10 Things We Tell Our Children About Violence in the World -Part 3

A Three-Part Series

We have been talking about violence in the world today in my last 2 posts and I must admit, it can be very overwhelming and hard to remain positive or hopeful with new reports of violence daily. We know more about what is happening in our local communities, our nation, and around the world, but unfortunately, most of that news entails some type of disorder or bloodshed. Most of us wonder if violence is on the rise, or if technology merely allows us to see more of what happens around the world. Personally, I don’t know, but I do believe that the more we know, the heavier our hearts may feel the weight of such pain and injustice.

photo: eye-for-ebony – Unsplash

Solomon encountered this dilemma in his quest for understanding wisdom, madness and folly, and eventually concluded it was futile: “For with much wisdom comes much sorrow: the more knowledge, the more grief.” Eccl 1:18

He looked at everything that was happening in the world at that time, tried desperately to understand it, but could not. In fact, the more he knew, the greater his frustration. “What is twisted cannot be straightened, what is lacking cannot be counted.” Eccl 1:15

10 Things We Tell Our Children About Violence in the World-Part 2

A Three-Part Series

Photo by ilya-yakover on Unsplash

Keeping up with current events can be frightening. There are new reports of violence, murder, abuse, and devastation each and every day. Sensational stories receive the most attention and to an alert and watching child, they may cause fear and anxiety in their young, impressionable mind.

I recognized this when my oldest had to prepare a current events project two years ago which she chose to do on ISIS. As we read a few articles together and discussed the information, she asked me, “Mom, are they coming here?” Will they come for us? ISIS, was after all, in the headlines for their latest string of beheadings of Christians, westerners, and non-converts.

And today, we hear new stories of mass shootings nearly every week… Lord give us strength…

10 Things We Tell Our Children About Violence in the World-Part 1

A Three- Part Series

photo: Jordan-whitt Unsplash

Recently, another heartbreaking event occurred. A church massacre left 26 dead and 20 more wounded. And now there has been another school shooting. And unfortunately, we can probably expect more.

 

We take to social media with comments like, “What do we tell our children? How do we keep them from thinking this is “normal” with new reports of violence, hatred, rioting, etc with each new week?”

 

Before we address this with our children, we must address this with ourselves. How are we interpreting what is happening all around us? As a Christian, I turn to the Bible to help adjust my view, my perspective on things happening in the world. If I only look from the ground level, I can be filled with fear and hopelessness. I look around and see senseless violence, hatred, and discord, and tremble in fear for my self and my family. But when I pull back to the bigger picture, with a different perspective I find understanding, power, and hope.

The Power of Forgiveness

xavier_sotomayor – Unsplash

Both women had experienced inexplicable pain in life. Margaret was angry and bitter over yet another divorce and had accepted that her only recourse was to toughen up and protect herself. She became demanding, paranoid, and quite lonely, not to mention, an extraordinarily difficult co-worker. Most could guess that her caustic personality was the result of many hurts and betrayals she had suffered in relationships both professional and personal.

Grace was sexually abused by her father for over a decade despite her reporting this abuse to the one person she could trust, but who had ultimately failed to protect her— her own mother.

Keeping The Faith

3 Essentials to Safeguarding Your Child's Faith

samantha-sophia- Unsplash

With numerous blogs, articles, and testimonials of teens or young adults leaving the church for various reasons, parents have begun to doubt that they no longer hold any power or lasting influence in the faith of their adolescent and young adult children. The media has told us, and we have believed them, that friends, social media, entertainers, and pop culture have the greatest influence in our teen’s lives. Therefore, many parents have given up even trying to guide and direct their teen’s faith, or religious beliefs, out of a growing sense of futility.

Yet this longitudinal study has proven otherwise! In a Huffington Post Blog,The No. 1 Reason Teens Keep The Faith As Young Adults writer David Briggs explains encouraging and surprising results: the connection between children and teens who were raised by parents who “talked about faith at home, attached great importance to their beliefs, and were active in their congregations were themselves religiously active as young adults.”

In fact, Briggs reports that the connection, according to Dr. Smith, the lead researcher, is “nearly deterministic.”

Wow! That’s encouraging to me!

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

In my last blog post, I discussed the critical, yet simple elements of faith for salvation such that one as young as preschool could receive Christ as Savior. However, our work does not end there. In fact, it is just beginning! What we must seriously consider, is our role AFTER a child makes a profession of faith. That rests on us as parents, grandparents, teachers, or mentors in their life.

Why?

Can a Preschooler Really Accept Christ As Savior?

How Much Understanding is "Enough?"

