As a parent I sit here and think about all the recent news that are happening. Admittedly, lately I try not to pay much attention to the news as it seems to be driven by negativity and the need to tear people down. However, there comes a time when some stories are just too big that they cannot be escaped. Hate in America is real. What happened in Charlottesville is real. This is something that as parents we must discuss with our children.
Here’s my recommendation for parents in our church and any parent reading this. Talk about love—please talk about the power of love. It doesn’t matter our political beliefs. It doesn’t matter our religious beliefs. It most definitely shouldn’t matter the color of our skin. The kind of hate shown in Charlottesville is sin. It’s ugly sin.
The Bible is VERY clear how we are to act:
If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see?
1 John 4:20 (NLT)
Hatred stirs up quarrels, but love makes up for all offenses.
Proverbs 10:12 (NLT)
Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness.
1 John 2:9 (NIV)
4Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NLT)
You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him.
Leviticus 19:17 (ESV)
The list goes on and on.
If you’re a parent of preschoolers, focus on God’s love. Talk about how much God loves ALL people. Talk about how we are to love all people. Talk about how God created each of us for a special purpose.
If you’re a parent of grade school children, focus on God’s love and talk about the events that unfolded in Charlottesville. Depending on your child will depend on how much detail you choose to give. Don’t be afraid to talk about how hate still exists. Talk about how hate is sin and it’s up to us to show love and drive out hate.
If you’re a parent of middle and high school students you can be a little more frank with them. Watch a news clip or read the stories of Charlottesville. Challenge them to be the light God has called them to be. Ask them how it makes them feel and how we have an obligation to love hatred right out of this world.
Don’t be afraid to talk about these events. When talking about hate and racism, your children should have a sense of being uncomfortable because it’s sin. Sin is not fun to talk about, but the only way to do anything about it is to talk about it and do something about it.
Lastly, what you should do is PRAY. Pray with your children. Pray for those who are filled with hate. Pray for those who are being persecuted simply for their skin color or beliefs. Jesus is our prime example and we never see even an ounce of hate from him even when it could’ve been justified or expected.
Thank you parents for leading the way and raising up world changers!