Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. (NIV) Isaiah 1:17
Throughout the Bible, people have given many names to God. Sometimes, they were given in response to something God had done; other times, they were to describe who he is. Sometimes, God describes himself with his own name. In this month’s devotion and parent blog series, we’ll discuss four names of God (Father of Compassion, I AM WHO I AM, The Lord is Peace, and The Righteous God), think about how each name describes God and how that name helps us understand the attributes that we should also aspire to have.
Children sometimes do not think they can make a difference because of their age. But that’s not the way that God sees our kids. He wants all his children (including the young ones) to be his hands and feet here on earth. He charges us to teach our children right from wrong so they will grow up and continue to do right (Proverbs 22:6). God is willing and able to help us right the evils around us. As parents, part of our job is to instill right and wrong in our children according to the Word of God. We are responsible for teaching them to know God's desire for justice for all.
In the story of Moses and the Burning Bush in Exodus 3:1-21, God identifies himself as “I AM WHO I AM” (Exodus 3:14). How do we show our children who I AM is? How does knowing who God is then help our children understand who they are? The Bible is God’s message to us. Through it, he tells us I AM your ___. We can fill the blank with anything because God is our source for whatever we need. Here are three Scripture passages to study with your children that will help them remember that the I AM is always there to help them do what’s right for others and themselves.
I AM …
Strength. Our children need to know that they do not have to be strong on their own. When we feel the weakest, God’s strength works best (2 Corinthians 12:9). Take time to share your experience of being strengthened by God. Talk about what you felt and how you handled the situation, knowing God’s power was working in you.
Courage. The Lord told Joshua to be strong and brave (Joshua 1:9). That charge is the same for us today, including our children. There are many injustices in the world around us. Allow your children to discuss times they may need to be brave or firm to do what is right on behalf of others. Use this opportunity to role-play how they may handle these situations.
Peace. Doing the right thing can be difficult, even for adults. We might feel nervous or uncertain. Let your children know that not only is God our strength and courage, but he is also our peace (Philippians 4:6-7). I AM can bring peace to any situation. Help them to understand that peace doesn’t mean we won’t experience trouble. However, when God says, “I AM your peace,” it means his presence brings peace to us. When we have his peace, we can bring peace to others.
God is the great I AM. He is eternal. Therefore, his promises will never run out. Just like he kept his promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, he will keep his promises to us, our children, and the generations to come forever.
Want to do a deep dive? Check out this Family Fire's article, Life Skills: Teaching Children Empathy.