At The Town Church we value the church family being together as we worship God. Each week we offer children’s ministry for children up through age 5. Twice a month we offer children’s ministry classes for children through 5th grade during the teaching time of the service. While we do offer some children’s ministry, our corporate gatherings are often full of children. That is the church.
Since we often have children of all ages in our services, the roll of the preacher in preaching through specific texts is, at times, challenging. For instance, we have been working through the book of Exodus over the last several months. We are now into the middle section (Covenant Code) of Exodus where we see law after law after law from God. Many of these laws will go over the heads of children (honestly, some of the laws go over my head). However, some of the laws may spark curiosity and cause children to ask questions. We could choose to skip those passages to try to protect parents from the awkward conversations on the drive home, but we believe the Word of God (all of it) has been given to us so that we can know God.
This Sunday (2.25.18) we will discuss a few laws that may be interesting to navigate with children. In my preparation this week I thought it may be appropriate to send a message to our church family. Below is the message I sent. Parents, are you discussing these sensitive issues with your children? In our overly sexualized and provocative culture and time in history, your children need to be hearing about these things from you so that they know the home is a safe place to ask questions and hear the truth. Here is our reminder – Parenting/discipleship/the Christian life is a long game. Endure and enjoy.
Good afternoon church family,
As I’ve been studying this week I’ve come across a few passages where God gives commands to his people about sexual relations outside of marriage as well as sexual relations with animals. These can often be tricky topics to talk through when there are a variety of ages represented in the pews. However, these things are in the Bible for a reason so I don’t want to skip over them. I want to face them head-on and allow God’s Word to teach us.
For those of you who are parents, I want to reassure you that I will try as much as I am able to use words that are as appropriate for all audiences as I can manage. Often I will try to be vague enough in my speech that children may not understand what I am talking about – but adults will. I will often say things like “appropriate relations” or “relations appropriate for marriages.” I think most adults will understand what I am trying to communicate with those types of words. You have probably noticed that the words I often choose to use are more sanitized than what is actually in the Bible. This is intentional. I want to be careful that I am not going beyond how Scripture speaks of sexual relationships.
That being said, however, I also want to give you notice when I am going to talk about things that may be explicit so that you can begin to prayerfully consider how you could have conversations with your children about these topics. If you sense that your children understand what is being discussed on Sunday mornings or from your family reading of God’s Word, you have a beautiful opportunity to talk to them about what God desires for our bodies and relationships. That instruction needs to be coming from God, trickling down through you as the parents.
I would encourage you to assume your children are picking up on some of the things we are discussing. Ask them questions. Invite them into open discussion about these things. Introduce them to some of these topics in ways that seem appropriate for their understanding. This is God’s Word and we’re told that God’s Word is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16).
This Sunday as we read, study and hear from God’s Word, we will see that God cares about sexual relationships between a married man and a woman. While I won’t be explicit in my choice of words, the passage we will walk through (especially Exodus 22:16-17 and 22:19) is quite straightforward. Be prepared for questions and conversations with your children.
If ever you would like to talk about how to have these conversations with your children, please let me know. I don’t have all of the answers but I would be happy to help you in your ongoing pursuit of pointing your children more and more to the truth of God’s Word and our collective need for a Savior.
We’re in this together and I thank God for it!