Teaching Our Kids to Discern Between Good and Bad

The ability to discern between good and bad is something that we parents should teach our kids. We should look for opportunities to teach them what is good. We want to let them know that blessings come from seeking first the kingdom of God. When you ask God for wisdom to know what is right and what is wrong, or even what is good and what is great, invite your children into your process of deciding, including how you talk to God about the decision. Godly wisdom comes through soaking our hearts in Scripture. God’s word seasons us with the truth we need to navigate the lies.

Here are some truths to teach your young children:

1. Prayer Changes Things

Anyone who has lived long enough has acquired wisdom - and with wisdom comes discernment. There is power in prayer. In fact, prayer is often life-changing! It's something we often do in private so we need to make sure our kids are aware of our prayer habits. We should be intentional about modeling behavior for the benefit of our children, and it explaining how spiritual disciplines are woven. Don’t forget to ask God to give your children discernment, and teach them to ask for it themselves.

2. As Yourself What Jesus Would Do

As your children get older, initiate age-appropriate conversations with them about normal "life stuff" that they may encounter in life—difficulties at school, selecting their friends, dealing with bullies, engaging on social media, etc. These are great times to point them to Christ and teach them how to trust God - and to ask themselves, "what would Jesus do?" They will encounter challenges at some point in their young lives, and if you don’t teach them how to handle it, you’re setting them up for great disappointment. That’s our calling as parents, to model a faith that is authentic and strong and rooted in the Rock. Our children will notice. They watch what we say and what we do. They are paying attention.

3. Call On God For Help

Deuteronomy 6:5 teaches us, “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” This is what you need to teach your children, and it should be a way of life. God’s Word should be “on your heart”—something that is so central to your existence that you can’t help but talk about it to your children. In the daily circumstances of life, you will find many opportunities to tell your children about God, about His Son Jesus Christ, and about what He did for us - and what he continues to do for us. As we lead our children to Christ, we help them understand that God loves them and is always available to them. As we do this, we pave the way for them to come to know Jesus for themselves in all his glory - and to put their faith in Him.

Always be an example for your children. Teach them the way of the Lord. Encourage them to call on God for help and direction.

Read last week's Mommy Moments: Encouragement for Great Mothers

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