In my struggle in how to respond to the killing of George Floyd and the powerful emotions and reactions that have been exhibited in the days following his death, my attention has turned to you who are wondering how to help your kids process these events. Smarter people than me have written articles about how to talk to kids about tragic news events, and I’ve provided links to a couple of these resources below, but I would like to address things from a biblical perspective. How do we help our kids process these events as followers of Christ?
Every life is valuable and everyone is our neighbor.
- Every person is created in the image of God (Gen 1:27; Psalm 8:5)
- God made each person and has plans for them (Psalm 139:13-16)
- We must love our neighbor as ourselves (Matt 22:39; Luke 10:25-37)
- When we’re a part of God’s family, then we ALL belong to him no matter the race, social status or gender. (Gal 3:26-29)
God has a heart for those who are not treated fairly.
- Ps 82:3; 103:6; 146:7
God loves justice and we should practice and promote it.
- Deut 32:4; Prov 21:15; Micah 6:8
When we see something that is wrong, we need to call it out. Jesus did this numerous times when he confronted the Pharisees and religious leaders.
- Matt 23:13-36; Luke 11:37-52
It is ok to cry or feel angry…Jesus did both, however, our emotions should be expressed in healthy ways and used to bring healing.
- Jesus cried when he saw how the people of Jerusalem had rejected him (Luke 19:41)
- He turned over the tables of the money changers in the temple (Matt 21:12-17; Luke 19:45)
- We can be angry, but it shouldn’t lead us to sin (Eph 4:26).
- We need to be compassionate and do good to all (Mark 6:34; Matt 9:35-36) Jesus had compassion on the crowds and as he went through villages he taught, preached and healed. Jesus touched lives and made them better everywhere he went. We need to do the same.
As for how to address these issues at home, there are some practical ways that you can have healthy and healing conversation with your kids. Your kids have seen and heard at least something, so it’s important to talk about it with them.
- Find out what they already know and invite them to ask questions.
- Read the scripture passages listed above together. Of the 5 points listed, choose one per night to read about and discuss as a family.
- Pray about these issues in your prayer times. Let your children see and hear that this is definitely a God-sized problem, and He is the one who can bring healing.
- Pray that God would use those who love and follow him to be a voice, a light and a healing presence in our world.
How we handle and discuss this crisis will have a lasting impact on our children. My prayer is that we would use this opportunity to teach our kids that God requires us to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with Him. (Micah 6:8)