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Work-at-home mom: take a deep breath and Do Life Different as you allow these devotions for work-at-home moms to fill the vacuum of your needy heart in the chaos of your busy world.
 
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Jan
28

Let me sum up

By

sum-upThere are some BIG and scary things happening in the world today. I try to steer away from world news in general, mostly because it can get pretty depressing and also because it’s getting harder and harder to determine the actual truth from what is depicted in the media.

However, I can’t open my phone or check Facebook without seeing headlines. And sometimes I see things I really wish I didn’t see.

As a parent, my first response is to shield my kids from all the negative news. I don’t know if that’s possible. I guess there is still time to profess Amish-ism and reject all ‘worldly’ media . . . but even then it would be difficult to not see ANY news. Plus, I like being warm, so life without electricity is not for me.

I’m going to quote Inigo Montoya here from Princess Bride because I think it is a good skill us dads need to develop with talking to our kids about world news:

“Let me explain. No. There is too much. Let me sum up.”

When my kids ask me a question I can respond in several ways ranging from very little information, to ‘information overload.’ Here are some actual questions I’ve been asked recently by my kids:

· Why is everyone talking about Trump?

· Who is David Bowie?

· Why don’t we just go bomb ISIS?

· What is the difference between a Democrat and a Republican?

I have several available responses for these type of questions. One, is, of course to say, “Go Google it.” — which would provide information. But, we all know that Google and Wikipedia are not Christ-centered and will have information that might not be true. When it comes to truth on the Internet, I always remember this key quote:

“Don’t believe everything you read on the internet.” — Abraham Lincoln

Another available response is to FULLY EXPLAIN. For the ISIS question, you could undoubtedly start at the Crusades, and explain the core beliefs of Islam, comparing and contrasting Christian faith development through history with the development of radical Muslim beliefs. . . . You can throw in Muhammad Ali. You can expound on the politics of weapons sales. You can point out Mecca on a map. I’m not sure there is even a limit to the ‘fully explain’ technique.

However, these responses will only marginally help you achieve your goals in answering their questions.

Wait! Why are we talking about “goals” when all we are doing is answering a question? Kids ask questions all the time. Am I supposed to have “goals” in answering questions?

This is a good point, and the answer is “yes.” As a parent our goal in interacting with our kids needs to be forefront: Train your kids to be Christ followers.

We are not brainwashing them into being mindless drones or training them to be clones of us. But our responses can point them toward God and help them find truth. This is why I recommend answering questions with several objectives in mind.

· “Sum up” with essential information

· Arouse in them a desire to pursue their own study/learning

· Point them toward God with your answer

That seems complicated for a basic question, but the KISS (KISS = Keep It Simple, Stupid) ideal is in full effect when answering questions from your kids. Examples of answering the ISIS question:

For little kids — ISIS is bad. They want to kill all Christians and take over.

Older kids — ISIS is a group of people that don’t believe in the real God. They think everyone that doesn’t believe like them should be killed. They do horrible things and kill and hurt people. What does the Bible say about hurting other people?

Older kids — ISIS is part of a different religion that doesn’t believe in the real God or that Jesus is God’s son. Their religion is called Muslim. There are some Muslims that are peaceful even though they do not have Christian beliefs. Let’s look at what the Bible says about worshiping God and other religions . . .

You can go on and on depending on the age of your kids; maybe even with your older kids talking about Mecca and Muhammad Ali . . . .

There is no real format to answer every kids question. And, as a parent you know that kids ask a LOT of questions. But keeping your answers simple, with the goal of pointing them toward a knowledge and relationship with God/Jesus, and prompting them to think more on the subject, are the three main objectives.

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Brad Washburn is a father, husband, and Director of a Christian counseling center in Tampa, Florida. He has helped hundreds of people over the last 15 years. In particular, he desires to see fathers be “men after God’s own heart” — a description of King David in the Bible who was a lover, fighter, sheep herder, and harp player . . . .Find out more at www.pathseekercenter.org

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