Late night comedian Jimmy Kimmel took to the streets to ask children their thoughts on gay marriage. I will admit that a few of the answers from the children were cute and funny, but the others were heart breaking. How can it be possible that these children understand what is happening in our culture today? My heart pounded at the thought of someone asking my own children those same questions.
How would they answer? How can you equip a 9yr, 8yr, 5yr, 3yr and a 1yr old to respond to our society in a way that transmits love and stands for truth? To be honest, I’m still searching for the answers on how to speak about gay marriage to my children. I am prayfully seeking God’s wisdom on how to proceed with that issue. What I am able to do now is to teach them to define marriage in God’s terms.
Here are a few things our children must know about marriage and the Christian life. I have written the explanations in the same simple terms I use with my children. Having a children’s Bible nearby would be helpful when you are having these discussions. Repeatedly show children the many times in the Bible that God affirms His love for us and His desire for us to live for eternity with Him in heaven.
1. God created us and loves us. – In the Bible, the Word of God, it says that God created us in His image. He created some of us to be boys and some of us to be girls. We are different and we have unique gifts, but we are all loved by God in the same way no matter what we look like, what our talents are, how much money we have, or where we live. God made us and He loves us so much. The Bible is full of words that remind us of God’s love. Even when we do bad things or forget to listen, God still loves us. Let’s read some of those words now (read some Bible passages together).
2. God is the author of marriage. – God invented marriage. He knows all about it and it is His gift to us. It is a Sacrament because it is such an important part of our lives. In the Bible it says that God gave Eve to Adam so that she could help him. Married men and women help each other in many ways, but the most important way is to help each other get to heaven. God made families so that children could grow up having a mom and a dad that love them, protect them, provide for them, and teach them about God. Being married helps moms and dads to know God in a better way and learn more about Him and helps children to do the same.
3. Marriage is about more than a feeling or an emotion. – Do you love pizza? Sometimes you might hear other kids say that want to marry someone because they love them, but you can’t just get married to someone because you feel like you love them. If that were true, you might marry pizza! Marriage is something that takes a lot of prayer and a lot of time. We can’t decide to get married just because we feel a certain way. When we got married, I knew I should marry your mom/dad because….(Sharing your own story is a very important part of your child’s understanding of marriage and discernment.)
4. God sometimes asks us to do things we may not like, but we obey anyway. – (This point helps to build a foundation of obedience that will one day help your children to understand why same sex marriage is not permitted within the Church.)
There are a lot of things God might ask us to do that we don’t want to do. Sometimes we don’t want to tell the truth because we know if we do we will get in trouble. Sometimes we don’t want to listen to dad when he tells us to turn off the tv because we were enjoying ourselves. However, we do these things out of obedience to God because we love Him. We trust that God loves us (because He tells us in the Bible) and always knows what is best for us. Even when we do things we don’t like to do, we know that God’s way is better than our own. He promises that when we follow His commands we will know true joy and happiness. (The story of Jonah would be good to share when talking about this.)
5. Marriage is a promise that will never be broken between one man, one woman, and God. – When mom and dad got married, we made a promise to God. We promised that God would be a part of our marriage. We said that no matter how hard things became, we would stay together and love one another until we die. Because God is a part of our family, He helps us when things are hard by giving us grace and peace.
An object lesson using cord or string to demonstrate this Bible verse for children would be helpful in the explanation.
The witness of our own marriages will ultimately be the biggest influence on our children. Let’s commit to showing this generation of children marriages filled with love, joy and the peace that comes from Christ Jesus. The most important thing you can do to teach your children about marriage is to love your spouse as God loves him or her. What have you taught your children about marriage today?
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