How Do You Handle Father’s Day For The Kid Without A Dad?

 

As the father of two amazing kids, I love Father’s Day.  Being a father is one of the greatest and most rewarding things that I have ever experienced.  I love taking pictures with my kids, getting gifts and cards, and celebrating the father/child bond on that third Sunday in June.  It’s a special day for me and for countless others.

In recent years, however, I have become increasingly aware that a large number of children in my Kids Ministry do NOT look forward to Father’s Day.  For some, it is because they have lost their father to death.  I have several children whose father died of cancer or some other disease recently.  For others, it is because their Dad abandoned their family.  Dad left, and he hasn’t been in any regular contact with the children in years.  Still others have NEVER known their father.  They are the child of a single mother who is trying to raise them the best she can – on her own.

While I am a definite advocate of honoring Dads on Father’s Day, of celebrating those men who are faithful to their wives and children, and of heralding the uncles, cousins, and neighbors who serve as “Adopted Dad” for many of these children…I don’t want to allow Father’s Day to go by without remembering these hurting children need special ministry on this weekend.  As my friend, Linda Ranson Jacobs wrote in her recent article, “It’s hard to teach a little boy or girl to honor fathers when their father isn’t present, has deserted them or hurt them. So many church leaders will shy away from including these children. These are the very children that we need to concentrate on when Father’s Day rolls around.”

So, this Father’s Day as you give honor to fathers, remind the children who have no earthly father to honor and celebrate that they have a HEAVENLY FATHER that is worthy of honor and celebration.

Teach these children that:

God is a PERFECT FATHER…

Your Heavenly Father is the absolute PERFECT Father.  He will never break a promise.  He will never hurt you.  He will never treat you badly.  He will NEVER leave you (Hebrews 13:5).  He is absolutely PERFECT in every way.

God has a PERFECT LOVE…

Because God is your Perfect Father, He loves you with a perfect love.  He’s not like those who told you they loved you, but then when you did something they didn’t like, they withheld their love from you. God’s love is so much bigger and stronger than anything we have ever imagined.  The Bible says that “God IS love.” (1 John 4:8)  That means that He has so much perfect love for you that it’s as if LOVE is all that He is made of.  He IS love.  His love is perfect.

The best part is, no matter what you do, His love stays the same.  You might think, “Well, what if I let God down and make a mistake and sin?  Will He still love me then?”  The answer is, “YES!”  God’s perfect love never fails and it never stops.  No matter how much you ignore Him, disobey Him, or hurt Him – God still loves you with His perfect love.  That’s what makes Him such a PERFECT FATHER.

God has a PERFECT PLAN…

Not only is God a perfect Father who has a perfect love for you, but He has a perfect plan for your life (Jeremiah 29:11).  When you go to build a building, you don’t start without a plan.  If you do, your building will probably turn out looking pretty messed up.  You need to know exactly what you want it to be before you start, right?  Just like that, God had a plan for you before the world was created.  It’s true.

God had a perfect plan for you even before you were born (Jeremiah 1:5).  He knew who your friends would be, what you would grow up to become, and every little detail about you.  God’s perfect plan for you is what you need to follow.  If you want to know what His plan is for your life, just ask Him (James 1:5).  He speaks to you through the Bible and in your heart and thoughts.  He will help you make decisions.  He will help you do all the things that will help you become more of the person that He planned for you to be.

The best news of all?  There is nothing that anyone else can do to stop God’s plan for you.  The devil can’t stop it, people can’t stop it, nothing can stop it (Job 42:2).

I know that you may be in a home where you don’t have a Dad.  That can really be hard and painful.  But, NEVER FORGET that God is your perfect Heavenly Father who loves you with a perfect love and has a perfect plan for your life.  He will be there for you no matter what.  “He will never leave you nor forsake you.”

THAT is the message we ALL need to remember this Father’s Day.  Share that message with the children in your ministry who are living without a father.  Remind them that their Heavenly Father loves them this Father’s Day…and every single day of their lives!

