What a challenge we have at this time in our nation’s history to teach our children God’s way! A recent cartoon shows a mom and dad looking at their children as each child called the other a liar. The mom looked at the dad and said, “It was your idea to have them watch the debate!”
Most will readily agree that children learn much by example. As parents and teachers try to teach children to love and respect their country, how can this be done with the example our leaders are setting before them both in language and actions? Investigations are taking place of elected officials and many believe there should be even more investigations into what appears to be wrongdoing.
Of one thing we can be sure: God’s instructions never change due to circumstances. His counsel as to right and wrong are always true! What then, should a parent’s actions be in light of this truth and the circumstances we find ourselves having to endure? We need to point out what God tells us, use the examples before us to point out what not to do as well as what to do, and help our children to think analytically.
“‘Give us a king to lead us.’. … ‘They have rejected Me as their king.’”
– I Samuel 8:6,7
It is a good time to tell the story of Samuel and Saul to children. The nation of Israel was facing problems as our nation is also facing problems. They felt their answer was to get a king. God and Samuel knew that the answer was to turn to God. Children need to learn that God is the only solution to our problems.
It is impossible to shield our children from what is happening, nor should we. We need to talk with them about good manners and respect for others. We must have faith that God will take care of us in the long run if we obey Him. We should never choose people to lead us who obviously do not follow God’s instructions. The Bible tells us that in honor we should prefer one another. When we have Christian people available to choose and choose non-Christians over the Christians, we are asking for trouble.
As children ask questions or as current events are discussed, we need to help them distinguish fact from opinion. This is a first step in helping children think analytically. Questions are more effective than answers. By asking questions, children are required to think through situations. Children are helped when they are given things to watch for as debates or speeches are presented. Ask the children if they think respect is being shown. Ask children to identify what the tone of voice is telling us. It is important to follow through with questions as to the proper way to conduct oneself in such situations. All of these questions stimulate thinking and provide opportunities to teach children correct behavior and critical thinking.
We know from the Bible how things worked out for Israel when they put their trust in King Saul instead of God!