When it comes to God, Jesus, Christianity and the Bible there is a lot of information your children can access that is not only inaccurate, but may even be purposely designed to undermine their growing faith. With a generation who can find the “answers” to any question in seconds, the internet can be a spiritual mine field.
Part of the answer is to teach your children how to fact check anything they read or hear by what is written in the Bible. While just telling them that multiple times might be simpler, having a fun interactive family devotional may make a better impact. Begin by looking at familiar Bible story from a different angle.
In Genesis 27, we find the familiar story of Jacob deceiving Isaac in order to receive Jacob’s blessing. Instead of telling the story from the perspective of Jacob and Esau, ask your children what Isaac believed was true when Jacob came to him dressed as Esau. How do they think he felt when he realized he had been tricked? Ask them to think of a time when they thought something was true, only to find out later it was not. What problems did it cause them when they believed the lie?
Explain that sometimes when we believe a lie, we are merely embarrassed when we discover the truth. Other times, the lie can cause major negative consequences in our lives when we believe it. Tell them this is especially true when we believe lies about God, Jesus, Christianity and the Bible. Those lies are dangerous because Satan can use them to weaken our faith if we are not careful.
Explain that sometimes the ”deceptions”aren’t on purpose. The person may have remembered the details wrong or misunderstood something. Even though the person did not mean to deceive us, it can still cause problems.
Other times though, people purposefully tell us lies because they want us to stop believing in God and obeying Him. Their motives may vary, but Satan will use their lies to try and convince God is not worth worshipping and obeying. If we believe those lies, we can suffer catastrophic negative consequences.
The easiest example to find is often in illustrations of Noah’s Ark. Point out the description of the Ark and the number of animals in it. Ask them to look at the illustration and find the errors in it. (Usually illustrations have too many windows and show only one pair of every type of animal.) While this is an example of people not remembering to fact check before creating their art, there are other examples around us everywhere – some of which are more sinister.
How you continue the activity depends upon the age of your children. Little ones can look at other illustrations of Bible stories or watch Bible story videos for children. Have them point out not only the mistakes, but the places where the artist added information that is not in the Bible. (Sometimes that doesn’t change the meaning of the story, but other times it can change one’s understanding of it.)
With older children and teens, you might explore Google searches for religious questions and discover how many answers are totally different from what the Bible teaches. Have them watch normal content and listen for statements characters make about God, Jesus, Christianity and the Bible that are wrong. Point out that often these errors are stated by characters that are supposedly Christian to make them more believable.
End the devotional by reminding them to check out everything anyone says to them about faith matters by comparing it to scripture. You can also have follow up times when you teach them how to find the information they need in the Bible quickly. Teaching your kids to fact check every religious statement they hear or read can prevent them from believing one of Satan’s lies.