One Million Arrows Christian Parenting Blog

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When To Pick A Fight With Your Kids
Guest Author: Nathan Wilkerson
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Beyond shaping our kids, we need to sharpen them. I believe that a ready knowledge of God's word will do just that. To show you what I mean, let's look at an example of an arrow that did its job. In Acts 2 verses 14-37 we find the Apostle Peter delivering the first-ever presentation of the message about Jesus. In verse 37, we see the effect...

"Peter's words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and to the other apostles, 'Brothers, what should we do?'"—TNIV

Peter was an arrow for God. He had been shaped and sharpened through a childhood in synagogue school and 3 years of apprenticing under Jesus. Of course Peter's words pierced their hearts; he was using God's word. Of the 23 verses that make up this sermon, 11, are references to the Old Testament Scriptures. Hebrews 4:12 says,

"For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires."—TNIV

Whatever vocation our children enter, they will need knowledge of scripture to be effective at tearing down the work of Satan in the lives of others. Foster honest inquiry! Make the Bible interesting enough to ask questions about. Never be visibly disturbed by our children's periodic heresy. Children will have questions about God. Home is the safest place to discuss those. Children must feel safe to ask the hard questions. If by junior high you have not faced an inquisition from your child regarding the validity of faith in God, then you should pick a fight. They either have the questions and don't feel the right to ask them, or they are going along on assumptions rather than faith. Either way, they need to participate in a time of examination of what they and you believe and why. This will begin the transfer of ownership for their faith as well as inoculate them against the arguments posted by unbelieving friends or college professors.

When Jadon was three, he and I were bouncing on the trampoline and he turned to me and said, "Dad, if God is real, then why can't I see him." I have to admit that my insides tightened a bit at the very phrase, "If God is real..." coming from my child. We'd never had a child question God's very existence, especially at such a young age. Now I could have said, "What do you mean, if God is real? Of course he's real. You're here aren't you? If there was no God, then there would be no you, right?" I didn't, thankfully. I simply borrowed from John 3 and explained that God is like the wind in that you can't see him, but you can see the effects of God. That seemed to satisfy him for the moment, but the most important thing was that I didn't overreact. I wanted to leave the door open for him to ask more questions later.

wilkersonNathan Wilkerson is a Bible teacher and member of New Heights Church. We appreciate his contribution of this parenting series!

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