Fear Vs. Love: Talking to Your Kids About Race

Tonight Apex is hosting an event called Fear vs Love: Reconciling the Racial Divide. A parent may wonder, "How do I talk to my child about issues of race?" Perhaps we can tell stories, likely ones they already know.

Jonah

Rob Turner began this preaching series with the story of Jonah. Your child may be familiar with this story but we would do well to teach them, "It's not about the fish." God did something more miraculous than save a man from drowning. He brought a rebellious people to repentance. Jonah, the reluctant prophet, didn't want to go to "those people" and was upset when "those people" repented and God was merciful. 

Racism exposes a person's heart saying, "You're different than me, and I'm better than you." Even if we were all the same race with the same skin color, we would find something else to point to for our superiority. "Blondes are better than brunettes", etc. We must teach our children that dislike of someone else for superficial reasons is because of sin in the human heart that is not humble before the Lord.

 

 Abraham

In Genesis 12, God tells Abraham, "In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." Sometimes we read the Bible and think of Israel as God's little pet while all other nations are chopped liver. This isn't true.  Israel is important, though, for it was the means through which God would bless all nations, ultimately through the Messiah. God wants to bless all peoples, which we get a glimpse of in the Jonah story. Our children must understand when we dislike someone else because of their race, we are essentially denying the wonderful news of Genesis 12. 

 

 Paul and Peter (Galatians 2)

In Galatians 2, Paul writes about an event where Peter stops eating with Gentiles when "certain men from James" came. Paul publicly confronted him, "If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?”

Notice in verse 14 Paul gives his reason for this confrontation. He doesn't, as Tim Keller puts it, get Peter for breaking the "no racism rule". He says, "Their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel." How could Peter claim to be saved by grace but then claim to be of a superior race? Our children need to know this as a gospel issue. 

 

Like many other issues we'll walk through with our children, we must point beyond the behavior and to the heart. From there we point to the one who can remove a heart of stone and give a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26).