Our world can be a tumultuous setting for raising kids. Ben points us to very applicable truths for helping our kids respect and love people who view life and the world differently than them.
I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart; I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation.
Play nice! Share! Look them in the eyes! Being taught how to interact with others is an important part of growing up. As Christians, what do we teach our kids about interacting with people who have different beliefs and convictions? And how do we teach them to respect those people without compromising their own faith?
One place to start is sharing with our kids about their responsibility as witnesses to the Gospel. Witness is a churchy word, so let’s break it down. As a witness, we get to share what God has done in our lives, what He has done in the past, and what He is willing to do in the lives of others. Below are four ways we should approach our role as a witness.
- Do it with Love (Eph 4:15) – God made man in His image. We don’t have to love or approve of what all people stand for, but we do honor God by showing love and respect to the people of His creation.
- Be Clear and Courteous (1 Peter 3:15) – We need to be prepared to give an answer to the people who ask about the hope we have in Christ, and that answer should be filled with gentleness and respect. Try sitting with your kids and help them write out a response they can refer back to.
- Do it Fearlessly (2 Timothy 1:6-8) – We are good at letting our fears get the best of us. “Will I get made fun of? Will saying the wrong thing make this relationship harder?” A spirit of fear and doubt isn’t what God has given us, but instead, one of power, love and self-control. Pray for boldness for yourself and your kids…that you wouldn’t be ashamed to share the wonderful message of Christ.
- Witness with Urgency (Ezekiel 33:7-9) – What are we waiting for? Sharing the good news about Christ with the lost and suffering isn’t a suggestion, it’s a responsibility. How would our daily interactions change if we felt the weight of being someone’s chance to hear and experience the Gospel?
Jesus is the perfect example for how we are to interact with the world. He loved people where they were, but He loved them enough not to leave them there. He called people to repentance with kindness and loved them without affirming everything in their lives. Let’s set this example before our kids as we teach them to engage with the world and hold strong to their faith in Christ.
Take a moment to think about some of your friends who might not know how much Jesus loves them. Talk to your parents for some ideas about how to show God’s love to them through your interactions.