Me with my wife, Cherith, and two amazing kids, Ashton (left) and Jordan (right)

Me with my wife, Cherith, and two amazing kids, Ashton (left) and Jordan (right)

1 BIG Reason Why Your Kids Won’t Listen

parent child talk down

“I am so sick and tired of my child not listening to me!  I try my hardest to share my wisdom with them in order to help them avoid pain in life, and they completely tune me out!”  Ever said those words?  If so, you are like MOST parents.  So many parents feel like they have more success talking to a brick wall than to their child (especially their teenager).  Part of the reason for that is the tendency for parents to “talk down” to their kids.

One of the most important principles about talking with kids is to avoid being condescending.  Some parents have told me they want to “dumb down” communication with their kids.  If they mean they’re trying to talk on the child’s level, that’s a good strategy.  My guess, though, is that the term dumb down implies two incorrect and destructive assumptions: that the child is inferior, and the parent is superior. Kids pick up on this perspective, and they deeply resent it.

We need to avoid the attitude: “I’m going to tell you what you need to know so you can become like me.”  No kid wants to be EXACTLY like their parent — especially teenagers who are beginning to value independence and carve out their own identities!  Instead, we should communicate with our words and attitudes, “These are complex topics.  A lot of people have wrestled with these issues, and our family needs to wrestle with them, too.  I value your ideas.”

Of course, this means that we don’t rush through an answer when a little child asks a question, and we don’t react with disgust when teenagers voice views that are very different from our own.  We don’t have to agree, but we need to listen and ask follow-up questions instead of shutting the youngster down.  “I don’t know if I agree, but tell me more of what you’re thinking” shows far more respect than, “I can’t believe that’s what you think!”

Don’t lecture, don’t laugh, don’t dismiss the kid’s input, and don’t talk to your child like he’s dumb or a fool.  I list these errors because I’ve seen them so many times (and truthfully, I’ve made them far too often myself).

I often tell parents to think of themselves as missionaries to a foreign culture.  When missionaries travel to the other side of the world or the other side of town, they put the gospel in the language of the people they’re trying to reach, but that’s not all.  They also work hard to understand the foreign culture so they can put their messages into an appropriate context.  Parents will greatly enhance communication with their kids if they do the same thing: adapt every message to the language and context of their kids’ worlds.  It takes some work to understand the younger culture, but it’s well worth the effort.

This is one of the reasons I wrote my new book, “Talk Now And Later:  How To Lead Kids Through Life’s Tough Topics” (releases on September 1, 2015).  I can’t wait for you all to get it in your hands.  I believe it is going to be a powerful resource for parents who want to lead their kids through life’s tough topics.
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Parents Allow Four Year Old Girl To Become A Boy

self-image

Meet “Jacob.”  Born as a beautiful baby girl named Mia, “Jacob” began expressing the desire to be a boy.  Mia didn’t like dressing like a girl or being called a girl.  So, after a period of painful, thoughtful deliberation, Mia’s parents decided to help her transition to a boy.  My heart breaks for the family, as I am certain this decision was very difficult for them.  You can watch a video of their entire story HERE.

Transgender children are becoming more and more common.  I don’t pretend to be an expert on the subject, but I do want to ask a few questions to probe conversation.  Aside from the obvious moral and Biblical questions that this presents…

*  Do four year olds have the maturity, cognitive ability, or perspective to be allowed to make life-altering decisions like this?

*  Should parents follow the lead of the child in ALL instances (especially where the child’s preferences or desires would lead to a life-altering decision)?

*  What should a Christian parent’s response be when their child is unhappy with their body, their personality, or their identity?

*  What kind of messages should a child who is struggling with their self-image or identity be hearing from their parents and grandparents?

Your child’s self-image is being formed from the day he or she is born.  The messages you send matter!  Children’s self-esteem is shaped by the significant people in their lives.  Parents, of course, play the most important role because they have countless opportunities to steer the development of the self-esteem of a child or teenager in a positive direction.  But don’t overlook the impact a grandparent, uncle, or aunt can have in speaking powerful messages of encouragement, hope, and value into your child.

When your child begins to doubt who they are and begin to ask questions like, “Did God mess up?” or to quote “Jacob” from this video, “Why did God make me this way?  Is God stupid?”  Here are some messages that they should hear LOUD AND CLEAR from the most important people in their lives:

1)  “God designed you!”

