their life. And so you have to do your best to equip them because they’re going to be exposed to all kinds of deception and lies.

Yeah, well, it’s going to point number one, how to listen and ask questions. That is so important because oftentimes we’re busy. We have our own agendas and kids want to talk to us. And it’s hard to decipher when it’s just, you know, sometimes they say things that, frankly, aren’t super important.

Right. They’re just sometimes they’re just talking depending on the age of the kid. Like you’re talking about older kids. That’s definitely a lot less.

But sometimes they’re actually an opportunity to go deeper and there’s always really that opportunity. And so I think it’s as if we’re to give a tip today. The first tip would be to slow down and to really try and listen to what your kids are actually saying and what’s behind what they’re saying that tells you where they’re at so that you know how to take them to a deeper understanding and whatever you’re talking about.

Yeah, I would say that, like, if we were to group kids in like categories, there might be different advice that I would give to parents of, like, really little kids. Right. So to help them to start thinking deeper, you as a parent have to listen to be able to know what questions to ask. Yeah, right. But asking kids questions over and over again gets them in the habit of thinking deeper and going to the next question. Right. Because a question is really what takes you to your deeper thinking. And that’s something that I’ve noticed that you’ve been really good at and that I kind of adopted over the years as a mom in the home with the kids, especially when they were little.

Also not and we teach this in the parenting mentor program, but a lot of parents get frustrated when their kids ask the question why? And I would say there’s two different kinds of whys. Right. There’s the defiant why. That’s like your you’re asking them to pick up their room and they’re like, why? And they’re being different. And that’s not the kind of why I’m talking about. I’m talking. Out, why did God make water?

Why why is it raining, mom, or like they oftentimes will ask these questions sometimes from a selfish standpoint, right. Like maybe they wanted to go play outside and then it started raining.

Why did this happen? And so it’s important that we are not discouraging those questions, but we’re actually digging into those questions deeper with our kids. And so if you’ve been the parent that’s ever been discouraged with little kids going, oh, I’m so annoyed, why are they always asking why? Why, why, why? Why? Well, I would just encourage you that that’s a good thing.

You have a child that actually has the ability to think deeper about things and sometimes depending on how you’re wired, your personality and so forth, you might just be a teller, especially with your kids. Because I want to get to I want to shortcut this because I got to get back focused on what I’m doing. And sometimes you need to be focused on what you’re doing. I get that, but you want to be less of a teller and more of a asker and it really challenges people to think deeper.

So if you you know, hey, I know the answer. I think I have a good answer for that. But I’d love to hear your answer first. That’s just a great way to go. Well, my parents do have wisdom. They’re always going to be there for me to answer my questions. But, wow, my dad really wants to know what I think about that. And instead of just being the person that they just ask every question for, you’re starting to get them to work that muscle to think for themselves and still ask you questions.

And I would say that this what you’re describing can really start. I mean, you have to discern because ages, you know, kids ages are not cookie cutter as far as when they’re capable to get to this point. But I would say, like eight, nine, 10 years old, you’re able to start doing this where you’re role playing. We’ve talked about role playing a lot, but asking the kids questions and going, hey, what do you think? How could you have done that better? Oh, you’re just you’re fighting with your sister or whatever. Like, why do you think she responded the way she did? Could you have done that better? How could you have communicated better? See how instead of just telling them what they did over and over again, you’re actually leading them to come up with the solution because people are more likely to do it if it’s their idea.

Now, think fast forward when your kids are doing things with teachers, coaches, professors at college, whatever the situation, bosses. And they’re they really look up to these people for various reasons, which is great. But then they say something and your are your kids just automatically going to take it in because they have respect for that person on a certain level, maybe an academic level or whatever, or are they going to go have a like receive it and then decipher it and know if they need to question it?

And that’s really important.

And if they don’t think for themselves when they’re younger and you’re cultivating that in them, a lot of times what we’re seeing in society is a lot of people that take information that’s shallow and not very deep and they just adopted as truth when they hear it because it feels right, right.

They go, oh, it just feels right. That’s actually a huge conviction of a lot of people today. Do what you feel, do it’s right to you, live your truth versus live the truth.

Right. And so and there’s a huge difference. Like if you’re a believer, then you believe the whole Bible. You don’t just cherry pick scriptures here and there because the Bible actually says in revelation not to add to or take from the word of God or even make another book of life, meaning not saved. Right. Like and we don’t get we don’t have to deal with that. Praise God he’s in charge of that.

