Lie #1: All Beliefs Lead to Heaven
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”John 14:6
One of the scariest lies our children face during their college years is the lie that all beliefs lead to heaven. This couldn’t be further from the truth, and may actually lead our kids away from their commitment to Christ.
As parents, we can be diligent about discussing this lie and encouraging our children to stand firm in their faith. Even if our kids are unsure about what they believe, it’s imperative that we warn them about the pull of relativism.
According to Matt Slick, from Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry (CARM), “Our pluralistic society wants to avoid the idea that there really is a right and wrong.”
We must do everything we can to instill a solid sense of right and wrong according to God’s standards. If we don’t prepare our kids to face this challenge, we might be setting them up for outright rejection of Christ.
The author of this post, from Ambassadors for Christ International, says “This claim that all religions lead to heaven is one of the most common objections you will encounter as a witness for Jesus. In our current milieu, it is taboo to exclude anyone or hurt anyone’s feelings or say that they are wrong in their beliefs.”
Let your kids know that even when they encounter other beliefs, they can still be respectful while remaining steadfast in the truth.
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.Hebrews 10:23
Lie #2: Sex Before Marriage is OK, as Long as You Love Each Other
While the college years aren’t the only years our kids will face sexual temptation, this season can be extra difficult as kids are on their own for the first time—without parental guidance.
They will likely face the temptation to disregard sexual purity, and in the name of “love,” think it’s okay to become sexually involved with one or many partners.
One way of driving home the importance of sexual purity is to remind our kids that whatever compromising experiences they have in college will later be shared with their future spouse. This can cause a lot of hurt and insecurity in marriage.
Talk to your children about keeping their hearts and bodies reserved for the spouse God has in mind for them. Reiterate the importance of bringing their whole selves to the altar on their wedding day. And if your child has already been sexually active, invest in some professional Christian counseling that can hopefully guide them back to a commitment of purity.
The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 1 Corinthians 6:13
Lie #3: The College Years Are Supposed to Be Experimental Years
While the college years will be years of learning, growth, and maturity, our kids will be tempted by the lie that they should “sow their wild oats” or experiment with dangerous things. This is a lie that can lead our children into all kinds of lifelong habits or addictions.
Alcohol, drugs, sex, and other experimental activities are things many college students fall into. Especially when they don’t have a lot of self-discipline to begin with, kids may adopt the attitude that they “only live once” and dive head-first into destructive behaviors.
Make a list of the experimental things your child might be prone to fall for. Then, share that list with them, openly discussing the negative effects of each. Remind them that going to college to earn a degree is a great privilege. It should be taken seriously, and not be compromised by a series of bad choices.
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 ESV
Lie #4: It’s OK to Acquire a Lot of Debt during the College Years
For many decades now, the assumption that students must acquire massive amounts of debt to get their desired degree has derailed many families financially. This lie, unfortunately, has consequences that last way beyond the college years.
There is absolutely a way for your children to get a college degree without debt! The options include starting classes at a community college, working as you go, obtaining grants and scholarships, and choosing in-state schools.
Do your child a big favor by painting a clear picture of what massive debt looks like, and what kind of burden they will carry under that kind of obligation. Help them realize that they can still get a degree in their chosen field, even if it takes a bit longer or looks differently than they imagine.
For more direction in this area, check out this post, 13 Ways to Pay for College Without Loans.
Be not one of those who give pledges, who put up security for debts. If you have nothing with which to pay, why should your bed be taken from under you?Proverbs 22:26-27
Lie #5: The Biblical Account of Creation Is a Fairy Tale
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.Genesis 1:1
Many Christian kids go to college believing that God is the Creator of the universe. Unfortunately, it isn’t long before they hear teachings about evolution and a secular world view—without a single mention of God.
The importance for our children to maintain the Biblical view of creation is so that they will accept the Bible as a whole. From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible is God’s Word. It isn’t just a book, it’s living, active, and able to discern the thoughts and intents of man. (Hebrews 4:12)
Let’s warn our children that their belief in the reliability of the Bible will be questioned, as they hear lies that are in direct opposition to God’s Word. Let’s assure them that we will always be there to point them back to the truth.
For more support in this area, check out this resource, Surviving Secular College.
Lie #6: Going to Church Is Not Important
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. – Hebrews 10:24-25
One of the greatest support systems for our children in college is a strong, Bible-believing church. Often, churches near college campuses have dynamic programs to help new students find instant community and camaraderie.
Encourage your child to find a healthy church in which they can connect and find Biblical support through the college years. This will help them settle into the college life a bit easier, and provide a network of like-minded believers with whom they can worship and hang out with during their free time.
Lie #7: Education Is Everything
While most parents are proud to see their children work hard to earn a degree, the striving for higher education can become an unhealthy focus. There’s a balance between valuing education and viewing it as the ultimate success in life.
Parents would be wise to encourage their kids towards a solid education while reminding them that their relationship with God still takes priority.
In this post, 20 Tips for the Christian College Student, the author writes, “While you should value your education, it isn’t everything. Don’t make your education (or college experience) the reason you live and breathe. Yes, get good grades, make memories, live wisely in all you do. But life goes on after college.”
As families prepare for the college years with a sense of anticipation and excitement, they should also prepare for the possible challenges their children will face. The good thing is, God knows all about the lies that our kids will encounter, and He is faithful to help guide them in His truth.
Written by: Jennifer Waddle
Jennifer Waddle considers herself a Kansas girl, married to a Colorado hunk, with a heart to encourage women everywhere. She is the author of several books, including Prayer WORRIER: Turning Every Worry into Powerful Prayer, and is a regular contributor for LifeWay, Crosswalk, Abide, and Christians Care International. Jennifer’s online ministry is EncouragementMama.com where you can find her books and sign up for her weekly post, Discouragement Doesn’t Win. She resides with her family near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains—her favorite place on earth.