No matter the reasons for a child’s birth, he or she is never a mistake or a “cosmic accident.” God told Jeremiah (and us): “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb” (Jer. 1:5). King David wrote:

 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body

and knit me together in my mother’s womb.

Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!

Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.

You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,

as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. (Ps. 139:13–15)

2)  “You’re God’s masterpiece.”

God doesn’t make junk!  He beautifully and specifically crafts each person.  In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul explained, “We are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” (Eph. 2:10).

Like an artist who paints a beautiful portrait or landscape, God took His time to craft every part of us: eyes, nose, personality, gifts, and talents.  God designed each of us individually and specifically.

You and your children are God’s masterpieces. When we learn to see ourselves from His perspective, we will see how wonderful we really are. And when we believe this truth about ourselves, we will impart it to our children.

3)  “God paid a high price for you!”

Some kids see themselves as disposable, valueless, and not worth anyone’s time and attention.  How is the value of anything or anyone determined?  By the price another is willing to pay for it.  A baseball card is just a small piece of cardboard, but a 1909 Honus Wagner card recently sold for $2.8 million!  The person who bought it believed it was quite valuable, but many moms throw out their kids’ baseball cards because they think they’re just clutter!

What’s the value of a person? God put a price tag on human beings when He sent His Son to pay the ultimate price for us. Jesus died in our place, paid the debt we couldn’t pay, and ransomed us from sin and hell to be adopted into God’s family!  In a letter to the Corinthians, Paul explained, “You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price” (1 Cor. 6:19–20).  God was willing to pay a high price for us because He considers us and our children supremely valuable.  We’re worth more to Him than the stars in the sky!  Our kids need to hear this message.  So do we.

4)  “God cares about the details of your life!”

God didn’t spin the universe into being and then leave us on our own.  He’s intimately involved in everything we do.  God is omnipresent, which means He’s with us (and with every atom in the universe) at every moment.  And God is omniscient, which means He knows everything about . . . well . . . everything.

Jesus once told His followers, “What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows” (Matt. 10:29–31).  You mean so much to God that He knows exactly how many hairs are on your head.  When one falls out, He changes the number.  Isn’t that amazing?

If you want to help your children develop a healthy, positive self-image and identity, teach them to view themselves the way that God, their Master-Designer, sees them.  They are His Masterpiece.  He created them, and He cares about every detail of their lives.


***These principles are taken from a chapter on “How To Talk To Kids About Self-Image” in my book, Talk Now And Later:  How To Lead Kids Through Life’s Tough Topics (available now)***
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Family Advent Project: “Christmas Prayer Chain”

Christmas Prayer Chain

Looking for a great and easy-to-do project for your family this Christmas?  My wife, Cherith, started this Christmas tradition in our family when my kids were just babies.  It has meant a lot to our family, and I hope you will find it meaningful as well.  I have had several requests to post this again, so here you go:

“CHRISTMAS PRAYER CHAIN”

What you need:

25 strips of construction paper (approx 2 inches wide and six inches long); a sharpie marker; glue

What to do:

1)  Prior to Dec. 1st, gather your kids together and take turns naming the name of someone the family will pray for (friends, family, pastors, teachers, and others)

2)  Write one name on each strip of construction paper, then glue each strip together end-to-end, linking each to make a long paper chain (see graphic above).

3)  Place the Christmas Prayer Chain on the mantle or on the Christmas Tree

4)  Starting Dec. 1st, gather the family together to remove one link of the chain and pray together for the person listed on that link.

5)  This is a wonderful way to countdown the days until Christmas and have meaningful family prayer time.

May you and your family enjoy your Christmas holiday!

10 Principles To Help Kids Make WISE Choices

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We all want our kids to be wise.  We train them, talk to them, model for them, do everything we can to instill Godly wisdom and practical intelligence in their minds.  We spend eighteen years (sometimes more) monitoring their every move, correcting when necessary, and preparing for the day we will set them free to go out into the world and make a life of their own.

We hope and trust that the scripture we have quoted numerous times throughout our trials and tribulations of parenthood will come true:

“Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.” – Proverbs 22:6

But, the question still remains…how do you GUARANTEE that your child will walk in the way they should go?  How do you GUARANTEE that all of the principles, lessons, and wisdom you have poured into them will actually stick with them when they launch out into the world?

