Over the next several months, the Faith-Building Fun ideas will focus on how to open your child’s spiritual windows. For additional insights about ways to nurture your child’s faith, read the book Opening Your Child’s Spiritual Windows by Cheri Fuller.
The Value Window
America was founded on the idea that it was a country that embraced all people. “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free….” I learned about this inscription on the Statue of Liberty as a child in elementary school. It’s a noble sentiment and one that Christians should embody, not because it’s an American value, but because it’s a Christ-like value.
How can you teach your children to care for those who are hard to love? What are you modeling for your children that helps them learn how to treat people that are often overlooked, bullied, or dismissed simply because they are too fat, too skinny, too different, too loud, too ugly, etc., etc.?
The recent focus on racial discrimination has prompted me to think about the larger responsibility we have as parents and adults to help our children see people through the eyes of Jesus. When I was a child, I vividly remember singing a song (that would now be considered discriminatory) that went something like this, “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world, red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight.” While I wouldn’t advise teaching that particular song to children today, when I hear the words, I am taken back to the realization that I was learning how to value people who were different from me.
My challenge to you, and to me, is to carefully assess the words we say and the attitudes we display that can convey a judgmental perspective. We need to be careful not to speak disparagingly of people who are different than we are, and we need to look carefully at the attitudes we are passing on to our children.
We have all, every one of us, been created in the image of God. Read the following verses and think about how you can help your children see the world through the eyes of Jesus and the truth of Scripture.
- “My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism.” (James 2:1)
- “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29)
- “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.” (Romans 12:16)
We have not been given the liberty to pick and choose the verses we will obey. Instead, we have the freedom to obey them all, through the power of Christ. Let us be the generation that helps the next generation break the bonds of discrimination and help all people come to know the redemptive, reconciling work of the cross.