Our Careless Conversation May Change Lives

This may be a real conversation. It doesn’t matter because you and I have heard conversations like it many times.

A:
“Do you hear the Duggars are having their twentieth child?!”

B:
“Yes, I understand ‘however many God gives us’….but come on!”

A:
“Yeah, I can walk out in front of a bus and trust God that it won’t hit me
but…HAHAHAHAHA.”

The difficult part of this scenario is that this conversation takes place in a room full of passively listening teenage young ladies and a couple of single women in their early twenties.
And the two conversationalists have truly earned the right to be respected by these young women.

So what’s the problem?

May I list the assumptions that these girls may have heard in what was said?

    • Stupid people have lots of children.
    •  Intelligent people have few children.
    • It is socially unacceptable to have a large family.
    • It is entirely my prerogative to decide whether to have a child.
    • It is too difficult and too expensive to have a lot of kids.
    • Having a child is like being hit by a bus.

They might also have heard:

    •  Personal  comfort and social acceptance are good grounds for making decisions.
    •  Conformity to the secular culture avoids ridicule.
    •  God has no control, and no prerogative, over my family or my fertility.
    •  I can’t trust God to care for me.
    •  Uncontrolled, my body is a machine which will mindlessly spit out baby after baby.
    •  Having more than one or two children is foolish in the same way as walking out in front of a bus.
    •  If I do that, God will leave me to suffer.
    •  It is OK to publicly ridicule other Christians.

And what was heard by the girls who are from families with several children?

Do we not realize that we are teaching these girls with every word that we say?  Even the casual and thoughtless things we say reflect our real beliefs.

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6:45

These girls are in the process of forming their own convictions. A lot of the time, they are “catching” this wisdom, swallowing opinions whole without examination. They are gathering wisdom from Bearers of Truth whom God has placed in their lives.
That’s the point. God has placed you there. He has given you the precious opportunity to teach His truth, in season and out of season.

Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 2 Timothy 4:2

How will these young women make major life decisions? We do well to be aware that someone who is still learning might be watching us.

They need to see Christians whom they respect wrestling over decisions by searching Scripture for the answers.

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

And by examining, testing and re-thinking.

Test all things; hold fast what is good. I Thessalonians 5:21

And by praying with persistence.

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16

They need to see that we trust God to give us wisdom.

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:5

They need to see us experiencing peace and confidence when the answers are difficult or unpopular.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phillipians 4: 6-7

In a world which is increasingly starkly opposed to God’s will, they need to see Christians boldly going in the opposite direction. They need to see Christians living out their understanding that friendship with the world is enmity with God; that the gospel is an offense.
To an unbelieving culture, believers will appear increasingly uncool, foolish, backward and ridiculous. These young people need to see us living out the truth in the face of opposition, ridicule and especially marginalization—with peace and perseverance.

Finally, they need to see mature believers find the answers, embrace the answers, and live the answers.

Do you really believe what you say when you are having a conversation like this one? Have you subjected these beliefs to Scripture?

Test all things; hold fast what is good. I Thessalonians 5:21

In a later post, I will discuss the bigger problem with this conversation.

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