5 Things Your Children Should Learn from No One but You
If I had my way, I’d keep my children in a protective bubble for the rest of their lives. No peer pressure. No one encouraging them to go down the wrong path. But God didn’t intend for us to live isolated from the rest of the world. Whether children are homeschooled or sent to public or private school, they are constantly learning from the influences around them. Friends, teachers and coaches all play a part in teaching kids, but there are some things children should only learn from their parents.
Sunday school teachers aren’t the only ones who should be teaching your child about Jesus. As believers, we are instructed to teach our children the Word of God. Our faith should be apparent in every aspect of our lives, as God commands through Moses:
“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” – Deuteronomy 6:5-7, ESV
You don’t have control over your child’s relationship with the Lord, but you can surely point them in the right direction. Teaching moments happen as you work, deal with conflict, react to trials, serve your spouse, spend your money, etc. Share the gospel with your kids and connect everything back to the hope we have in Jesus.
The world views sex in a sinful way, which causes many Christians to either shy away from the subject or teach their child that it’s evil. Both approaches are wrong. We see right from the beginning that sex is a part of God’s design.
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” – Genesis 2:24, ESV
Sex between a married man and woman glorifies God. But Satan has twisted something beautiful and sacred into something available at the click of a button. Children are exposed to sex much sooner than most parents would like to admit. Don’t let anyone other than you have the first say. Open up the door for them to come to you when they have questions or are battling temptations themselves.
The world’s definition of beauty is unattainable to most. Skinny, busty women and muscular, tall men fill our TV screens and magazines. Kids are exposed no matter how much we try to protect them. We must teach our children God’s standard of beauty so they can reject these lies. In 1 Samuel, God tells Samuel to anoint the next king after rejecting Saul’s reign. When Samuel sees David’s older brother, he thinks he must be God’s chosen king because of the way he looks. But God saw things differently.
“When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, ‘Surely the LORD's anointed is before him.’ But the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.’” – 1 Samuel 16:6-7, ESV
God chose David as king because he was a man after God’s own heart, not because he looked a certain way. The Lord doesn’t prefer a certain body type. He was the one who lovingly created and formed us in the first place (Psalm 139)! We must affirm our children, boys and girls, in their beauty – inside and out.
In the past few months alone, our nation has been divided over issues of race and ethnicity. Instead of turning a blind eye to the tension, talk to your kids about how God created different races, ethnicities and cultures. John’s vision in Revelation clearly shows us that we are unified in Christ, no matter how different we look, talk or do things.
“After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’” – Revelation 7:9-10, ESV
In heaven we will praise Jesus with brothers and sisters from every nation. Why not start now? Celebrate different cultures with your children! Live life with people that are different from you. Your children are missing out if they are only around people that look, talk and act like you do.
What we do with our time, talents and resources very much reflects the inner-workings of our hearts. The world tells our kids to put themselves first, but we must teach them to put God first by stewarding the many gifts He has given us.
“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace.” – 1 Peter 4:10, ESV
Peter is specifically addressing spiritual gifts, which we should use to serve within our church body. God has also given us many other gifts, including physical talents, financial resources and creation. Children must learn that all of these gifts are entrusted to them from the Lord. Give the glory to God for their physical abilities when they win a soccer game. Shop for a child in need to teach generosity. Plant a small garden to steward creation. The concept of stewardship will help children learn to seek the Lord in every aspect of life.
Ask God to guide you as you teach your child His truths. Teaching moments happen every day – we just need to look for them.
Allie Mondell is a wife and mom who loves Jesus, tea and British novels. When she's not chasing her twin boys around, you can find her spending time with friends or catching up on some much-needed sleep. Allie and her family are part of a church plant in Gainesville, FL. You can keep up with Allie on her personal blog or on Instagram.