I won’t be blogging about flags. Or rainbows. Or SCOTUS decisions. Or even #lovewins.
I won’t write an open letter to the church, to the left, to the right or to the government.
I won’t use this platform to share my views as a Christian, a citizen, a parent or a minister.
Not because I don’t have views. Not because I don’t have opinions. And not even because I worried about what others might think if I shared them.
I will however use this blog to pause briefly and remind all of us of this: Your children are watching.
They may not understand everything you say, but they understand the heart from which you say it. Kids have the uncanny ability to sense the emotions and tensions that surround the words and actions of adults and the decided lack of ability to process it in a mature way. Kids live in a place where fantasy and reality, abstract and concrete, intermingle to create a world into which they live. And we, as adults, give framework to that world.
So if we, as adults, react in fear, our children learn that these situations should be approached in fear. If we respond in hate, guess how our children will respond when they are challenged. If words of anger and confusion come from our mouths, then we shouldn’t be surprised when those who are learning from us do as they have been taught.
If on the other hand, our response is measured by grace, clothed in love, grounded in trust, and manifest in prayer and hope, our children will learn from that as well. They will learn that our faith and our God aren’t swayed by circumstance or situation, good or bad, but is constant and steadfast in the midst of any and every scenario.
Before we say, post, do, or act… let’s stop first and consider, “What am I teaching my child through this?” And then react in the way you hope that they will react when they are faced with challenging and confusing situations. Because they really are watching you and learning what it means to be a Christian in the everyday.
Read the follow-up post here.
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About the author
Christina Embree is wife to Pastor Luke, mom to three wonderful kids, and family minister at Nicholasville UMC. She is passionate about seeing churches partnering with families to encourage faith formation at home and equipping parents to disciple their kids in the faith. Currently studying Family, Youth and Children’s Ministry at Wesley Seminary, she also blogs at www.refocusministry.org and is a contributing blogger at ChildrensMinistryBlog.com
So, how do we teach our children how to take a stand for truth and love? To say nothing is to abdicate both.
My heart with this post wasn’t that we shouldn’t say anything but that we measure our reactions with grace and prayer before we take that stand, recognizing that how you act and react will be how your children will learn to as well