Monthly Archives: February 2012
By Beth Loner
No matter the age of the child or how seemingly insignificant the inquiry, questions involving God’s existence and attributes are not interruptions but divine appointments. These moments add up. If we, as parents, are not laying the foundation in Jesus Christ to our young children then someone else may have a greater influence and impact on their future beliefs.
“Hear oh Israel. 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 (emphases added)
Diligently teaching children God’s commands, promises, and deeds involves instructing when we’re at home or away, when we’re resting or doing chores. These verses encourage parents that family devotionals are not another thing on the “to do” list. We actually have to flip everything around. It is the “to do” list with our children and everything else fits in around it.
Formal devotions are important too. Set aside a time. As a general rule, organized family devotions always take longer then you allot. Be prepared going in, and begin with prayer. Difficult questions will come up. If I don’t know the answer, I take it as a challenge to find out. There are an abundance of resources out there. The Scroll Bookstore can be instrumental. The manager of the Scroll, Sue Nelson, considers it her ministry to serve the church by connecting people with worthwhile, God honoring material. She does her research. As a side note, it is important to remember that some questions cannot be answered. Our finite minds cannot grasp God’s infinite wisdom.
Beth Loner is a wife, mother, member of First Free Church, and current seminary student at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
“The awkward turtle” is a gesture you make with two hands (it looks like a turtle) when someone has raised a very, well, awkward topic in a conversation and you want to move out of it quickly. If you could see me now, I am using the awkward turtle because this article briefly addresses the often-uncomfortable issue of sex education.
Preteens (children ages 10-12) are entering their pubescent stage where they undergo their greatest physiological development. As their voices crack and body odor becomes more apparent, they also begin to…take a deep breath parents…recognize the opposite sex! Obviously, this is a good thing because God wired us this way. But there are dangers. Movies and Internet provide plenty of “sex sells” type advertising and pornography is a thriving industry still in the United States. Here is a fact we need to accept…YOUR CHILDREN WILL BE EXPOSED TO THESE REALITIES…so why not beat the world to the punch?
I have one simple suggestion in this article: be the first one to discuss the difficult topics of dating, sexuality, drugs and alcohol, etc. with your children. If they are going to hear/see/think about it because of the world, we might as well have the first shot at telling them about God’s purpose for our lives and our bodies before the world says otherwise! You are the best judge of when your preteen is ready, but typically around 5th or 6th grade you want to at least begin having those conversations with your child.