How to Help Your Kids WANT to Be Different

Lisa Cherry —  November 5, 2012

Micah runningBy Lisa Cherry

Last week end I had the privilege of watching my 14 year old son be different.  As a gifted runner, he competes at our local high school even though he does not attend class there. This year, he helped his team make it to state level competition. All while he has refused to compromise his strong morals and Christian beliefs.

I am convicted regularly when I pass my son’s door in the morning and I hear his fervent prayer. And I ask myself on behalf of his younger brothers and sisters still maturing......what makes this boy WANT to be different?

As a Christian mom I am extremely aware of the level of compromise tempting our generation. Fake Christianity. Carnal living. Lukewarm faith. All have been culturally normed. Even while God is calling to His children.....come into my Remnant! Build an ark for you and your whole family whereby you may be saved.

But what good would an ark do if our children will not get on our boat?

Somehow they need an internal desire to go against the crowd and stand for the King.

Here are my thoughts about how this happened for my teens and young adults Nathan, Kalyn, Lucas, Rebekah, Hannah, Micah and Matthew. I am eternally grateful to the Lord!

1.  Expose them to true heroes of the faith. Most kids today are idolizing pop stars. True heroes such as the men and women of Foxe's Book of Martyrs  will totally blow the lid off the word hero.

2. Keep them around hot embers. Spiritual fervor is generally caught not taught.

3. Consider the value of special milestone events in their own spiritual lives. Conferences. Camps. Revivals. etc.

4. Keep the word of God central in your home. NOTHING speaks louder than a well-prioritized family prayer/Bible reading time!Doug Micah Lisa

5. Live  Deuteronomy 6:6-7 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

6. Get them out of the children's and youth ministry boxes long enough to know mature believers who have stood strong for a lifetime.....otherwise, they may not understand the target!

7.  Capitalize on the God-given stage of adolescent development that wants the extreme. We know the developing brain is more likely to take risks. God can use this season to assist them to get radical for Him.

8. Pray, pray, pray for a personal visitation of the person of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit to descend upon there hearts.

9. Control the atmosphere of your home. Play God-honoring worship music. Turn off media competition that is wooing their hearts astray!

10. This is probably the most important... Refuse to compromise yourself. Dare to be an adult that is not afraid to be different!  Have a personal revival yourself! Studies continue to show that the #1 influencers of kids are their parents!


Gratefully linked to

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  • Jamie Worley

    Awesome that your son is standing strong for his beliefs, even at his relatively young age. I like your ideas for helping keep that faith burning, too. It's hard sometimes to put these things into actual practice - to figure out exactly what living a radical life looks like - but we do try!

  • Lindsey Brackett

    I like this list.  I am realizing as my kids emerge from preschool/elementary and near those 'tween" years that I am influencing them too much to be like others instead of embracing their differences and convictions.  Thanks for this.

  • Ann Pop

    Great words of advice! All those things give our children a better opportunity to carry the cross throughout their lives, especially during the difficult teen years. One thing that I just want to reiterate, though, is that every child is different and responds differently to life's issues. Some kids are more compliant and easy to raise, while others are just more strong-willed and struggle with peer pressures in youth. My son, was somewhere in between these two...we tried to raise him in a home that encompassed most of your list and even had him attend Christian elementary school. But his teen years were very challenging for him and us. He's always been a very loving boy, and now, at 20, is finally beginning to find his identity in Christ. We continue to pray for the Lord to work in his life and trust that God is still working in him, as He is all of us.

    In His Lo♥e, Ann @ Christ in the Clouds (

    • Lisa Cherry

      Ann, I appreciate your comments.
      You are exactly right that some children "grab hold" easier than
      others! We have personally experienced that in our household! Are you
      familiar with our family's testimony of nearly losing our second born,
      Kalyn, to a massive spiritual deception? I would love to send you a free
      copy of our book if you would be interested.  Email me at Blessings to you and your family.

  • dukeslee

    Your words about your son's fervent praying every morning stopped me. What an amazing thing for a mother to hear. You are blessed. And you've apparently led well by example. 

  • Jacque Line

    I would like to feature this post tomorrow on 'EOA' Wednesday at Deep Roots At Home. Just excellent, especially #6. We have never been involved in youth group and it has been a blessing.

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