But we have another passage of scripture here that’s in Colossians, chapter two, verse eight. And this is another reason why this is such an important topic is because there’s a lot of deceit out there.

So our kids need to be able to discern what is truth and what is deceit.

Yeah, right. So here’s here’s chapter two, verse eight. It says beware.

So that means you’re looking at your being aware.

Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit according to the tradition of men, according to basic principles of the world and not according to Christ.

So this is I mean, guys, we have to actually teach our kids that there is empty deceit. What are some examples of that? Well you come across this stuff all the time with fake news? Fake news is literally everywhere. And so I just think that it’s important that people think for themselves and they go, oh, hold on a second, that accusation is being made against that person, for example. But that person’s not even old enough to have been around like they need to think and go.

That’s that’s laughable. That’s so idiotic. Right. And so but that’s how it took deductive thinking in my brain, where I go A plus B does not equal C in this situation.

I think I saw somebody in the public eye saying there’s what’s missing right now is simple logic and logic. Exactly. If this happens, then that happens and then that happens and then it causes this to happen, right. And a lot of times there’s a breakdown in the logic, but nobody I shouldn’t say nobody, but many people aren’t thinking about where that breakdown is. Instead, they’re saying, well, this happened. So that happened. But what about the broken logic before that?

Ok. So it’s really important to be instilling thinking in your kids. In fact, our kids learn logic, don’t they?

Yeah. I mean, our oldest four have all gone through multiple years of logic, training, both traditional logic and then introductory and and deeper logic. And it’s intense. I’ve done the curriculums with them and it’s helped me to actually it’s it’s actually enriched my reading of scripture. And I just would encourage anyone who has an opportunity to read some books on thinking and thinking logically, because it really opens your eyes to connect the dots and to connect the dots from the Bible to the world. Make it really relevant to today, which is what we’re talking about today. It’s often what we’re talking about in the podcast. Number two, in our list of five keys to raising independent thinkers is to teach them how to research reason and discern. So the first one was how to listen and ask. And now we’re going to talk about how to research reason and discern. But you have some scripture for us.

Yeah. Matthew, 715, says were quick there. Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing. But inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits.

Ok, so it is so true. Like all over the place there’s half truths, a little biblical wisdom and then make you feel good and then you believe it. And if you’re not in the word of God, you’re going to fall for false teaching and your kids are as well. So you need to be diligent yourself. You need to understand. And what do we always want to research first? What is the word of God actually say about this? Not just cherry picking the scripture that will validate it, but taking the context of what the whole Bible saying is important so. Right.

And so another aspect. So when you’re talking about how to teach your kids how to research, part of that is you’re going to give them tools and show them how to use those tools. Right. So a lot of times the Internet is a tool that people use to look things up. It’s a great tool, but you need to be careful with that tool, put boundaries around that tool, especially depending on the age. The younger the child, the more boundaries. Right. But then also you’re going to have to if they’re going to be on the Internet, you have to have the conversations with them regarding pornography, sex trafficking, predators. Right. You’re going to have to have those hard conversations, because if you don’t, then you have actually set your kids up for failure in the sense of they could be in danger. Yeah. And so we have to be aware and teaching our kids, but using tools, not realizing that, like, the Internet is an amoral thing. It’s not good or bad. It can be used for good or bad. We have to teach our kids how to use it properly. And part of that is showing them how we do right. Having accountability. You have to have accountability if you want your kids to. And so valuing also the importance on that.

Real quick, you hit a really important topic right now. If you were to open your laptop and you opened your browser in history and in your kids knew how to look at everything in your laptop, would you feel comfortable with that?

That’s a great question, because I would feel comfortable with that.

In fact, I do there’s many times where because our kids work with us, they are using my laptop or they want to watch a movie on it when we’re camping or whatever. Yeah. And I’m not afraid of any notifications popping up. I’m not afraid of them using my browser or anything. Praise God. And so I think that is important because until you have that kind of integrity, it’s hard for you to teach them.

Yeah, that’s true. So using the tools properly, showing them how to use them, showing them how to be careful themselves so that they’re actually guarding their own mind and their own heart, especially the older that they get. OK, so another aspect of teaching them how to reason in and discern is actually teaching them how to how to diagnose or detect selfish motives in their own hearts as to why they’re thinking what they’re thinking. Right. Because isn’t it true that a lot of times people’s convictions or opinions or beliefs about things are actually just to validate their own personal convictions, which make them feel good? A lot of times it’s selfishness.

