Tuesday, April 9, 2013
6 WAYS TO BUILD THINKING CHILDREN
We live in a relative culture. One in which morality is evolving, the lines of right and wrong are being blurred and history is rewritten. It seems more critical than ever that we train our children to be thinkers. To be actively engaged and applying God's Word to life's circumstances.
James 1:6 tells us that without godly wisdom, and specifically a solid faith in God's willingness to give us godly wisdom, we will be tossed about like a wave of the sea driven by the wind.
We see so many non believers, and believers alike, tossed around as public opinion changes on issues of divorce, same sex marriage, assisted suicide and the value of keepers at home. Our neighbors hop on and off every bandwagon that drives through the public square, praising and then cursing those diversions.
Ephesians reveals that spiritually immature believers who are not grounded in the knowledge of Christ through God's Word are inclined to uncritically accept every sort of doctrinal error and faulty interpretation of Scripture that is promoted by false teachers within the church.
"we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine,
by the trickery of men..." Ephesians 4:14
So, how do we keep ourselves and our children from being tossed to and fro? I can share what we are seeking to apply, however imperfectly, in our home:
1. Pray for wisdom and seek it in the Word of God.
2. Acknowledge that Bible and Worldview are the most important subjects of our child's school day. Read expositorily through God's Word together (it is helpful to pre-read the chapter, pray and utilize solid Christian commentators such as John MacArthur, RC Sproul Jr. or discuss them with your pastor). Discuss how God's wisdom applies to our lives and the world around us. You may also want to utilize Christian resources that challenge your thinking such as: Kevin Swanson's book, What Does the Bible say about That? Or read the thoughts of other sharp thinkers that have gone before us, such as Charles Spurgeon.
3. Memorize Scripture.
4. Watch movies, read books and listen to audio books actively rather than passively. Discuss together which ideas are biblical and which are not. You may have a conviction about avoiding any book or movie that is not overtly Christian and that is fine. But even films that are not overtly Christian (think Toy Story or Swiss Family Robinson) may champion some Christian principles you can discuss together. Talk that idea through- what are they? If there were some things that were not biblical in a film, what were those? What verses do we have to back up our opinion that the actions were not godly? Don't be afraid to pull out the whiteboard and have everyone join in. And do not be shy about avoiding movies that promote wickedness or embrace practical atheism (life lived without Christ).
5. For an older student, pre-read and print out news stories from a Christian perspective from sites like WORLD for their current events assignment. Assign thought provoking questions to the articles and ask your older student to use Scripture to back up their answers.
6. Be in church. Be committed to attending regularly as a family. Faith comes by hearing of the word (Romans 10:17). And we are told that faith is required in the process of gaining godly wisdom (James 1:6).
As a Christian instructor of mine once said, "Let's not be so open minded that our brains fall out!"
Instead, let us be those committed to thinking through the issues of our day and shedding godly wisdom on them. God seems to want his people to reason with Him about spiritual matters. "Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord." Isaiah 1:18. We will have wisdom as we seek it.