After all, we have all seen children who grew up in godly homes, had amazing parents, went to church every single Sunday – and when they left the nest, they ended up walking away from it all – into a lifestyle of sin.

How do you make sure your child doesn’t end up that way?  The truth is – there is no guarantee.  I don’t mean to be a pessimist or to rain on your parade, but it’s true.  There is no guarantee that every child will choose to follow the way that is set before them.  They are individuals.  They make their own decisions.  There is no guarantee in the Scriptures that your child will become a life-long follower of Jesus if only you follow steps 1 thru 3.  It just isn’t in the Bible.

We are a culture obsessed with getting ahead and ensuring a win. We have little tolerance for failure.  We want guarantees on everything – purchases, programs, etc.  We want a 100% money-back guarantee that this will work.  “If you can’t guarantee the weight-loss program, I’m not trying it.”  “If you can’t guarantee that I will get a job on the first interview by using your training program, I am not even giving it an attempt.”  We want guarantees on EVERYTHING – including raising our children to follow Christ and make wise decisions.

It really breaks my heart when I see children raised in Christian families by parents who were desperately trying to raise them the right way – those children walk away from their faith.  In many cases, (though not all) it was the actions and attitudes of the parents that drove their children away from Christ.  The parents’ micromanagement and attempt to control their kid pushed the kid away. In trying to guarantee their child love the Lord and grow up to think exactly like them, the parents became the biggest obstacle in their kids’ spiritual development.

So, now that I have thoroughly depressed you – let me share some things that I have learned.  I want to again remind you that I am NOT an expert.  My children are 14 and 12.  I have SO MUCH still to learn and experience when it comes to parenting.

However, having been a Kids Pastor for 22 years, I have seen a LOT of kids grow up.  I have watched parents train their kids.  I’ve seen kids who have grown into amazing leaders and exemplary Christ followers.  I have also seen many who have fallen away, never to return to faith (not yet anyway).

So, although I cannot make any kind of overarching guarantee about whether or not your child will become the next Billy Graham or Joel Osteen – I do believe there are some basic principles to learn about how to train your children to make wise decisions that will draw them closer to God and help them become life-long followers of Jesus Christ.

In this video, I share 10 principles that will help guide the conversation with our kids when it comes to making decisions that are “in agreement with the Bible, influenced by the Holy Spirit, and promote the spiritual growth of the individual and those they influence.”  

I have included a fill-in-the-blank outline PDF for you – in case you want to play this video for your parents and use it as teaching tool.  How To Talk To Your Kids About Making Wise Choices (OUTLINE)

A Helpful Resource To Help Teach Young Children About Creation

God-Created

 

Throughout their academic life, children will have to face the onslaught of scientific theories, teachers, professors, and peers who will pressure them into leaving behind the “primitive and uneducated” belief that Earth was created by Almighty God.  A recent Gallup poll reveals that over 60% of Americans believe in the theory of evolution – many of them believing that it is the PRIMARY explanation for where life on Earth comes from.  

Earlier this year, Ken Ham, a well-known Christian apologist debated the outspoken evolutionist, Bill Nye (the Science Guy).  It was a classic  (and public) Creation-versus-Evolution debate.  Nye is more than just a former TV personality.  He was also featured in a YouTube video last year titled “Bill Nye: Creationism Is Not Appropriate For Children.”  Click this link to watch the video.

Nye says, “in another couple centuries,” the creationist worldview “just won’t exist,” saying “there’s no evidence for it.”

The battle for the hearts and minds of the next generation begins long before kids enter a high school or college biology class.

Remember the story of The Emperor’s New Clothes?  It was a small child who saw and pointed out that the king had no clothes on at all.   Kids are not dumb.  Even if parents choose not to discuss it, children will soon recognize that the theory of evolution does contradict the Bible.  So, what can Christian parents do to counteract the push and pull of society to walk away from the Bible and embrace something else as the ultimate authority on the origin of life?

I don’t think it is a simple answer.  It all starts with teaching your children clearly what the Bible says about Creation.  Every once in a while, a tool comes along that helps to aid in that pursuit.  I came across such a tool recently, and wanted to share it with you.

