The university I attended for my undergraduate degree was actually a part of Colonial Williamsburg. We were seeped in history and most of us loved it, no matter our major. Our library was full of rare documents from people like Thomas Jefferson and other historical figures. As a result, one of the principles we were taught was the idea of researching primary source documents.
A primary source document is considered to be the closest source you can find to an actual event or person. So for example, when I wanted to do a paper on the man who built many of the historical homes on the Appomattox River, I didn’t read a book about him. Instead, I went to the historical society library in Richmond and had them pull everything he had ever personally written – from letters to diaries to inventories and wills. Those documents painted a more accurate picture of the man than one painted by someone else who had their personal interpretation of his life added to the mix.
So what does this have to do with Christian parenting? For Christians, our primary source document is the Bible. (I’m not ignoring the translation aspect, but that’s a more advanced level of this topic.) All other writings on the topic are considered at best a secondary source. Any book on Christianity. Any theology treatise. Any commentary. Any document written by someone and not included in the Bible is a secondary source.
We are so excited about our latest free resource for Christian parents! Many of you have been asking for a private community Facebook group. We heard you and it’s live now! The Parenting Like Hannah Community is a safe place for Christian parents to be encouraged and challenged on their Christian parenting journey.
Community members will have access to special content including:
– live chats
– in depth discussions of blog content
– first look at new resources
– priority registration for learning intensives
– opportunities to have your parenting questions answered by more experienced moms
If you talk to the average teen involved in school and church, you will usually hear about their interest and even passion for issues of social justice. Now back in your day, you may have been interested in some of the same problems of the world. You may even now volunteer in an attempt to make a positive difference. You in fact may actually be more passionate and knowledgable about some of the social justice issues than even the most passionate teen.
There is a generational difference though. Where previous generations addressed social issues within their churches and outside of them, Christian young people today expect churches to take the lead in all of these issues. If they feel their church is not only not leading in these areas, but also in their minds barely addressing them, they will often leave. Unfortunately, because many have little in the way of a strong biblical foundation, leaving often means rejecting not just their congregation, but the church as a whole and even their belief and faith in God.
Want to hear something scary? A recent poll of 18-32 year olds revealed 80% of them felt it was perfectly fine to lie to get out of an awkward situation. Eighty percent of young adults think lying is perfectly acceptable!
I will admit lying will send me over the edge quicker than just about anything. I struggled with lying as a young child. That is until my parents decided to trot out every Bible verse about how much God absolutely detests lying. I am sure I have told an occasional lie since then, but I try to keep it to none. I am honestly still too frightened by the sheer number and emphatic nature of those Bible verses!
In today’s society, trotting out the Bible verses unfortunately, probably won’t stop your child from lying. Why? Because lying has been given such an extremely narrow definition by the world, your child will think she isn’t lying even when she is. In today’s world, a lie is a huge untruth told on purpose to hurt someone else. Partial truths, hidden truths, lies told to “spare” someone else, little “white” lies and more are considered acceptable and “not really lies” in the world.
The first time your child tells a lie, it is always a shock. How did this innocent little child decide telling you a lie was the best course of action? Are you in danger of raising a pathological liar? Probably not, but if you can avoid some common parenting mistakes, you are more likely to raise a child who is the truthful adult God requires.
So what are these common mistakes? These are the ones I notice parents making over and over.