We are very self preserving as human beings. So we have to acknowledge that. And I think it’s good for your kids to experience and start to acknowledge, is this a self preserving thing or is this truth? Is this make me feel good and validate my resistance to to to something, to the truth of God? Or is this true truth I need to be aware of?


And so we need to teach them how to evaluate if they have selfish motives as to why they’re believing the thing that they’re thinking or if it’s actually based on truth.

So how do you how do you do that with younger kids as kids grow up pointing out when they’re being selfish? You know, I’m this is the thing also pointing out when you’re being selfish and apologizing like it’s both things, it’s it’s recognizing, OK, so asking questions so that they go, oh, yeah, I’m just being selfish, right. Where like with little kids, you have the conversation. So why did you steal that popsicle from your brother. You already had one.

Oh, because I wanted one. Well, was that selfish, you know, like having those why are you not sharing like it starts at that level, but then as the kids grow older to go, OK, so what?

What you’re just asking the question, what is it that’s in your heart, buddy? Mm hmm.

Hey, man, what’s going on? Why why are you fighting this? Is it because you’re really not wanting to admit that you’re wrong? Because that’s selfish, like your pride, like see how we’re using biblical vocabulary. And I know I just put out a term that maybe you’ve heard a couple of times. We go in depth on biblical vocabulary in the very first Facebook Live of the courageous parent mentor program, where we actually talk a lot about what is a biblical vocabulary and give you guys some tools. But it’s really important that you’re raising your kids from the time they’re little with a biblical vocabulary that helps to build the biblical worldview. Right.

And speaking of the parent mentor program, just take a moment here. We would love to have you join us. I think it’s almost 500 couples that have gone through the parenting mentor program already.

And we’re getting absolute rave reviews. Praise God, because he was all over inspiring us to do this and giving us help in doing this and so forth. And it really is the biblical truth. Our experience raising eight kids, ages two to 20 now.

Yeah. And with four teenagers right now. Just about 12, actually. Yeah. Five if you can. Five critical 12 count 12 as a teenager almost there.

So in all in between and one’s an adult I would say our 17 year olds in the adult too. Yeah. I mean we really have to. So anyways enough of that about that. But we take all that experience and all the books we’ve read over the years and we distilled it down to really a blueprint of getting the wisdom you need to help you make your own decisions and you’re not going to follow everything. Precisely. No family’s the same, but it helps you to think about things and it helps you to be aware and how to equip your kids. You are strong in this uncertain world.

I would say that you just I mean, we’re talking about independent deep thinkers here in this podcast. And that’s actually one of the things that I love the most about the courageous parenting program, is that we’ve put in so many assessment questions in those parenting packets. Yeah. And during the Q&A time in the Facebook lives, parents are asking deeper questions. They can ask anything. What’s awesome is that there’s like really deep questions forcing other people to actually think about and discuss the hard topics that sometimes you don’t really talk about as a married couple that you need to talk about.

Yeah, and that’s what I love, is that it’s not we’re we’re not giving you a recipe. We’re not giving you an equation. Because guess what? You can’t save your kids. Only God can. But we are giving you guided questions, topics you need to discuss, encouragement to do the hard things, you know, all of that. And so I just really want to encourage you guys to check that out. CourageousParenting.com Yeah. OK, so let’s continue on. So we just talked about how to listen and ask good questions, both you as a parent, but also teaching your kids to do that. We talked about teaching them how to research reason and discern. And before we jump into the third thing, I thought it would be really awesome if you shared a little bit about Socratic learning, because it’s something we’ve done with our kids. And I know that you always get excited aut itb.

Oh, it’s huge. So so a lot of times and this isn’t always the case, but in traditional education, which can be good. And, you know, if you’re doing that, that’s totally fine. Yeah. It’s just that you want to make sure you have deep conversations with them when they get home to know what they learn. That’s good. And know what they have been influenced by that maybe doesn’t align with biblical truth or things like that. Yeah, that’s a that’s the only thing. So we’re not against formal education, in a traditional way. But a lot of times it’s the teacher for most of the class period talking to the students. And what we have experienced is getting kids together and discussing what they’ve already learned, and that’s Socratic dialogue and where they’re talking about what they learned and discussing and debating it. Right. And one kid goes up to the board and and leads something and then the other kids talk about it. And and what we’ve experienced from that is a much richer learning experience where they actually remember it much more because they’re part of the learning process.

