Written by: Mr. Kyle Maestri
Our culture's mold of a college freshman is one who is easily offended, highly anxious, in need of trigger warnings and safe spaces, unable to hear words from differing views than their own without significant emotional response. This is a snowflake.
Rather than mock this cultural phenomenon, as a headmaster and father, I am interested in shining the light on the root causes and the Biblical antidote such that we not only avoid this but instead have children raised in a Biblical mold.
The first tool I think we have in order to avoid this cultural path for our children is forgiveness. Do our children know how to give and receive forgiveness? I am convinced that FORGIVENESS is central in human relationships and cultivating a habit of giving and receiving forgiveness is of the greatest value. The cross is the linchpin of Christianity and so confessing our sin, acknowledging our need for a savior, and then truly accepting that forgiveness, is of the utmost importance in our relationships.
We talk of people “judging us” as if that is the worst thing someone could do. In our me-centered feelings-first messages, we are at times unintentionally training ourselves and our children to bask in offense and catastrophize in anxiety rather than taking it to the cross and releasing it through true forgiveness.
I believe our culture is habituating us all into “being offended” instead of Biblical forgiveness. We talk of people “judging us” as if that is the worst thing someone could do. In our me-centered feelings-first messages, we are at times unintentionally training ourselves and our children to bask in offense and catastrophize in anxiety rather than taking it to the cross and releasing it through true forgiveness.
So how do we model forgiveness and train our children to do this?
When a conflict occurs in our homes between our children or between us and a child we must follow the Biblical mandate and model and teach forgiveness. In doing so we will shepherd our children’s hearts rather than just manage struggles.
I must admit I sometimes just want to take away whatever is causing the fight and just “fix it” and tell them to “knock it off.” But when we do this we miss out on incredible opportunities to shape our children’s hearts that will cultivate a habit of forgiveness. Sometimes we talk about repentance and forgiveness for sin as if it is something we do only for the big things or something we did once to come to Christ. That is not a Biblical understanding of the Christian life. Instead we need to cultivate a habit in our hearts and the hearts of our children and even a family culture centered on giving and receiving forgiveness. In this way we will steer clearly around this aspect of snowflakery.
One resource that can help with understanding how to have these kinds of conversations with your children is Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp. I do not agree with Tedd on everything but the concept of debriefing an incident of sin with prayer and gospel centered language is one that is a core value that ought to be cultivated.
Check back next week for Avoiding Snowflakery: Part 2!