photo by Justin Luebke, unsplash

We love stories with heroes and villains we can cheer and boo. We want truth to shine, justice for the downtrodden, and protection for the innocent. It’s even better when the bad guy looks like a good guy, but in a climactic moment his true identity is exposed and his schemes fail. Then we cheer even louder.
These are perfect teaching opportunities. To ask our kids: Who else smiles and tries to befriend his victims, while appearing kind and knowledgeable? May I offer you a piece of fruit from this lovely tree? It will make you wise.
Satan masquerades as an angel of light. He entices us with imitations of God’s design; his offers of love and peace sound promising, but don’t deliver. His intent is to pit us against our true Hero, Jesus Christ.
Are we teaching our kids they must choose a side? Not wanting to frighten them, we focus on happy promises. In “Cookies, Coloring Books, and Combat” Kathleen Wilcox said:  “I told my grandkids, ‘Jesus loves you,’ so often I sounded like a recording. But I left out another truth: The devil hates you and wants to ruin your life. We memorized John 3:16, but we skipped John 10:10: ‘A thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.’ Yes, we should magnify the Lord. But our grandchildren need to know there’s a destroyer so they can fully understand their need for the Savior.”*
The opposite of up is down. If you’re not in, you’re out. If it’s not the truth, it’s a lie. And if there’s good, there’s evil. This is Dr. Seuss material. But one of the most effective tools of the enemy is to get us to be silent about sin and hell. If we only show our kids one side of the coin, we nullify the gospel.
While we don’t want to scare them, we need to let them know in age appropriate ways there’s a war on for their souls.  Our kids need to know God’s love and forgiveness is offered to all but not everyone goes to heaven—not even if they’re nice and generous and lovable. We have to believe Jesus is the one and only Son of God who died for our sins and accept Him as Savior. Our children must know God is sovereign and holy, and Satan is a created being with limited power and the father of lies.
photo by Malcom Lightbody, unsplash
When Moses led the Israelites out of the multi-god culture of Egypt, he taught them about the true God and gave them a choice. “I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him” (Deut. 30:19-20).
A generation later Joshua said, “Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (Josh. 24:14-15).
The New Testament spells it out even more. “Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil” (Heb. 5:13-14).
Want to raise a generation of spiritual warriors? Let’s give them all the information they need to make the most important choice of their life.
#choosethisday #bothsidesofthecoin #tellthewholetruth #teachyourkidsaboutsatan #goodandevil
* From Mature Living, May 2018.