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What to do when the world goes bonkers

Campers giving a thumbs up

With social media and a far more connected world, our kids hear about national events, broader human-interest stories – protests and catastrophes.  Dudley walks us through how to help your kids when the world goes bonkers.


Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;

James 1:19



Most of the time our kids remain pretty clueless regarding national or global events.  I know I grew up only caring about how my sports teams did or if I was dressed appropriately, or if I smelled bad – I didn’t have any idea about what was happening elsewhere.  Now, with social media and a far more connected world, our kids do hear about national events, broader human-interest stories – protests and catastrophes.  This Family Matters is called, how to help your kids when the world goes bonkers.

First, discuss whatever chaos is going on and then model prayer as a first response.  Say, “let’s just stop and pray about this situation.” Then, simply use the language of the Lords’ prayer – Our Father in heaven, Holy is your name.  Let your Kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Teaching our children to pray is a wonderful gift in a world that’s often on fire.

Secondly, listen to the Lord.  What has he said that helps us in the chaos?  When people are shouting at each other across divided battle lines, we never see scripture instruct us to “shout louder than them!”  In fact, we hear something different from God.  In Matthew 5, Jesus states “You’ve heard it said, love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” And Paul reminds us in Ephesians 4 to get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger… instead, be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as In Christ God forgave you.  So, when the world goes bonkers, lets teach our children to hear from God – what does he say about our words, attitudes and actions.

Lastly, listen to the “other.” Who is the other?  That person or people who disagree with what you personally believe. By our actions we have taught our children to listen in order to reply or make a rebuttal. But scripture actually teaches us to listen with the goal of understanding.  A few years ago, our summer camp theme verse was James 1:19 which states, everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. How do you know if you’re truly listening well to someone on the other side?  A good rule is this, you have listened well when you can state their position so accurately that they would affirm what you said, and somebody else might think that you actually believe it.  if you cannot represent the position of the other, then you need to keep listening until you understand.  We help our children live peacefully in a world of chaos by modeling this for them, and by training them to listen to people they don’t agree with.

The world WILL go bonkers, and your children need to know what to do when it does.

So, parents: pray as a first response. Then listen to the Lord. Then listen to the other in order to understand and demonstrate love.


  • What is a key take away from today’s verse?
  • How can we listen well to people who we disagree with?

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