They’re discussing it and they’re contemplating it. And they’re talking about really big, deep things. Like I even think about like they read To Kill a Mockingbird and they The Witch from Blackbird Pond. And, you know, then there’s they also are reading literature like Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice and and they’re dealing with like moral issues and discussing it among themselves with other kids that are their age.

That’s like and you’d be surprised, massively different opinions on things even within the Christian community.

And it’s been good for the kids to have to actually defend what they believe in. Why figure out what they believe and why and be able to talk about that both from a biblical perspective, but also just using logic and not even bringing the Bible into it and talking really, really in.

Talk about accountability of making sure you understand things before class.

Oh, yeah, because you’re not going to have to discuss it and some tutors even have the rule of like you can’t discuss unless you’ve done the homework.

So it’s kind of like so so so we homeschool, but we have a hybrid version of it. Co-ops and different things we do.

So so anyway, the point is, is that you could do this at home even if you didn’t do the co-op by having these deep discussions with your kids about what they are reading and what they’re learning and they’re discussing. Right. The point is, is that they’re actually engaging with the material, the concepts, the things they’re being taught. They’re thinking through it deeply and going, is this truth or is this a lie? Is this deceit? And if it’s truth, what is how does that change how my worldview is affected?

Right. Because remember, it’s not it’s not the knowledge that is important, although it is important. But what’s most important is do they know how to learn? And are you connecting? Are they making connections in their brain? That create this independent thinking and strength.

Right. Right. And so I have another scripture here for you guys.

It’s in first John, chapter four, verse one, which says, let’s see here, beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God because many false prophets have gone into the world. And then it just continues. I would encourage you actually to read Marks. It talks about the Antichrist in the flesh, in every spirit that doesn’t confess Jesus Christ as Lord. And this is really an important passage. And it says you are of God, little children and have overcome them because he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. So I’m sharing that little that little passage there with you as well, which is verse four, because a lot of times parents can become overwhelmed and get scared. And they because the reality is, is that this exists in the world today.

There are false teachers, there are wolves, there are people that are teaching half truths, half gospels, and they’re leading people astray into sin, actually advocating for sin. That’s going to put them in deeper bondage. Yeah. And it’s I mean, I even think of Matthew where it says it would be better for it, like for someone who leads a little monastery to have a millstone tied around their neck and be thrown to the depths of the sea. We’re talking about raising kids here. It is important that we are teaching them the truth and not false truth and not leading them into sin. And so I just want to encourage you guys, these are the things that you need to be talking to your kids about.

You need to teach them how to research, teach them how to reason, but teach them how to discern, which means you actually have to teach them that there is an enemy, that there are people out there who are not for you. And we’re seeing this even more now than ever all over social media. It’s such a toxic place. People are not for people a lot of times. And I mean, feminism is like anti men right there. One of their mottos is the the future is women. Right.

By the way, if you take the dictionary definition of feminism, I’m all for it. Oh, it’s awesome. Oh, yeah. Yeah.

But the way feminism is being depicted in society right now, how it’s being used actually against men is is just which is really something that’s not productive.

What it is doing is it’s actually there’s a lot of things this is happening to actually in our world today and we need to be aware of it.

Imagine being a kid and being ashamed that you’re a boy because you’re being raised by people who hate men. Mm hmm. That should be considered illegal. Yeah, like that is dangerous. Imagine the identity of the kid. Imagine any kid like everyone is made in God’s image. And if they’re raised in a home that is ashamed of any way that they are created, everybody’s equal value and esteem.

It just makes me mad, actually. But so we just need to be careful. So number three is model it. This is an easy one.

We’ve got a model. You have to we’ve already talked about this a bit, but you they have to see you discussing things. Do you discuss things in your marriage in front of them? Ideas, concepts, things happening in the world where they see deep thinking? You know, I know that you do that, right. You’re you’re talking about different things. And I’m jumping in or I’m talking about things. You’re jumping in all the time. Right.