God Created is a short picture book that is aimed at ages 3-8 years old.  It is well done with incredibly vivid illustrations.  It is written by Sarah Evelyn Hodson and illustrated by Jason Platt.  Sarah works as an early intervention speech-language pathologist in addition to writing children’s books.  She is a mom of two children.

You can purchase a copy of this book by clicking here!   Also, Sarah was kind enough to send me a copy to GIVE AWAY for free!  If you would like to be entered into the drawing, please email me at brian@highvoltage-kids.com.  I will announce the winner next week!

How To Handle Parents Who Don’t Attend Your Church

parents-angry

Some time ago, one of the children who attends our church (but his parents do not) told me, “I didn’t come last week because my dad doesn’t think it’s important.”

I recognized what he was doing.  I asked him, “Did your dad actually say that he doesn’t think church is important?”

The boy said, “Well, no, but since he didn’t bring me, he must have something against me coming.”

I quickly responded, “Wait a minute.  We can’t draw that conclusion.  Give your dad a break.  I’m sure he was just busy and couldn’t make his schedule work out.  After all, you’re here today.”  I’m very careful to avoid relational triangles where two people gang up on another.  In this case, I was not (and AM not) willing to join the child in accusing his dad of wrong motives.  It may seem like a small commitment, but I assure you, it’s huge.

I have made a commitment to ALWAYS honor the parents of every child who comes through our doors.  I tell the kids that our ministry is here to support their parents, and I tell the parents we’re here to serve them in every possible way.  I don’t want there to be any suspicion that we’re trying to take the parents’ role away from them.  The parents who have been part of our church for a long time sometimes take this for granted, but those who are coming for the first time—and especially those who haven’t been part of a church—need to be reassured that we’re committed to serve them.  In a dozen different ways, I tell the kids and the parents, “We’re on the same team and are committed to the same purpose: to support your role as parents and encourage your child’s spiritual growth.”

Just the other day, I got an email from a fellow Kids Minister.  She asked, “How should we specifically minister to those children who come to our church, but whose parents are unbelievers or who do not welcome the teachings promoted through Christian Education?”

If a child’s parents don’t attend our church, come only occasionally, or aren’t believers, we want to accomplish these objectives:

1)  Honor the parents – I always speak worth and honor regarding the parents to the kids.  I will NEVER let them talk their parents down simply because they do not share the faith of the child.  Every time I encounter the parents, I honor them and remind them that we are on the same team.

2)  Remind the child of their duty to be a soul-winner in their home – Our message to the child is clear, intentional, and direct.  I tell the kids, “God has put you in your family for a purpose.  If you want your parents, brothers, and sisters to come to Christ, you have to show them the love of God in your actions as well as your words.  You can’t expect to win them to Jesus if you act like a selfish punk.”  They seem to understand this concept.  Even first graders get the picture that they can be lights in their families.  They can let their light shine so their parents and siblings see Jesus in them.  We never want the kids to use church as leverage to blame and control their parents.  Instead, we want to turn that upside down so they become loving, obedient, joyful lights that show their family members the grace of Christ.

3)  Communicate with the parents – send them emails, letters, Facebook messages, etc.  No, I don’t mean STALK them.  I mean let them know what is going on in your church and ministry.  When their child does something incredible, let them know.  When their child does something that demonstrates the character of Christ, let them know.  When there is a special training for parents at your church, let them know.  As you communicate to them, pray that God will use every communication to help them get closer to crossing that line of faith.

How about you?  How do YOU deal with parents of kids in your ministry but they don’t attend your church?  What approaches have you found to be extremely effective?  Leave a comment and share your thoughts with the Kidmin Community.

 

5 Things Every Ministry Leader Should Be Doing With Their Family

Family

This week I got an email from a fellow Kids Pastor.  It said, How hard do you push your children? On those days when someone from the church has been extremely rude, or when a party took place on a Saturday night and Sunday morning my kids show up and have to clean before worship service can even begin, or when they are just plain TIRED. Everyone gets frustrated from time to time because we are dealing with humans.  How do I, as a mother, know when I’m pushing them too hard.  The LAST thing I want is for them to look back one day and resent the time and energy that the Children’s Ministry takes.”

