Archive | Popular Culture

Teaching Kids About Needs and Wants

Teaching Kids About Needs and Wants - Parenting Like HannahYears ago when I lived in New York City, there was a well known “preacher” who promised people if they gave him $500, God would give them a new Cadillac. Most of the members of his congregation were some of the poorest people in New York City. I always wondered what happened when the promised car failed to appear.

God never promised us everything we want in life, no matter what we give Him. A quick look at the lives of the Apostles and how they ended, will reinforce this concept. As far as we know, none of them gathered great wealth and power. In fact, they all experienced periods of imprisonment, beatings, exile and rather horrid deaths (except for the Apostle John who apparently died of old age). Yet, through it all, their faith remained strong and they stayed focused on God’s mission for their lives – no matter the cost.

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Christian Kids and Good Things

Christian Kids and Good Things - Parenting Like HannahAdmit it. When you read the title of this post, your first thought was probably about teaching kids to “be good” or “do good”. Christianity is much more than being and doing good though. At it’s core is the story of God who lovingly created a world, but more importantly, us.

It’s about how God created not only a good, but a perfect world for us to inhabit. It’s about how even when Satan tempted Adam and Eve to sin – destroying the perfect world – God still allowed good things in the Fallen World. It’s about how His love sent His son to die on the cross so we can spend eternity in a perfect world – Heaven.

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Christian Kids and Movies

Christian Kids and Movies - Parenting Like HannahThere has been a lot of back and forth on social media lately regarding a couple of the new movies hitting theaters. Various Christians have posted their opinions about whether or not Christians should support the movies by buying tickets and/or whether children should be allowed to see them. This is one of those areas where God didn’t give us hard and fast rules, but general principles we can apply.

If you are trying to dedicate your kids to God, how can you know what movies you should allow your child to see? Are there issues besides glorified sin that should make you think twice before taking your child? (Ask my daughter about her first movie – rated “G”, but it absolutely terrified her. She practically crawled over her dad’s head so she could get out of there.) Are there any hard and fast rules for Christians to follow about movies?

I can’t make those ultimate decisions for you, but I can guide you as to which questions you should ask yourself before allowing your kids to see a movie.

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How “See Something, Say Something” Parenting Could Revolutionize Your Christian Parenting

How See Something Say Something Could Revolutionize Your Christian Parenting - Parenting Like HannahIf you have lived in or visited a major urban area recently, you may have noticed a sign that read “See Something, Say Something”. Designed to encourage citizens to report information that could help authorities prevent a terrorist attack, the phrase could also be the best Christian parenting advice I can give you.

Years ago when I was a child, we knew without a doubt that if just about any adult saw us doing something we weren’t supposed to do, they would correct us or worse yet, tell our parents. In fact, it wasn’t always misbehavior.

I had gotten carsick on a school field trip four states away. When we stopped for dinner hundreds of miles from home, by coincidence a family from our village had also stopped to eat there. We drove all night, but by the time our bus pulled into the school parking lot, my parents greeted me with “Why didn’t you tell us you got sick?!”

Oh, how times have changed. Most of us are terribly afraid of correcting a child who isn’t ours – even if their life is in danger. We would never think of allowing anyone to tell us anything about our kids – except on a rare occasion their school teachers. In fact, we were in a situation where a teen was making some scary choices and we were honestly afraid of being sued or worse if we let the parents know what was happening.

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The Christian Child’s Hero

The Christian Child's Hero -Parenting Like HannahThe author of a book I read asked several people whom they considered their spiritual “masters”. In the author’s mind, the term meant someone to whom the people looked for spiritual guidance and to gain understanding and wisdom. The answers ranged from Zen teachers to Vincent Van Gogh to Charles Darwin and more. Some cited religious writers like Annie Lamott, various Catholic saints or the Dalai Lama. Others leaned towards pop culture with names like Dr. Andrew Weil, history with Ben Franklin and even Gloria Steinem. Yet not one person, mentioned Jesus.

One would assume if the same question were asked of people in your congregation, Jesus would top the list. Yet, when one examines the behaviors of one holding up someone as a hero to whom they look up and follow, I would imagine a very different picture would emerge. Whom do they quote the most? A preacher? A Christian author? When someone asks them for advice, whose writings do they suggest the person read? To whom would they give lots of money to hear speak or rush to buy their latest book? Who do they secretly wish they were most like? Whom do they talk about all of the time? Unfortunately, I am afraid even in our churches, the answer would quite often be someone other than Jesus.

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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)