Whenever I pass a rack of magazines, I notice the new trend of putting teasers on the covers, like “41 Ways to Eat Ice Cream without Gaining an Ounce” or “13 Ways to Recycle Old Pantyhose.”

Some of these catch my attention more than others. I realized that to be en vogue, the title of my article should contain a number with some kind of intriguing hook. So I present, “Six Things You Should Never Discuss with Your Children.”  If you want to raise dysfunctional children, these are the six things you should never talk with them about.

1. Money: Don’t ever talk to your children about how to handle finances, especially not by teaching them biblical principles. Deep down inside, you want to keep your children dependent on you as long as possible. The best way to create this dependency is through the purse strings.  If you taught them how to give the first part of their income to God, the importance of saving for the future and wise money management, they might grow up to be capable, responsible, self-reliant adults. Who would want children like that? By not teaching these lessons and skills, you can ensure that your children will be living in your basement for a long time to come (Psalm 50:10-12).

2. Sex: Don’t talk to your children about God’s design for sex and why they were created male and female. Don’t talk to them about the gift of innocence and the importance of saving themselves for marriage. Of course, you don’t want to get in the way of your children discovering their sexual identity.  The world says they should choose for themselves what gender or lifestyle they want to have; the doors are wide open. Of course, it may take years before you know whether you have a raised a son or a daughter (1 Thess. 4:3-5).

3. Manners: Today, it is easier than ever to raise children. All you have to do is let them run with the rest of the pack. If you want them to fit into the world, let them be disrespectful, disregard rules and learn the art of back-talking. I know you’ll be proud to show off your children talking with their mouths full at the next family reunion. Nowadays, it’s just too hard to teach children to respect their elders and learn manners. My grandmother had no problems instilling these values, though. Her methods had to do with something that no longer seems to exist: discipline (1 Cor. 15:33).

4. Speech: Don’t teach your children to speak correctly, and one day, maybe they can work at the United Nations as interpreters for this generation of young people who only  communicate in 140 characters or fewer. Employers will line up to hire your children with a vocabulary of 20 grunts. To keep them from developing meaningful thoughts and in-depth conversations, don’t ask their opinions or ideas, and certainly don’t challenge them to give a reasonable defense for their faith. May sure every answer is “Yes,” “No,” or “I dunnknw” (Eph. 4:29).

5. Work Ethic: Don’t let your children work. Instead, teach them to expect someone else to do things for them.  Let your children know that for the rest of their lives, they can enjoy the fruits of others’ labor. Someone will come along to give them an education, housing, transportation and even food for your grandchildren. But don’t expect a right answer on a test when your children are asked to describe how the word “pride” applies to accomplishing a task. And when you die, they can take the inheritance money earned by the sweat of your brow and buy that new video game they so richly deserve (Gal. 6:4-5).

6. Patriotism: God and country are concepts for another generation. “In God We Trust” is just a collection of words on a coin that may not even stay there much longer. Don’t engage in discussions with your children about the issues of today, and don’t help them know the difference between political issues and moral matters, or decide into which category abortions falls. If they don’t understand the difference, God will remove His hands from upon this country, but that won’t be your fault (Psalm 33:12-22).

It takes a lot of work to raise a child, but it takes a lot more work to raise a child whose foundation is the Word of God. Godly parenting is intentional.  You must choose to train your child by the Word of God in thought, in speech, in conduct and in conversation. “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Prov. 22:6).

And if not? Congratulations. You’ve found “Six Things to Help You Create a Monster.“