"Finally, my friends, keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don’t ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise." (CEV) Philippians 4:8
Kids are sponges. They absorb the words they hear, the things they watch, and the actions of their peers. As parents, we do our best to be aware of what our kids are soaking up and model for them how to discern all the different voices they hear. These influences can affect how children think about themselves, so we continually affirm the message that they are God’s amazing creation.
Think about the adjectives used in Philippians 4:8. How can we help our children keep their minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper? How do we help them think about things that are truly worthwhile and worthy of praise?
Start with God’s Word. To understand who God is and what he requires of us, we need to read the Bible. Find space to open God’s Word together as a family each day. Talk about verses like Phillipians 4:8, and make them family mottos. Here’s a Bible reading resource that can help.
Be aware of your child’s interests. Watch their shows, listen to their music, and explore their video games. Sometimes, do these things together. Also, share what you love, and see if you have a shared common interest to do together and talk about.
Be sure to ask questions. Ask questions to determine what your child is absorbing from media content. Talk about their social media use, and share about your own. Make it a conversation, not a lecture. Ask your child if that movie, song, or game is truly worthwhile? Use resources like Common Sense Media and Think Christian to help you spark good conversations.
Relate with your child’s friends. Invite them over to your house, and get to know them. Be available when they spend time together. How do the kids treat each other as God’s creations? Ask your child what they like about their friends. Teach your child how to be a good friend and how to react to bad behavior in others. Don’t forget to meet their parents, who will probably appreciate the effort.
Be an example that lives out Philippians 4:8-9, saying to your children what Paul says to the Philippians in verse 9, “You know the teachings I gave you, and you know what you heard me say and saw me do. So follow my example. And God, who gives peace, will be with you."
Want to do a deep dive? Check out Family Fire's article Follow Me As I Follow Christ.