I’m not going to get into all the psychological brain disorders that can cause a person to gravitate towards hatred. But rather, I want to talk about everyday garden-variety bigotry—the kind that is learned by watching the actions of others.
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
At what age do we learn bigotry?
The old adage “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”learn to mimic our hateful slurs and gestures for no other reason than seeing adults, whom they admire—doing it; those impressions have dire consequences.
Whether we unconsciously or consciously stereotype and discriminate against one another, our children are internalizing those prejudicial sentiments. Is that the legacy we want to leave with those God entrusted us with?
Faith worketh by love.
For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love (Galatians 5:6).
We say we’ll give our children the world; but what they really need is to see us modeling how to love unconditionally—the way God commands us to love one another; for then, we have given them the heartstrings to God’s heart. God is Love! Faith in His love is what our children need to carry them through life. Love is the greatest weapon against the kingdom of darkness. Yes, it’s easy to love people we like; but teach the harder lesson: How to love those you despise?
It’s easier to hate who we don’t like—than it is to love them.
Teaching children to follow the devil’s dark agenda, will place our most cherished in his evil hands. He will then make them his slaves as he lures them into a life of insecurity, fear, and unrighteousness. When we discriminate and belittle others, we placate to the devil’s desires; those actions grieve the Holy Spirit.
Who is worth grieving the Holy Spirit for?
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:29-32, NIV).
Let’s not rob a child’s innocence by passing on our old-crusted prejudices; break that generational cycle. If we want to leave our children a better world, let’s begin by showing them how to love and respect one another.
Teach children to follow the light.
. . . I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life (John 8:12).
See you next week on Paulette Talks Faith.