Greetings in the mighty and precious name of Jesus.
On a recent trip to the library with my children, I was struck by the prevalent themes in many children’s books – monsters, evil witches, and new-age concepts. While not all were contrary to our faith, many contained content clearly misaligned with our beliefs. Faced with these choices, I realised the importance of teaching our children to discern between good and evil, as the Bible admonishes (Hebrews 5:14) But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. Our children have to be taught so they can graduate to being able to fully discern as we will not always be there to “choose” for them. Training is important! Samuel as a young lad did not recognise the voice of God until Eli stepped in to teach him how to respond. 1 Samuel 3:1-15
Living in these challenging times, we find ourselves surrounded by the subtle deceptions of the enemy, Satan. As a deceiver by nature, he cunningly targets the innocent minds of our children. He has always been a master deceiver. 2 Cor. 11:14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.
Therefore, it is important that we equip our children with the ability to discern right from wrong not only from a moral perspective but from a spiritual one. Let us explore some practical ways we can do this.
Reading the Word of God to your Child
…and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 2Timothy 3:15 NIV
One of the keys here we see in Timothy’s life is he was taught the scriptures from childhood! It may be at bedtime, in the car whilst traveling, or during family prayer time…read it to them!
Teach them to Guard their Gates
The Bible tells us our eyes and ears are gates. We must guard what we let in by way of watching, TV shows, videos, etc, and reading, also what we listen to!
Proverbs 4:23-27 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. 24 Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. 25 Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. 26 Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. 27 Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.
Teaching Discernment: Practical Steps
Teach Them What We Believe:
Embrace the call to “study to show yourself approved” (2 Timothy 2:15). By instilling the Word of God in our children they learn the principles of whatever is good and pleasant, Philippians 4:8 KJV
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things .and we lay a foundation that fosters discernment. Have a prescribed amount of scripture they should read per day or per week.
Following the scriptural wisdom to “train up a child in the way he should go” (Proverbs 22:6), according to the dictionary, the word training means we should teach a particular skill or type of behaviour through practice and instruction over a period of time. Through time, we create a nurturing environment where discernment becomes an integral part of their character.
Practical Activity: Library Exploration
Take your children to the local library, a haven of literary adventures. Encourage them to select books, and then guide them in assessing their choices using the following guidelines:
1. Does the book convey messages that align with our values? Give them examples of good themes. Friendship, kindness, sharing.
2. Assess if the characters exhibit behaviour that aligns with our principles and teachings. For example, is the character rude, is it portraying evil? E.g. Witchcraft, all sorts of evil messages. Please do not tell them off take time to explain to them why these are wrong. With training and practice, they will grow in discernment as the bible promises.
3. Seeking Divine Guidance:
Teach your children to invite the Holy Spirit into their decision-making process. Encourage them to listen to that still, small voice that guides them toward making the right choices. They can close their eyes quieten their mind and ask the Holy Spirit to speak to them.
4. What do we do if it does not align? We drop it and pick another. It’s okay to really want to read it. It may look very enticing, colourful, and nice pictures but that’s what deception sometimes is! It’s like biting into a bar of what you think is chocolate and it ends up being broccoli-covered in chocolate! When we make good choices, we glorify God and our Father in heaven is pleased with us.
There are also steps we can take to safeguard our children from viewing harmful content on media like ensuring we pre-watch whatever movie etc they will be watching, we ensure they are using various media in our view and we are putting safeguards to ensure they are not encountering harmful content by accident.
Pray these Scriptures over your Children
Mark 8:25 ESV Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again, and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.
Prayer: Father, as I lay my hands on my children, lay your hands upon my children’s eyes and let their spiritual eyes be open so that they will be able to recognise evil and make choices that will glorify You.
Psalm 119:37 ESV Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things, and give me life in Your ways.
Prayer: Father, turn my children’s eyes from looking at worthless things and cause them to love the things of God. Begin to mention the things you want the Lord to turn their eyes from (social media, endless scrolling, evil content, evil music etc)
Psalm 25:15 ESV My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for he will pluck my feet out of the net.
Prayer: Father, cause my children’s eyes to be ever towards You. Turn their eyes away from worldly and fleshy things and pluck them out of every net and snare of the evil one.
Psalm 119:18 ESV Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.
Prayer: Father, as my children read Your Word, please open my children’s understanding to the wonders in Your Word.
Holy Spirit, I hand my children over to you, teach them, your ways, teach them to recognise your leading, teach them to rely on you. Whisper and impress Your will to them and cause their hearts to be sensitive and obedient towards You.
Ezekiel 36:26-27 And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.
John 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
Prayer: Father remove every rebellion in my children’s hearts. Remove every inclination towards sin and flesh that comes with their adamic nature. Give them hearts of flesh, hearts that are obedient and careful to follow You. Pour Your Spirit out on them and cause them to walk with You always.
Finally, we are committed to praying for you that the Lord will strengthen you to raise your children in the fear of the Lord. We pray that the Lord will grant your children greater discernment in their decision-making.
Please send us your prayer needs and requests for your children. We will also be glad to hear and praise God with you for testimonies of answered prayers for your children. Please send your prayer requests and praise reports to email@example.com
Do you know any parents that’ll benefit from the content of this message? Prayerfully forward it to them. God bless you and your household in Jesus name.
DEM Chosen Generation Parenting