How to Talk with Your Kids About Race

With all of the events of the last 10 days, the uncomfortable, challenging, and often emotion-filled conversation about race has become part of our national conversation once again. Believing parents may feel caught between political convictions, personal discomfort, and what the Bible says or doesn’t say regarding the topic of race.

Fortunately, the Bible gives us a pattern for how to pass on faith to the next generation. And especially when we’re talking about these hot-button topics, this is a matter of discipleship. So I’ll take you back to the pattern God gave us all the way back to Deuteronomy 6:4-9.

Make It Personal- “These things shall be on your heart…”
The first key with anything you want to teach your kids is that you seek out the truth for yourself. Be a life-long learner, be willing to root out any false assumptions you might have in your own mind, and truly seek to understand what God would have your family be about. Study the Scriptures for the attitudes you should develop for yourself.

Take Advantage of Teachable Moments- “Talk of them when you sit, walk, lay down, rise up”
There are wasted moments all over the place that easily lend themselves to spiritual conversations. Car rides, grocery shopping, meal times, even on the couch watching TV can be leveraged to have intentional conversations with your kids. Think about your day- when are some moments you might start the conversation? Remember this: Most of our discussions are multiple session topics. You probably won’t deal completely with a conversation in one sitting. But the key is that we put down our devices, look each other in the eye, and have the conversation. The biggest hurdle in this whole process is asking the question- “Hey, what do you think about…?”

Live It Out- “Write them on your doorposts”
When you come to an understanding of what God wants for your family, structure your family life in such a way that when someone merely walks through the door, they can tell what you stand for. You will become a family that is known for loving God and loving people well. When you can say, “We are the (your family name here), and (family name here)’s are                              .”, then you ingrain love for God and people in the DNA of your family.

Race is a specifically difficult topic to tackle, mainly because of the emotion-driven responses you get from others. With your family, though, the most important step is to bring it up. Do your best to avoid the temptation to attack one group or another, specifically political persuasions. Here are a few guidelines about the race conversation:

  1. Always take the conversation to what Jesus would have us do. Always bring it back to Jesus. Always…Jesus.
  2. Don’t shut down your kids’ contribution. Ask questions about what they mean, and if you disagree, say something like, “Have you considered…?” This helps them develop good reasoning skills and keeps them from checking out of the conversation.
  3. Never assume you have it exactly right. In humility share your journey of understanding race. Allow your kids to form their own ideas and explore their own journey.
  4. Model good relationships with people of diverse backgrounds and skin colors. These relationships will teach your kids more than any single conversation ever could.

The most difficult and important step is to start the conversation. Don’t assume they don’t want to talk about it. They need your input in their lives! Be strong! Speak up! Start the conversation!

 

Engage Your Family in the Scriptures!

Each week we’ll make a Family Discipleship Guide available for parents to lead their families in a small group-style conversation around the Scriptures! It should take about half an hour to read the passage, read to devotional thought, and ask some questions with your kids. You can lead it yourself or take turns in your family, giving your kids the chance to lead as well.

You can do it around the breakfast or dinner table, Saturday night in preparation for Sunday morning, or as a pre-church family worship time on Sunday morning. Do whatever fits your family schedule best!

Partnering with Parents

If you read Scripture, it’s pretty hard to argue the importance of role of parents in passing down faith. They are meant to be the primary spiritual influencer in the life of their kids. All kinds of research and studies of teenagers and their families support this as well. Parents are still the main influencers in the lives of their teenagers.

So if all of that is true, then I have a question…

Why do so many of us depend on the youth minister or youth ministry in our church to be the primary spiritual influencers?

Now, I’m not here to take you on a guilt trip at all. I just believe that if we can work towards a healthy balance in this area it would change our families.

You see if the spiritual influence in your teenager’s life were a meal, then your influence would be the meat. The influence of your youth ministry would be the appetizer or the dessert.

Just ask your youth ministry team. They would be glad to explain to you that they only see your teenager a few hours a week at the most. That is no comparison to the amount of time you spend with your teenager.

Now don’t get me wrong. Youth ministries are vitally important to you, your teenager, and your family. They teach your teenager Scriptures, connect them to a small group, and create amazing shared experiences for them.

But any healthy youth ministry serves a supporting role to the ministry that happens between parent and teenager.

So what can you do about it? First of all, don’t settle for just dropping your teenager off at church. Second, refuse to be passive about faith in your home. Try setting a regular appointment with your teenager where you can discuss your faith together. Finally, engage the youth ministry that your teenager is a part of. Find out what they are teaching and learning. Partner together together with your youth ministry team in the faith development of your teenager.

One way Second Baptist will be resourcing you in this area is the Rites of Passage experience, which we will roll out this Fall. We’ll give you more information as we get closer!

Avoiding Power Struggles at Home

Hello again!

Do you ever feel like there is a battle going on in your home over who is in charge? You? Or Your Teen?

Click here for a short video.

You are not alone, parents in our church and all around you are going through the same season of life, so don’t despair. This month’s online parenting class provides you some great guidance.

The power struggle that you and others go through during these years is a normal part of the maturing process, as parents work to balance responsibility with teaching.

There are simple ways to avoid the power struggle in your home:
1.) Give chances to build trust and learn from failure
2.) Set goals and expectations
3.) Make choices about priorities

Teens learn best when given power slowly and as they earn it. Take the opportunity this week to give your teen a new responsibility and power, and at the end of the week take some time to talk with them about how it went and what they learned.

Praying for you and your teen. If you need more hints and helps, let me know. I would love to talk to you more this week.

Devos for You

devohub

Free to people who attend Second Baptist, this one app is your one-stop location for devos for men, women, families, and teenagers! It even includes the Essential Connection, which may be the best teen devo option available right now.

Download the app, sign on while you’re at SBC, and you will automatically join our group! Set your reminders and develop the habit of spending time with God each day.