Discerning the nature of good and evil is a lost art in the 21st century. Oscar Wilde once said, “Hear no evil, speak no evil—and you’ll never be invited to a party.” Unfortunately, he was probably right.
Have you ever noticed that if a person is exposed to something immoral or wrong over a period of time, he will begin to accept it even though at first he may have disliked it? For example, look at the television programs that are watched and enjoyed by millions. Forty years ago these shows would have brought disgust to most of the public. The same is true of fashion and literature.
Technology blesses our lives in so many ways, but also opens whole new arenas for evil to invade our homes. Pornography is now viewed as normal by much of our culture—proving the point that society accepts as normal what was once abnormal.
Teach like Joseph and Mary
The Scriptures foretold the way Jesus would be raised in Isaiah 7:15: “Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil and choose the good.” We are to teach our children in the same way Joseph and Mary taught Jesus. For our kids to know the difference between good and evil, they must be fed a lot of good—butter and honey, if you will. Here are some tips for serving up butter and honey to your kids and grandkids.
Teach with butter and honey:
- Use respectful words and a calm tone of voice when speaking with your child.
- Laugh a lot—not at someone, but with your child.
- Validate your child’s emotions and help him learn how to express those emotions appropriately.
- Admit when you are wrong and apologize to your child. Let him observe you apologizing to others.
- Watch things on TV and view internet sites as if Jesus was sitting next to you. Model for your child what is appropriate TV viewing.
- Compliment your child when he or she displays a heart full of the fruit of the Spirit.
- Use the same good manners with your child that you want him to practice.
What tips for butter and honey can you share with us? I’d love to hear your ideas for teaching your children to discern the nature of good and evil.
In Him together, Susan Gaddis