Do you love your Bible? Most Christians will tell you they do, but did you know that 60% of Christians in the United States don’t read it? In an article in Christianity Today, Ed Stetzer tells us the biblical illiteracy rate among churchgoers is awful—he says almost 1 in 5 say they never read the Bible1. If that’s the case, no wonder they can’t name the Gospels, the disciples, or more than 5 of the 10 Commandments2. How often do WE read the Bible? And how often to our KIDS? Mom and Dad, as Christians our top priority is to train them in the way of the Lord. How can we do that if we’re not READING His handbook? Get our free Keys for Kids app and start today. 1 LifeWay Research study, as quoted in “The Epidemic of Bible Illiteracy in Our Churches” by Ed Stetzer, ChristianityToday.com 2 From Barna Research Group, as quoted in “The Scandal of Biblical Illiteracy: It’s Our Problem” by Albert Mohler, AlbertMohler.com
Cara is a mom with four boys. She says, “Cost, time...no matter how you shake it, it’s a challenge.” She suggests one sport per kid per season. Even THAT’S expensive and time-consuming. She actually prays over her calendar every season, and so far God has provided. Because eating together is a priority for her family, “portable meals at fields or chips and cheese after games” when they get home are frequent. But she says, “DO WHAT IS BEST FOR YOUR FAMILY”—and never feel guilty about “what…works for you.” She says sometimes she misses being home, but while it’s crazy-busy, it’s fun watching your kids “do what they love, try new things, step out of their comfort zone, and learn.” Spiritual lesson? Don’t let these events become idols.
That comment came from a young person claiming to be a Christian. The adult who was the target of that criticism was a bit taken back by it. First, the accused was shocked that the person had said that about him. Secondly, he wondered if he failed to love people who need Jesus who practice that way of life. The accuser said, “You HATE being around gay people.” To which he said, “Well, I’m uncomfortable around openly dogmatic gay people, but I’m also uncomfortable being around drunks, people who swear, and gossipers.” Jesus was accused of being a friend of sinners. What will our kids say about us? Do we love people—even sinners? Let’s teach our kids to follow Jesus’ example and share God’s Good News, which IS love.
I went to the gym this week. A gym acquaintance was there. But, this day was a little different. He was on his stomach looking at his phone and tears filled his eyes. “I know God doesn’t give us more than we can handle, but…” In one week he lost his father-in-law, two sons are in the hospital (one critical), and his other son announced that he and his wife were divorcing. I prayed with him and then asked, “What are you going to do?” He said, “Trust God and continue to speak the truth and love. That’s all I can do.” As we stand beside our adult kids, they need to see that, despite the trials, we STILL trust God. No matter their walk, all involved will see God giving strength in the storm.
I heard that comment recently from a Sunday school teacher. This was somebody who taught for YEARS. She was so frustrated by the lack of respect shown to her by some of her fifth-grade students. Lack of engagement. Blurting out. Utter rudeness. I get requests all the time from parents asking me to address this issue. So, here it is. Mom and Dad, if our kids are rude, it’s because of sin, no doubt. But WE need to help resolve the problem. TEACH respect. Boys open doors for girls. Look adults in the eye when you talk to them. “Yes, sir” and “Yes, ma’am” should be standard responses. PRACTICE it. If our kids can’t respect adults, how are they going to respect God and His Word?
I was one of those kids. I prayed the prayer. It was fire insurance. Then I lived my own life—not a Christian at all. As parents, our job isn’t to save our kids. That’s up the Holy Spirit. But our job IS to teach our kids right and wrong and, most importantly, the Gospel. The Gospel must be on our lips 24/7. Jesus was among the people, and THEY lost sight of it. It needs to be ingrained in their little brains that man is sinful, that we’re separated from God, and that Jesus—God’s Holy Son—had to die for us to repair that relationship. We don’t deserve it, but have to confess and believe it. Then, out of gratitude for it, we worship God and share it. We can help you teach it with our free kids devotional: https://keysforkids.org/getkeys
Cara asks: can you talk about “how to teach your kids not to act like barn animals”? Well, burps and far…—I mean, flatulence—can be the most entertaining of noises to some boys—maybe girls too, I don’t know. When they happen at unexpected moments it can create uncontrollable laughter. But when it happens in the middle of prayer, school, weddings, or church or funeral services, it can be embarrassing, especially if it’s done on purpose. When our kids are young, make sure you teach them to say, “Excuse me.” That’s obvious. We always told our kids at dinner, “If you have to ‘toot,’ go to the bathroom.” Forcing it in public isn’t appropriate in many cases, but let’s face it—while it’s gross—I can think of a lot worse things, can’t you?
Who doesn’t like an easy way to check information? I sure do. While easy is nice, it’s not always the best for our kids. But, in THIS situation, you might want to make an exception. Our goal as Christian parents and grandparents is to point our kids to Christ. Now, Keys for Kids has an easy way to do that. If you have an Amazon Echo or Dot, you can use your app to create a Flash Briefing that will play Keys for Kids and Parent Minute. Just go to your Amazon Alexa app, and then search for “Keys for Kids.” Tap “Enable” on both feeds, and it will be added to your daily Flash Briefing. Then, each morning, say, “Alexa, play my Flash Briefing,” and you’ll hear Keys for Kids and Parent Minute every day at your command.
Watching your parents go from active and “with it” to inactive and forgetful is pretty difficult. I guess that’s difficult at any age, isn’t it? But how do we help our kids process this change as life happens? I have a friend at church who was an amazing guy. He sang in the choir for 60 years, was active, walked every day. He was funny. Quick as a whip. Today, he’s just a shadow of that man—mostly unresponsive and confined to a wheelchair at the care facility. While these changes are hard for kids sometimes, use it as a teaching moment. Let them see you honor, respect, and interact with your failing parents. Remember, they’ll be in the same situation with you before you know it.
I can’t imagine a more painful conversation. Knowing that your own flesh and blood aborted your grandchild. There are many ways you can handle this. I love what John Piper at Desiring God says: “Jesus offers forgiveness for women who have aborted a child. He offers it to men who have encouraged their girlfriend or wife to abort their child. He offers it to employees of abortion clinics. And he offers it to those who are apathetic and doing nothing about this great evil in our society.”1 As parents who find themselves here, we MUST extend forgiveness and unconditional love. This is a time to be Jesus. Maybe God will use this to do an amazing work in a daughter’s life. 1Abortion: A Topical Survey, “Offering Grace to All Involved,” DesiringGod.org