So, I mean, yeah, a lot of it. When we are talking about modeling deep thinking, it means that you actually are valuing one another as a spouse to help each other have the time to actually read. Yeah. To be challenged in your thinking, to discuss things, to not just like you guys, if you go out on a date night, you don’t have something to talk about right now. What is going on? Can I just say what is going on? There is so much happening in our world. You guys have so much you should be able to talk about to challenge each other. And you’re thinking the Bible is like I mean, we’re constantly I feel like we don’t ever get enough time to talk about things, oh, I know.

We’re always talking and and we’re encouraging each other and even exhorting each other. In fact, you exhorted me last night and I was really. Really appreciative of it.

You know, we were first and we’re always like super appreciative at first, I know that sometimes my my flesh can be like, hey, hold on a second. I don’t like that. Right. Because your pride sets in a little bit and you hang on. Yeah, I know I’ve done that.

But and then when you soften up, you go, no, they’re for me. They’re not against me. That’s my team member.

We all have blind spots. And if your spouse can’t call out a blind spot and who can?

Amen. And so you guys, there are deep things that you got to talk about. Sometimes you have to be reminded of what your world view of your friends should be, what your world view of the church should be, what your world view of society should be.

So are you modeling, taking feedback from others? You modeling accountability? Are you modeling deep thinking? Are you modeling, reading in front of your kids? Do they see that you know or are you a hypocrite?

Because if you aren’t doing these things, the opposite is a hypocrite. And we know that your kids are not going to want to follow your leadership or get your advice or have deep conversations with you, which is what you really want. They’re not going to do that if they think that you’re a hypocrite.

So Romans, 16:17-18. Now, I urge you, brother, note those who cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which you learned and avoid them for those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly by the smooth words, flattering speech, deceive the hearts of the simple, super, super important.

So this is the reason why we I mean, obviously the scripture kind of goes more with point to about discerning, right? Because our kids need to discern these these types of people. But at the same time, it does go with three regarding modeling it, because we have to discern and we have to be willing to make boundaries and relationships sometimes if there’s a bad influence or there’s just not like mindedness, we have to I remember our son deciding this on his own in a situation where it’s like, you know, I’m not seeing the fruit.

I tried tried to be like he’s being a bad influence. And then I had to, you know, create some distance. And I just think it’s important to encourage your kids, teach your kids model and then they will live it out and point for is value the thoughts and perspectives, even if they’re different than exactly how you see things.

So obviously people are thinking, oh, this is more like a teenager thing, but it’s actually not. Can I just say it’s actually not? So it starts out when you have the two year old and go, what do you think about this?

Do you like this book? Do you like this food?

Do you like see how you’re valuing them? You’re asking them questions and their perspectives and you go, oh, you really don’t like strawberries? I love strawberries. See how you can disagree, but you can still be loving to them and go. But I can understand that you wouldn’t like strawberries and you value it. Go. That’s OK. What do you like. And there like I like blueberries you go Oh I don’t really like blue.

So it starts out when kids are little and then it moves into when they’re like in those in-between years. Right. Like, like seven, six, seven years old to like twelve years old where you’re starting to really go, hey, good, good idea buddy.

And then like if you go, hey guys, what do you want to do as a family today. Right. And all the teenagers might have ideas or but hey you go hey to the nine year old.

What do you think we should do today?

And then you make it happen. Then all of a sudden they’re like, whoa, they value my opinion. They liked my idea and they grow a little bit in confidence. Yeah. Do you see that? We’re like when we’re talking about a passage of scripture during Family Bible time, right.

And you go, OK, what do you guys think of that? And some people have more gregarious personalities. They’re just going to pop up with their own things. But you notice that that kid right there, that tends to be more quiet. Yeah. Needs to be drawn out. Go. Hey, so-and-so, what do you think about that, how you’re valuing their perspective on that passage of scripture that you just read? Yeah. And then you can validate it even more by going, wow, that that really is good insight. I mean, I can tell you a million times that I’ve been encouraged by my kids insights and scripture and the truth that they’ve shared totally. And so you’re not learning from your kids. You’re missing out.

You are totally missing out. Have faith like a child. Jesus said yes. Let the children come to me. Right.

So another aspect to this of valueing in their thoughts and perspectives is being a good listener, listening to them, but also being patient in your understanding and getting you know what? They’re younger than you. They don’t have as many things figured out. Right. So you let them figure things out. Right. So sometimes your kid might have a different perspective on something. Right. And you can go, OK, well, I believe what I believe because of this and you show them what you believe in scripture. And if they still are like, you know what, I just disagree. Yeah, OK, you go ahead.