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Matt and I were shopping at a local home improvement store and had been chatting with a woman about lamps, home decor, and painting. Randomly, I turned to spiritual things, as I typically do- hoping to discern if this complete stranger knows Christ as Savior or has a church to attend. She confirmed that she attended at a church nearby and the conversation shifted to pleasantries of our shared faith and hope…until that is, we discussed the faith of our children and leading them to salvation. I testified that I had received Christ as Savior at the age of four and she rolled her eyes.

WHAT?

You read it correctly. She rolled her eyes- as if to cast doubt that a four- year- old could possibly understand enough about salvation to “do it” correctly.

Breaking the Cycle of Anxiety

Creating NEW Thought Habits

Anxiety Disorders affect roughly 40 million Americans according to the National Institute of Mental Health and women are 60% more likely to experience an anxiety disorder in their lifetime than men. This means that anxiety disorders (Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorders, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Phobias, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) affect roughly one out of every five adults!

Statistics indicate that you or someone you know will experience an anxiety disorder at some point in life.

Photo by Ben White- Unsplash

In my last post, I wrote that anxiety is often rooted in the false belief that we can/should be able to do everything on our own- but the realization that we cannot possibly control every circumstance, nor can we have complete confidence in our own strength, abilities, efforts, or relationships— creates tension. This tension may motivate us toward greater effort and discipline, but also may produce fear and anxiety we cannot manage properly.

Banishing Anxiety From Your Heart

Getting to the Root of It

You lay in bed, trying to sleep, but you can’t. The minutes fly by and soon the hours, but you can’t stop thinking– your brain is going a million miles a minute playing out scenarios, ideas, replaying past events, wondering where you went wrong. You ask why this is happening to you and what you will do about it. You see no answers or easy path forward. You are dealing with anxiety.

Photo by Joe Gardner on Unsplash

Anxiety is worry, impatience, restlessness, unease, or eagerness to see things happen— and if left unchecked can have disastrous effects on our health, relationships, even our faith!

To root out this issue, we have to dig deep.

Most of us believe anxiety is driven by our circumstances – financial instability, conflict in relationships, uncertainty about the future, feeling a loss of control, etc…but those are just circumstances. They are still part of the surface. What is the root problem when I am experiencing the financial instability, a broken relationship, or uncertainty about the future?

Wisdom Brief

Forgotten Benefits of Correction

Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

“You are coding your clients’ time incorrectly.”

“There is a better way to address this problem with your toddler.”

“This expense is not allowed…”

“You are manipulating your husband…”

“The word you are using does not mean what you think it means.”

“Reconnecting with this person is a bad idea.”

“Be careful about how you approach this topic with your teenager.”

 

Most of us do not enjoy correction. I will be the first to admit, I personally struggle the moment I realize that someone is correcting me in some way. Why? It’s probably that I am an adult, but when someone tells me that I am doing something wrong, or simply extends a caution, it makes me feel like a child. I begin to feel inadequate or incapable and I immediately become defensive.

Do you feel that way too?

 

What I often fail to remember is that correction, most of the time, is for my benefit. It is to set me on the right course, to help me get the results I want, or what others in authority expect from me.

But my attitude and pride often get in the way. Or maybe I do not like or respect the person who is correcting me.

 

That’s foolishness of course.

 

Proverbs 12:1 (NIV) states, “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid.”

Yikes! That’s strong wording…he who hates correction is stupid??

 

If we appreciate knowledge and understanding, we must also appreciate correction.

 

Correction (or a rebuke, warning, chastening, instruction, or even discipline) leads to knowledge.

 

And if we love (value or appreciate) knowledge, we must learn to love correction.

 

Otherwise, we become brutish, (wasteful, consuming, foolish,) like unthinking, unreasoning animals.

 

Scripture tells us that it is outright stupid to hate correction because it benefits us with valuable knowledge.

It also gives us understanding(Prov 15:32)

And honor, instead of shame. (Prov 13:18)

Furthermore, it is rewarded(Prov 13:13)

And shows others the way to life(Prov 10:17)

 

It’s stupid of us to hate correction. If we can get past our initial response, the tendency to defend or dismiss, and recognize the valuable knowledge that we gain from correction, along with understanding and honor, we can expect greater rewards and show others the path to life.

Let’s stop being so stupid!

 

 

If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe (the RED button at the right) so you can receive weekly posts with articles and discussions on applying God’s unchanging wisdom to a changing world.

 

 

Finding the “Right” Path

Four Characteristics to Look For

Life is often referred to as a journey. The paths we take and the decisions we make determine where we end up, but it is often difficult to find the “rightpath or even know what it looks or feels like.

 

“Do I pursue a relationship with this person? Should I take this job transfer? How do I lead my teenager through this issue? Where do I go to further my education? Should I quit my job and start my own business?”

 

Wisdom offers clarity on recognizing the best course so we do not stumble or end up in the wrong place.

 

Roughly twelve years ago, my husband and I desperately needed help finding our way forward as it had been clouded by loss, confusion, and painful circumstances.