Children who are raised to be social conservatives are raised to value life. To value marriage and family. To love their neighbors as themselves. It is challenging in today's world. Our children are being constantly battered with political correctness, with worldly values, and with the notion that absolute truth is non-existent. How do we, as parents, combat this?
The first principal that we have learned is that we must teach our kids that we (mommy and daddy) are their authority. We have the last word over teachers, friends, friend's parents, television, other family members, and so on. Already in their short lives, I have had to correct things they've been told by very well-meaning people multiple times because it went against our family's values and beliefs. I cringe at the thought of some of the things they will be fed as they enter into their school years. But I am comforted knowing that my kids respect our authority and trust us.
Raising social conservatives also begins on a spiritual level. It isn't just about teaching them that abortion is wrong, it's about teaching them that each life has intrinsic value. Abortion has been a big one in our household, due mostly to our involvement with Online for Life. I would encourage all parents to take up a cause and get their children involved with it. On the 4th, my kids decided to put up a lemonade stand. My 5 year old spread both his hands and said, "Mom, I'm going to sell this many. These (holding up one hand) I'll give to save babies. These (holding up the other) will be for me."
All my children have begun to commit scripture to heart, and one of the first that they learn is Matthew 22:39, "Love your neighbor as yourself." Most people have heard that verse, but many do not really know what it means. We have tried to instill in our children what it truly means. It's in the little things, like letting their guests pick the game, helping someone up who has fallen on the soccer field, sharing their favorite toys, and praying for one another.
What about feminism? Fun one. We teach our kids that even though we are all equal, girls and boys are different. This goes for my boys especially. They are to treat girls differently, more gently. This is in their actions and in their speech. No wrestling with Gracie or Mommy. As they get older, I will tell them that when they go on dates, they had better be gentlemen, opening doors, being polite, no matter what the rest of the world does. Tim makes sure our children regard me not only as their mother, but also as his wife, and he demands for them to respect me as such (it works in theory...in real life they are 2, 4, and 5...the important thing is that the seeds are planted!). These seeds will grow as they do and years from now as they are bombarded with political agendas for marriage and feminism and whatever else is thrown at them, the roots will be deep and strong to withstand attacks.
We have a moral responsibility to instill our values and beliefs into our children. We aren't just their caretakers, but we are tools that the Lord uses to mold and shape our children. Our task is God-given. Make no mistake. And we will be held accountable, not for the choices they make, but for our role in how they came to make them.