Positive socialization starts at home in the context of family.
socialization, our children just may not fit
well in society:
• WordNet® 3.0, © 2006 by Princeton
University: “socialization”—The adop-
tion of the behavior patterns of the sur-
rounding culture; “the socialization of
children to the norms of their culture.”
•;American Heritage Stedman’s Medical
Dictionary: “socialization”—The process of learning interpersonal and interactional skills that are in conformity
with the values of one’s society.
If socialization is a matter of “adopting
society’s behavior patterns” and “
conforming to its values,” no matter how an-ti-social, or wicked, then, no, thank you!
We have a much higher authority than
society to guide us. Yes, we have the very
words of God on the subject. What does
the Bible say about socialization?
“He that walketh with wise men shall
be wise: but a companion of fools
shall be destroyed” (Proverbs 13: 20).
“Pure religion and undefiled before
God and the Father is this, To visit
the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world” (James 1: 27).
Second Corinthians reminds us to reject the culture and be a separate, holy
people unto our great and mighty God.
To do this, we cannot and should not
conform to the wicked standards of our
ever-changing culture. We must stand
firm in God’s principles. And in case we
still don’t understand, Romans chapter
12 tells us that we are not to be conformed to this world but transformed by
the Word of God.
If we truly want to know how to raise
prosperous and successful children, then
we need look no further than Psalm
chapter 1 and Joshua chapter 1, which
state that prosperity and success come
from meditating on the Word of God day
and night—hard to do when you are in
the wrong society. It is imperative that we
keep our children positively and Bibli-
cally socialized, which is most definitely
not in compliance with our surrounding
culture. They will continue to be the “best
socialized” children out there if they con-
tinue to be grounded in and surrounded
with good society.
Where Does Socialization Start?
Positive socialization starts at home in
the context of family. You see the image
and nature of God stamped on this social
relationship. His nature is to commune
and socialize within the triune Godhead,
and He invites us into that relationship.
Family is God’s design of imparting that
same idea on earth. We live and move
and breathe within a close family unit.
From there, a child moves out to a little
larger community (but still a family de-sign;of;operation);within;the;church.
As the child grows, that social circle
expands to include society, such as their
neighbors and communities and social
activities, but it all starts at home. For
example, in order to visit our oldest boys
at college and take our oldest daughter
to a trade school on the coast, we loaded
ten of us into a passenger van for a sev-enteen-hour round-trip drive. The social
issues we encountered in and out of the
van were a microcosm of what happens
on a larger scale. We had to integrate
activities, make decisions together, and
learn to handle conflict in a positive way,
overcome difficulties, laugh at times, cry
at times, and handle stress. All ages had
to give and take and work together to
make the trip a positive experience. We
were never lacking in socialization opportunities.
Recently I have read a lot about the
government wanting to take a child away
from his or her parents as early as possible, but this would actually damage the
child’s social skills. Often, the church
adapts to the cultural norm. If the community or even the church conforms to
the society by separating children from
parents, then you might have to personally decide what to do with your own
children in those settings. I will just say
that there is something powerful about
sitting together as a family, whether it is
at the kitchen table or the church pew,
and we really do notice the difference.
Our children don’t need other attach-
ments in their early years. In fact, Dr.
Brian Ray explains research which reveals
that parents are the only attachment a
young child needs, and that it is beneficial
and healthy for parents to hang on to their
young children (The Old Schoolhouse®
What Happens When Family
Socialization Is Missing
If you take proper family socialization
away and replace it with cold environ-
ments, with less than morally behaved
social peers and overloaded teachers,