I totally understand the difficulty of this delicate balance.  My wife and both of my kids (12 and 14) are VERY involved in our Kids Ministry.  They LOVE it!  But, I don’t ever want to take that for granted.  I want to be proactively working to preserve that spirit and excitement for God, the church, and the ministry.  Here are 5 things I do to help make that happen.  Perhaps you can apply these to your family situation…

1)  Always talk positively about the church, the leadership, and the ministry.

I don’t mean wear rose-colored glasses and act like there are never any challenges.  I think if you act like nothing is ever wrong or difficult, then your kids are not fooled and they start to see you as “fake.”  Acknowledge the difficulties (cleaning up after a party when you didn’t plan on it, having to get up early to set up, etc.), but remind them that God has called your family to do an incredible task – lead kids to Christ.  Remind them what a privilege it is – and always make sure your tone and verbage communicate that YOU count it as a privilege.

2)  Guard them from “church drama.”

I know too many pastors and church leaders that come home speaking negatively and “dissing” the pastor and other leadership when there is a disagreement at church.  They do this to their spouse and in front of their kids.  Listen – your kids pick up on that.  When they see you hurting because of what church leaders or other pastors have done and said, it clouds their emotions and it is difficult for them to let go.  Don’t bring your “offense” home to your family.  They may end up carrying that bitterness LONG after you have already “made up” with the person you were feuding with.  Most of the time you don’t go back and tell your kids about the restoration of that relationship.  They are left feeling the effects of the bitterness that you ended up seeding in them (however unwittingly).

3)  Treat your kids just like everyone else.

 Although obviously they have to get up earlier than most and also tag along with me at times – other than that, I treat my kids just like any other worker on my team.  I expect the same out of them (not more, not less) than anyone else on the team.  I NEVER say to them, “You are my kid, so I expect you to do more than the rest of the team.”  Instead, I say, “Remember, you are a leader on this team – others are watching your example.  Let’s set the best example possible and lead people in the right direction.”  When you apply additional pressure to them simply because they are your kid, they will soon begin to resent the reason for that pressure.

4)  Pray as a family – for your pastor, your church, and the ministry.

It is very difficult to pray for someone or something regularly and be angry or discontented with them.  My family and I pray for my pastor and his family regularly.  We pray God’s blessings on him, the leadership, and the church as a whole.  This endears my pastor and the church to my kids.  Rather than driving them further from the church, it does the opposite.  There’s an old saying, “If you talk about someone to others, you will grow to hate them.  But, if you talk about someone to God, you grow to love them.”

5)  Serve with joy.

Let them see you smile as you pick up after the party from the night before.  Let them hear you rejoice about the opportunities to serve the Kids Ministry.  Talk about it as a FAMILY ministry.  Don’t let them feel like they are just “helping Mom” or “helping Dad.”  Instead, talk about the difference WE are making.  Include them in the joy that comes from serving God and His church.

It’s a blessing to have your family serving with you in the work of the ministry.  But, never leave the health of your family to chance.  Be PROACTIVE and PURPOSEFUL in planting the seeds of a healthy spirit of gratitude and love for God and the ministry.  It won’t happen by accident!

So, how about you?  What are some of the things YOU do to help your family stay healthy in their spirit and their attitude toward the ministry?  Share your thoughts in the comments section of this post!

What If Your Family Were Shot With 3,192 Paintballs In 5.3 Seconds?

paintball family

This would be a ludicrous question – if it hadn’t actually happened to this family!  It was all done to prove a point – a POWERFUL point!  Watch below and you will understand what I mean…

Movies these days are often filled with gratuitous language, violence, nudity, and suggestive material.  It can be almost impossible for the family to sit down and watch a movie together without being subjected to all of this content.  Well, the people over at VidAngel have innovated the Family Movie Night.  They have introduced a streaming service that allows YOU to be in control of what you watch, see, and hear.  You can “turn on” and “turn off” language, violence, and more.  Just head on over to VidAngel.com to see what I am talking about.

**THIS IS NOT A PAID ADVERTISEMENT!  I JUST REALLY BELIEVE IN WHAT VIDANGEL.COM IS TRYING TO ACCOMPLISH!**

If you would like to check out the “Behind The Scenes” video, check this out:

 

 

Talking To Kids About SEX

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There is a long held belief in many circles that there are certain subjects that should not be mentioned at church or from the pulpit.  They are “reserved for the home.”  There are two problems with that whole frame of reference.

