One common reason that I hear parents share for why they don’t want to take their kids to big church is what if the pastor starts talking about something that isn’ t kid-friendly? We’ve experienced it alot, most notably last year on September 11. Kaylie was just in kindergarten, so we had never talked about what had happened. But we had a video about it during the church service, complete with images of burning buildings and crashed planes. For an inquisitive and soft-hearted little girl, that raised approximately 5,000 questions. Here’s what we’ve come to grips with concerning kids hearing about grown up stuff in church.
- It is going to happen. Just like, inevitably, when you finally bring your unchurched friend to a service, the pastor is going to preach about money, when your kid is sitting beside you, some uncomfortable topic will come up. It will happen.
- Our kids are going to hear about these topics anyway. Like it or not, kids are going to hear about sex, homosexuality, and other “grown up” topics somewhere. Likely from a friend or on the playground or on the bus long before we get around to talking about it.
- We would prefer our kids’ first exposure to these tough topics to be in the context of church. I think too often we are way slow in addressing worldly or uncomfortable issues with our kids. Our lack of conversation often results in an understanding on some level that God is not involved with those types of topics, which is far from the truth. Too often we begin informing our kids about these uncomfortable topics when they are “older” and likely when they have already had many views and opinions formed by the rest of the world. Do I want to explain what the word “prostitute” for the first time following a sermon or following a trashy conversation at the ballfield? Truthfully, I don’t want to talk about it at all! But I will have to. And I’d rather it come from a safe environment.
- We have the opportunity to have awesome conversations with our kids. Yes, they are tough and uncomfortable situations. Yes, the conversation with my 5 year old will be different than that with my 7 year old. But sometimes these conversations triggered by something they heard in big church result in laying the foundation for a Biblical worldview concerning topics I certainly wouldn’t have brought up on my own. That is not a bad thing.
So, what do you think? Have you had to have awkward conversations from something your kid heard at church?