Holy in the Daily

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How to Teach Your Children to Discern Good from Evil–Part 1

Children need to know how to discern the nature of good and evil. As a mother of six, I’m motivated to teach my children and grandchildren this skill. They’re growing up in a culture that is basically contrary to God’s culture—constantly exposed to a world under the influence of the Prince of Darkness. How can I help them learn to discern between the good and evil they will encounter in this world?

Technology has sophisticated evil in a way not known in previous generations. School, internet activities, TV programs, and social networking all provide our children with opportunities to experience evil in creative new ways. Yet the works of darkness have been around for a very long time, blurring the lines that separate good morals and values from bad.

How Jesus knew the nature of good and evil

Jesus knew all about Satan, demons, evil works, and sin, but not from experiencing or studying these things. He knew all about evil and how to deal with it because he knew the Scriptures thoroughly—he was the Word of God who became human (see John 1:1 and John 1:14). Throughout his earthly ministry, Jesus constantly quoted the Old Testament Scriptures.

Your family and the nature of good and evil

In the same way, my child will not to learn to recognize evil by compromising with it or studying it. He won’t learn to recognize the untruths in cults by learning all about the cults. My kid should be so saturated with truth from God’s Word that any false teaching will immediately strike a wrong cord within him, and his spirit will cry out “untrue!”

God has not designed his children to be experts in evil by feeding on evil. He has designed us to be experts in discernment by knowing and obeying His Word.

Tom and I homeschooled our kids and Bible was always one of our most important courses. In fact, we designed our Eternal Foundations for a New Generation series as a way to disciple our kids in the Word of God. It worked, as all six of our kids love the Lord.

What are you doing to teach God’s Word to your kids? How has that helped them discern good from evil? We’d love to hear from you in the comment section below. And, if you found this post helpful, please pass it on.

In Him together, Susan Gaddis

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This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Timbrel

    Susan, this is so excellent. I haven’t been following your blog recently (or almost anyone’s for that matter!), but I am definitely going to read it more often. It’s so encouraging to read about someone who loves the Lord so much and wants to share that with parents/children.

  2. Susan Gaddis

    Thanks, Timbrel. I’m thankful you found it helpful and I appreciate the encouragement. Blesssings on your parenting!

  3. Cindy Alewine

    I’m so glad I found this post today. I just had a discussion with my 11 year old daughter about vampires, etc. The teen section in our local public library is FULL of dark books. It was hard to find anything that didn’t have spells, vampires, etc. in it. She didn’t check out anything at all. I’ve had a prayer in my heart this afternoon asking God how to help her not be pulled by these things. This post was my answer straight from God. 😀

    1. Susan Gaddis

      Glad you found it helpful, Cindy. An 11 year old is right at that age where having meaningful talks about what the Bible says about such things can really make a difference in her life. Add a lot of love, laughter, and understanding the pressure she is under from her peers also goes a long way. You also might find this post (Part 2) helpful:


      Thanks for posting and God bless your parenting!

  4. Christine Weaver

    I love that you talk about discernment and that the best thing to do is saturate them in truth so that anything untrue is apparent within them. Technology does make things a bit more complicated! Thanks for sharing!

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