Shouldn’t SEX Talk Be Reserved For The Home?

1)     SEX was created by God.

The idea that sex should not be discussed in church flies in the face of the fact that SEX is a beautiful gift, created by God, for the purpose of giving a husband and wife an intimate physical way of connecting and expressing their love for one another.  It is also designed by God as the way for the human race to reproduce.

“As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it.” – Genesis 8:17

In fact, to say that SEX should not be mentioned in church means that you probably haven’t read the BIBLE lately.  SEX and instructions about SEX are all throughout the Bible.  Depending on what translation of the Bible you use, the topic of SEX is addressed between 100 – 137 times.

In fact, the Bible gets pretty graphic at times.  And it’s not relegated simply to a couple of poetic passages in the Song of Solomon.

For too long, the church has been silent on this issue.  For years, children (and adults alike) heard little to nothing on the subject of healthy sexuality from the church.  Part of the reason it is not spoken about from the pulpit is that it makes us uncomfortable.  It makes us uncomfortable because it is rarely brought up in the pulpit.  It is a vicious cycle, so we consider it off-limits.

Sadly, this ends up working against us.   The only time kids or teens ever hear the word SEX brought up in the pulpit, it is only in a negative context.  “DON’T have sex, kids.  It’s bad!  It’s dangerous!  Stay away from SEX!”

There’s a problem with this.  SEX isn’t bad.  It is good.  It is VERY good.  God designed it.  He created it.  We have turned it into a taboo subject for the church, and it is not and should not be.

The other reason that the whole “The topic of SEX should be reserved for the home” is a problem is…

2)     Few parents ever give their kids a healthy, Biblical sex education

If I were to take a quick poll of each of my readers and ask, “How many of you received healthy, value-centered sex education from your parents growing up?”  (not just a superficial one-time and confusing conversation about birds and bees, but a true explanation and education regarding healthy, Bible-centered sexuality) – the number would be next to zero.

It’s sad: Our parents didn’t talk to us about healthy sexuality, and, unfortunately, we’re not doing much better with our own children.  A vast majority of young people say they receive more information about sexuality from their friends, media, and school than from their own home.  This is not good news, especially when all studies show that the more positive, value-centered sex education kids receive in their home, the less promiscuous they will be.

Even though this generation of parents typically wants to do a better job of communicating with their kids, too many well-meaning moms and dads are remaining silent for too long.  We are so paranoid about our kids becoming sexually active, we foolishly think that by not approaching the subject of sex for as long as possible, we will somehow keep them from learning about it and falling into sin.  The typical mindset of a Christian parent is “If I talk to them about it, it will make them more curious.”

Because it so off-limits for their behavior, we’ve made it off-limits for our conversation with our kids.

Many parents are afraid that talking about “it” will rob their children of their sexual innocence, or they are afraid that their children’s sexual desires might be awakened early.  Some parents avoid bringing up the subject because they might be asked about their own experiences, and they aren’t all that proud of how they handled their own sexuality.

I am not suggesting that Kids Pastors have a series in Children’s Church on “God’s View On SEX!”  Not at all!  But, what I am suggesting is that WE must do OUR JOB to train and equip the parents in our church to have these meaningful conversations at home with their kids!

The best place for children to learn about sexuality and relationships is  – AT HOME – from their parents!

A parent is almost always the person who has the best interest of their child in mind when it comes to sexuality.  And you and I have the opportunity to provide our children healthy, Bible-centered sex education that is based on what God values.  He has given us our sexuality.  In the framework of Scripture, sex is not dirty.  In the context of marriage it is beautiful.  The world’s culture has cheapened sex, but God’s view of sexuality is wonderful and magnificent.

In this video, I teach the parents at our church on the topic of “How To Talk To Your Kids About SEX.”  I encourage you to watch it, take notes, and even take the information in order to teach a class just like this at YOUR church.  It’s time the church start talking about God’s plan for the lives of our kids when it comes to building a healthy, Bible-based sexuality.

If you would like to simply use this video at your church with the parents in your ministry, feel free.  Here are the fill in the blank notes:  How To Talk To Your Kids About Sex (OUTLINE)