Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Raising Your Kids for Christ

As a proud father of two young girls, I understand that I have the responsibility to train up my children in the Lord [Proverbs 22:6].

Here are some things that I have found helpful in carrying out that incredibly important task.



1. Family Devotions/Worship Time


It is my conviction that families should try to have a scheduled time each day to sit down, read and discuss the scriptures, and to pray and praise the Lord.  This will look different for each family.  In our house, we do catechism questions1 with the girls during dessert.  Before bed we read an account from the scriptures or learn about one of God's attributes.2  Lastly, we end our devotional time praying for others. Further, I sometimes lead the family in praise on my guitar.

2. Stop sharing "stories" with your kids

In my house we don't read Bible "stories."  We read Bible accounts.  I want to convey to my children that there are good reasons to believe that the events recorded in the Bible actually happened in space and time.  The Bible is not full of "stories" in the same way Cinderella is a "story," but gives an accurate account of history.  Therefore, I refer to it as such.  When my children ask me a Bible question I try to remember to say, "Let's check what the record says."

 3. Share what you are learning

As parents we need to be actively learning how to make a case for the Christian faith and then share those arguments and evidences with our family.3  This can happen while driving in the car or over a meal.

4. Learn a new language

In addition to using words like faith and hope with our little ones, it important that when we talk about our Christian convictions, we include words like trust, evidence and logic.  Our children need to understand that Christianity is grounded in what is true.  Therefore, when discussing our trust in Christ, we should emphasize the importance of sound thinking and reasonable conclusions.

5. Think out loud with your kids

I remember when my 7 year old daughter came to the realization that there are many other so called "gods."  I pointed out that there are indeed numerous people who have worshiped all kinds of things as God and I asked her the following question- "If there are so many people worshiping all these other so-called gods, how can we know that our God is the true God?"  She thought for a moment and said, "Because our God gave us the Bible!"  I thought that was a fairly good answer for a young child. As she gets older, we will talk about other good reasons to hold this conviction.

Challenge your kids with questions and think out loud with them regarding the answer.  If you don't know the answer, research it with them!

6. Teach Your Kids to Seek Answers to Their Questions

My daughters often ask me questions about the Christian faith or the existence of God and I'll freely admit that sometimes I don't know the answer.  When this happens, I will answer the question to the best of my ability and then let them know that I am going to look into it for them.  Then, I research the question and share the answer I found with them.  In doing so, it is my goal to not only provide them with an answer to their question, but also to model a diligent search for truth.  As my children grow older, my goal is to research answers to their questions with them so that they may ultimately learn to be independent seekers of truth.

7. Model Self-Control in Conflict Resolution

As the father of two young ladies, drama is in no short supply in the Gross household!  However, my girls know that my wife and I will not help them resolve a conflict or have a discussion with them until they have calmed down and are able to speak to us calmly.  Further, when we are having  a disagreement with them, we both try to remain calm and offer reasonable grounds for the decisions we have made.  This hopefully models for them how to engage in not only sound conflict resolution, but will also transfer into their Christian defense as they get older.

8. Dialogue with your Kids

My daughter and I were in a store awhile ago and she pointed out a Barbie doll that caught her eye and she said, "That Barbie is not dressed appropriately."  I continued by asking her why the outfit was inappropriate. She said, "Because her belly is showing."  I said, "What is wrong with that?"  She said that was only for God to see!  Ha!  We discussed the importance of dressing modestly and moved on.  But here is the point: I realized she said that because her mom and I have taught her what is appropriate for ladies to wear and what is not; however, I want her to understand why we hold these convictions.  Otherwise, she is merely parroting what we are saying and ultimately that is not going to teach her to own her worldview.  I don't want to just pass my faith on to my kids.  My goal is to equip them with the tools necessary for them to evaluate Christianity objectively.  Then, by the grace of God, they will understand that it is evidentially true.  Then, they will hopefully feel compelled to live it out!

What about you?  What do you do with your own family?  Please share in the comments!

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Footnotes:

1. We use Big Truths for Little Kids: Teaching Your Children to Live for God by Susan Hunt and Richie Hunt.
2. We use William Lane Craig's excellent children's book series What is God Like? to discuss God's attributes.
3. If you are just beginning to learn the arguments and evidences I recommend William Lane Craig's On Guard, J. Warner Wallace's Cold-Case Christianity and Greg Koukl's Tactics.