And I would say there there’s there’s some of our teenagers that have a slight difference of opinion about covid and what’s going on then. And we love talking about it. We don’t get heated, but we have we have our different perspectives.

By no means do we like Lord over our kids or expect them to have the same beliefs as us at all, actually, when it. Comes to like those kinds of things, it’s like, well, really a bit like we want them to have their own beliefs, we want to have their own faith. That’s why we’ve always raised them to be independent thinkers and take on their own faith. Right. But what happens when you’re doing that and you’re proactively encouraging them and you’re being patient with them? I find that more times than not they tend to come around if you’re reasonable in your conviction to now, if you’re like extreme in one thing.

Right, then they might not that wants to come back to an unreasonable person and talk about it again.

No, no, no. You’ve got to stay reasonable the whole time and to have Grace with one another. Right.

Well, this reminds me. I just wanted to share a story when our oldest was just turned 16, she really had a perspective. She was interested in law school. Yep. Very academic, still interested in law school, still very academic and read voraciously. Very smart. And we always knew that she probably would be on a college track, not because we’re pushing college, but because she just loves to learn all that. Right. And so we’re always encouraging of what she felt called to do.

And she goes while there’s a Stanford Law and trial thing at Stanford, like a 10 day program day program on the Stanford campus and guys and girls and living in dorms, living in dorms and people, not a faith based thing, obviously.

And so just just a totally different thing out in the world. And and so we listened. Right. Did I have a little moment of. Oh, she that old already?

Yeah. Yeah, sure. It’s like for your first and but then I held it back and I’m like just listening.

And sometimes we need to put our moments of fear aside and listen. And then I was reminded really quickly of like now she’s prepared for this. She’s an independent thinker. This is what we’ve why we’ve raised them to be independent thinkers so we don’t have to fear and they can go do things in impact in the world even before they’re out of our homes. Right. And so that was the whole perspective. And so then we got excited about it.

She raised money for it and she went went and it was eye opening on a lot of levels and a lot of I mean, honestly, you guys, she came back with more of an appreciation for her family and for how she was raised, which was a huge blessing because she was hearing countless stories where people were so sad.

It’s just don’t have good relationships with their parents. And like, she would meet people who said they were Christian, but then they were living in sin or not. They they actually weren’t a believer. Like if she would ask them personal questions about their faith, they couldn’t answer them because it was, oh, well, I just grew up going to the church with my grandma every once in a while.

And she received some persecution or most people saw things differently than her. And she stood her ground and she was able to be articulate.

And she got some really good conversation and earned the respect of people that saw things differently.

Yeah, and she did very well. And so I just I was really, you know, that’s you know, that’s what you want. You want your kids to be so strong in in what they believe in the world and strong in relationship with God in understanding the ways of the world and being a good independent thinker by age 15, 16, that you can trust them to go do those things, right.

Yeah. And I know that for us, like there was a point where something happened on the campus that she was really nervous about. And a lot of parents are bringing their kids home. Right. Right. And she was like, hey, are you guys going to bring me home? Right.

And we’re like, well, actually, we trust you, what do you think? And she was like, Oh, do you think you’re safe? Yeah, OK, well, then you can stay really OK. And we’re like, all right. The moment you don’t feel safe, we will come get you.

Yeah. If you want to like, you know, and for her to have that trust, it was so empowering to her and it was empowering for our relationship with her because she was not expecting that she had not been put in a situation yet like that.

Yeah, that was that intense. And so, you guys, I just want to encourage you that you have to trust God with your kids. You know, you just have to.

But this isn’t a prescription for you to go. Let your kids do whatever you have to know. Your unique kid. Yep. That out the situation. Listen to god. Oh, yeah. Make your own decision.

Ok, so the fifth and final key to raising independent thinkers is preparing them and equipping them with a biblical worldview and paradigm. And a lot of times, people, they they know where we’re going to go with this. Right. They’re going to they think we’re going to read from Romans twelve. But we expect that you have that scripture memorized because we’ve talked about that so many times in this podcast. We’re actually going to read from Second Timothy four and First Corinthians two in a second. If you want to flip with us, you can. And I just want to encourage you that this really comes down to what your purpose in life is.

So if you’re raising your kids with them, having an understanding of what their purpose in life is, then this drastically changes everything for their deep thinking process.

