Archive | Faith Development

Kids, Ecology and God

Kids, Ecology and God - Parenting Like HannahGlobal warming. Pollution. Renewable energy. Recycling. If you are like many, those words create a strong reaction in you. It may be positive or negative, but what does God have to say on the subject of ecology? What should you be teaching your kids? What, if anything, should you be doing with your kids to care for the earth?

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” Genesis 1:26 (NIV) Inevitably, when talking to Christians about ecology, this is the verse that is first quoted. Ironically, I have heard it interpreted in two basically opposite ways – “dominion/rule also implies caring for something” OR “rule means we can do whatever we want – use it up/destroy it, etc”.

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Fun Art Activity To Help Kids See God

Fun Art Activity To Help Kids See God - Parenting Like HannahWhen talking with young adults who have rejected God at some point, there are two common themes. The first is usually that they did not see God making a positive difference in the lives of their parents. The other is that they cannot see God working in the world today, attributing everything that happens to luck or fate.

There is a fun family devotional you can do with your kids to help them begin to understand how God works in the world today. Read or tell your children two stories in the life of the prophet Elijah. The first is the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal found in I Kings 18:16-45. The second is the story of God appearing to Elijah found in I Kings 19:9-18.

Talk about the amazing “big” way in which God showed himself in the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal. Then discuss the “small”, gentle way God appeared to Elijah in the second story. Explain that sometimes people only see God when He does “big”, miraculous things. Tell them how God is sometimes even more amazing in the “small”, quiet things He does for us.

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Tips for Teaching Kids and Teens How to Sort “Wisdom”

Tips for Teaching Kids and Teens How to Sort "Wisdom" - Parenting Like Hannah“Just because you are right, does not mean I am wrong. You just haven’t seen life from my side.” Anon. “Always go with your passions. Never ask yourself if it’s realistic or not.” Deepak Chopra. That’s just a tiny sample of the “wisdom” I found on my social media today.

Young people are exposed to so many bits of “wisdom” from so many people. Some of it sounds really great – until you think about what it actually means. Or your kids may have been told by peers or teachers that someone like Chopra is just amazing and they should do whatever he says. Worse yet, much of this “wisdom” is totally anonymous. Unless you know for sure, it could be a quote from the Bible or something the mass murderer in Cell Block C said. Yet often teens will soak it in and pass it on to their peers.

That’s why it’s so vitally important we teach young people how to filter wisdom before they accept it, and especially before they pass it on to others. A great way is to encourage them to ask themselves these important questions before they accept anything as wisdom.

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Teaching Christian Kids About Cause and Effect

Teaching Christian Kids About Cause and Effect - Parenting Like HannahWhen you read through secular research on young people and decision making, one thing is mentioned repeatedly. Young people have a tough time making consistently good choices. The causes behind it are many and vary some from child to child. What is problematic for Christian parents is that these bad choices can have not just long term, but eternal consequences.

There is a developmental aspect to making good choices, which is probably why God requires baptism of young people only at the age of accountability. As your kids approach that age, it’s important to really focus on decision making skills – especially in relation to what God wants our decisions to be. You can and probably should, start some early training with even very young children. The earlier you start training them, the easier making good choices will be for most kids.

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Kids, Dinosaurs and God

Kids, Dinosaurs and God - Parenting Like HannahIf you have a young child, you are probably in or about to enter the dinosaur phase. It’s a lot of fun for kids to learn about those often giant and unique animals. Unfortunately, some atheists have tried to use dinosaurs to convince people Christians hate science and are basically uneducated rubes. Your child may even have a teacher or professor at some point who will actually say “Christians are idiots, because they don’t believe in science.” I know I did.

We often forget science, like every other field, is highly competitive and politicized. Many scientists are under pressure to “publish or perish”. Scientists, like those in other fields, all want to be viewed as experts. For many, this makes them feel as if they must state theories as absolute truth in order to avoid uncomfortable questioning about their research. Those with theories opposing their own must be “destroyed” in order to protect their own reputation and theories.

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Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. (Deuteronomy 11:18-19 NIV)