Related Posts

Apologetics Books for Elementary Age Children to Read

Truthbomb's Top 10 Books Every Christian Parent Should Read

Video: How Do You Do Family Worship? by Donald Whitney

Friday, January 19, 2018

21 Days of Prayer for Life



Breakpoint.org has developed a free prayer guide entitled "21 Days of Prayer for Life."  The guide is available here and can also be downloaded as a digital app.

The guide is authored by Scott Klusendorf and John Stonestreet and has two objectives: 1) To help Christians pray with understanding and 2) Equip Christians to engage others in true and loving conversation.

Please take the time to check out this great resource!

God Bless,




Thursday, January 18, 2018

Apologetics Books for Elementary Age Children to Read

Last week, we featured a list of books for parents to read to equip themselves with the tools they need to teach their children apologetics.  Below is a list of books that elementary age children can read on their own!  My daughters have read the majority of them so they are kid-tested!

1. Cold-Case Christianity for Kids by J. Warner Wallace (Our review is here.)

2. God's Crime Scene by J. Warner Wallace (My daughter discusses this book here.)

3. The Case for Christ for Kids by Lee Strobel

4. The Case for Faith for Kids by Lee Strobel

5. The Case for a Creator for Kids by Lee Strobel

6. The Awesome Book of Bible Answers for Kids! by Josh McDowell and Kevin Johnson

7. Dr. Craig's "What is God Like?" God is Spirit by Dr. William Lane Craig- This book is the first in a series that teaches the attributes of God.  You can checkout the entire series here.

8. How Do We Know God is Really There? by Melissa Cain Travis

9. How Do We Know God Created Life? by Melissa Cain Travis

10. How Do We Know Jesus is Alive? by Melissa Cain Travis

How about you?  Are there any apologetics books your child enjoys that didn't make our list?  Please share in the comments!

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Related Posts

Book Review: Talking with Your Kids About God by Natasha Crain

Article: 5 Ways to Help Keep Your Kids From Becoming Secularized Worshipers by Alisa Childers

Article: 30 Things You Can Do This Summer to Deepen Your Kids’ Faith by Natasha Crain

Monday, January 15, 2018

Martin Luther King Jr. on Love

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."

For those of you who have never taken the time to listen to Dr. King's famous "I Have a Dream..." speech, you can do so here.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Truthbomb's Top 10 Books Every Christian Parent Should Read

A thoughtful reader on Facebook asked me if Truthbomb had a "Top 10" Book List.  I confessed that we did not, but agreed to put one together...so, here you go!

Please keep in mind that these books are aimed toward parents who desire to train their kids to understand what they believe and why they believe it.  Further, it should be noted that these are NOT in any special order.



1. A Practical Guide to Culture: Helping the Next Generation Navigate Today's World by John Stonestreet and Brett Kunkle  (Review is here.)

2. Keeping Your Kids On God's Side by Natasha Crain (My wife's review is here.)

3. Talking with Your Kids About God by Natasha Crain (Review is here.)

4. The Case for the Resurrection by Gary Habermas and Mike Licona

5. Cold-Case Christianity by J. Warner Wallace (Review is here.)

6. God's Crime Scene by J. Warner Wallace (Review is here.)

7. Forensic Faith by J. Warner Wallace (Review is here.)

8. A New Kind of Apologist edited by Sean McDowell (Review is here.)

9. On Guard by William Lane Craig

10. Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christians Convictions by Greg Koukl (Review is here.)

Many more could be suggested, but these are some of our favorites!

Please feel free to share some of your favorites in the comments below!

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Related Posts

Future Apologist Interview: Emma Gross Discusses "God's Crime Scene for Kids"

Article: 5 Ways to Help Keep Your Kids From Becoming Secularized Worshipers by Alisa Childers

Book Preview: Critical Conversations: A Christian Parents' Guide to Discussing Homosexuality with Teens By Tom Gilson

Monday, January 08, 2018

Let Justice Roll Down Like Waters

Brian Fisher of Human Coalition writes the following in the subject blog post (his first of 2018).

Let 2018 be the year that we, as a massive movement of people who are concerned for true justice, rise up and restore the weak, the downtrodden, and the victimized – all for the glory of our God in whom true justice lives and breathes.

May God grant those of us concerned for the well being of families (men especially) the courage, motivation, and ability to do the above more so than ever this year.

You can read Fisher's entire post here

Stand firm in Christ and firm for the pre-born,
Chase