Right. Because if it comes back to a selfless love, God love others great comission, because that’s eternal salvation.

It changes the way you look at everything. Yeah, actually. And so for us, teaching your kids to be able to detect their own issues that they’re struggling with right there in her attitudes and all the things, to be honest about that, to repent to God. Right, to if they need help, ask for accountability. It changes things right. And if they are aware of those things, when they’re thinking about a specific topic, they’re more likely to think more biblically versus selfishly. Yeah, or fleshly.

Right. So second, Timothy, chapter four, verse three through four. I’m actually in started to it says preach the word, preach the word. So not only should you preach the word to your kids, but preach it in the word world and your kids should also be preaching the word if they are believers. Right. Preach the word.

Be ready in season and out of season. So all the time convince you have to convince people, rebuke. You have to rebuke people, exhort. You have to exhort people with all longsuffering and teaching for the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine. That time has come.

People are not enduring sound doctrine. We are here people, but according to their own desires, they’re picking theologies and philosophy desires that that fit their desires. They don’t have to change out of their sin so they can continue in their bondage because they have itchin ears. They will heap up for themselves teachers and they will turn their ears away from the truth and be turned aside to fables.

So itching ears for what matches the way they want to be versus orientating their life to the way God wants them to be. That matches the Bible.

That’s right. And it says continues. It just says be. But you be watchful and all things endure afflictions do the work of an evangelist and fulfill your ministry. Hmm. Guys, we are all in ministry for parents. Yeah. We need to endure we need to fulfill the ministry that God set before us. We need to evangelize. We need to teach. That’s teaching discipline your kids in the world. That’s what he’s calling us to do.

You want your kids to love God so much that they want to obey him. It’s out of love. It’s not so much out of a discipline. We can only be disciplined so far, but it’s out of a love for God and the Holy Spirit being active and present in us, calling us forward to obedience, to live a life that is fruitful.

So we’re going to read from First Corinthians two twelve, next. But before Isaac jumps into that scripture, I just want to encourage you guys that we get that there is a lot of discouraging things out there and that sometimes, like you can be even going to a church and not know who believes what sitting next to you in a pew. You may not even know how the pastor of your church is, what they believe on certain doctrinal issues or how they’re parenting. Right.

So you have to lead yourself. You have to be an independent thinker and know what you believe with a biblical worldview for you. You’re responsible for your own faith, nobody else’s. You know, it’s takes credit for that. Yeah. That’s on you. And you got to teach that same truth to your kids while also being responsible for them as their parents.

And I’d also say, look for people who you can see the fruit and you want the same fruit, follow those kinds of people. And here’s the scripture. Now, we have received not the spirit of the world, but the spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us.

By God, you have to have the spirit to know the things.

That’s right. So, you guys, we are praying for you that you experienced the spirit that you have, that you have this intimate connection with God through prayer, through reading his word, where his spirit just overcomes you, overtakes you and is able to open your eyes. You can connect the dots and how biblical world view is changing your perspective on things in the world. And I would just challenge you.

Here’s your courageous parenting challenge at the end of the podcast. Talk about the hard things with your kids, talk about the hard things with your husband, if your a wife and, you know, vice versa. And don’t be afraid to speak truth when you see false lies, half truths, half gospels. Amen. Thanks for joining us. See you next time.

Hey, thanks for listening to this episode. We wanted to quickly tell you about our six week online parenting program.

Isaac and I created a powerful biblical curriculum. Here’s how it works. Each week, Isaac and I release a video with a downloadable parenting package to make it easy for you and your spouse to incorporate those teachings directly into your parenting.

It’s an incredible program where we cover everything from obedience training to overcoming mistakes most Christians are making. But more than that, it’s an incredible community. You have access to a private online group, live webcast and the courageous parenting text message line where Angie and I can send you weekly encouragements, Straight to your phone, if you’re interested in joining our next online parenting mentorship program, secure your spot now at CourageousParenting.com.

That’s CourageousParenting.com.

Written By Angie Tolpin
Angie has been married to Isaac for 19 years and together they have eight children, whom she homeschools. She is the Founder of CourageousMom.com, a doula, the author of the best-selling book Redeeming Childbirth, and the creator of the first ever Christian Postpartum Course. Angie loves ministering to Women and has created a few online Bible Studies on Biblical Friendship and Motherhood.

Reader Interactions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Create a Godly Legacy
free tips & trainings every wednesday