Instilling a Christian Worldview

It can be difficult to know how to navigate a world of differences, but for the sake of family, we should try. This mom asks how to handle interactions with her adopted son’s older brother, who’s being fostered by a gay couple.

You instill your values in your kids by teaching them right from wrong, how to be kind to everyone, what it means to serve and how to talk to people who believe something different from you.

Q: I have been here a lot thru the years. Still struggle with many of the problems I asked about, mostly because my husband is not on the same page. Our  newest hurdle is I adopted my now seven-year-old son. I tried with much difficulty to maintain contact with his older brothers. The social worker asked, after more than a year of no contact, if I would be open to getting the two younger children together for a visit. His brother is being fostered by a gay couple. I am trying to follow Jesus and do not feel this is right, but I don’t condemn them for their choice. I just don’t know how to approach the upcoming questions when his brother tells my boy “I have two dads.” How do you still instill a Christian worldview? How, when and what do I tell him, or do I avoid the visit and wait till he encounters these issues in school hopefully at an older age?

A: What a great opportunity for you! So often, we push aside sticky questions like gay marriage, abortion or gender questioning until our kids are older, when in reality, it’s better to start talking about those issues when the kids are young (in age appropriate ways, of course).

I remember talking to each of my kids when they were in the early elementary grades about how not everyone is a Christian and believes what we believe. Those conversations came about naturally when the kids talked about their friends and why so-and-so did this or that.

You instill your values in your kids by teaching them right from wrong, how to be kind to everyone, what it means to serve and how to talk to people who believe something different from you. We always think we need to lecture our kids on what we believe, when living our life for Christ is more about how we interact with others. When we focus on the fact that everyone is a sinner apart from God, then we’re not pointing out the sin as much as we’re pointing to Christ as the answer.

In your particular situation, I would simply say that some households look different from yours, especially households who don’t follow Christ. Before and after visits, check in with your son, listening more than talking, to see if he has questions about his brother’s living situation. He might not at this age, but he might ask you why his brother doesn’t have a mommy. Listen carefully and ask your own clarifying questions if you’re not sure what he’s asking. It’s important to answer the question asked, not what you thought he said. And avoid lecturing! Small conversations will go a lot further than dumping a lot of info on him at a time.

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sarah@sarahhamaker.com
(703) 691-1676

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