Lighthouse Statements: Things Our Children Say
For many, a lighthouse symbolizes a guidance towards home, a drawing towards safety. While a lighthouse was used for navigation, it was also used as a warning. A ship steering towards a lighthouse found disaster and death on jagged rocks.
Our children are precious truth-speakers. Jesus said that from the heart, the mouth speaks, and children can have little to no filter to their true hearts. It's not always truth in the sense of "this is how the world works" or "who they are" or "who God is," but they will tell you with no hesitation "how they think the world works," "who they think they are," and "who they think God is." I will call these lighthouse statements because they show us how our children are honestly thinking and feeling. Too often, we don’t hear what they say or don't take them at their word that this is what they believe or we interpret it in a better light like “Oh, they really mean…” But, take these statements as what our children honestly believe. If how they are thinking and feeling is rooted in a lie they believe about who God is, who they are, or how God’s world works, they are headed towards disaster and death later in life. A lie cements as truth if it is left to set long enough.
As in the case of a lighthouse, the danger is close and action should be taken immediately, so also should we be quick to address lies our children may believe. My desire in this post and others like it is to highlight things you may hear a child or even your child say. When they come up, we should immediately address it, regardless of whether it’s in the middle of a lesson or during a video, while taking a bath or when you’re exhausted after a long day. Lies should always be addressed immediately.
Here’s a first one, and perhaps one we come across most often:
“If I obey, then I will make God happy.”
The statement seems innocent enough, but if left unaddressed, what will cement in our children’s minds is that their approval rests on what they do. Other ways of saying this are, “If I do what God says, He can love me,” “If I disobey, then God is not happy with me.” Or, even this, “I obey more than ‘so-and-so,’ so God is more happy with me than with ‘so-and-so.’”
TRUTH: Romans 5:9 - And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation.
Romans 8:1 - There is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.
Zephaniah 3:17 - For the Lord your God is living among you, He is a mighty savior; He will take delight in you with gladness. With His love, He will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.
STEERING: There are so many verses that address this issue. I’ve only listed three, but ones that emphasize how God sees and feels about His people. He handcrafts each person and loves them all deeply. Only in Christ’s death on the cross are God’s people no longer under His wrath (condemnation) or disapproval but delighted in. Christ has removed God’s condemnation from us. Are you so powerful or can you be so bad as to place yourself under it again? Our children, just as we, can rest in God’s approval without fear of His judgment. Disobedience does have consequences/discipline, but it does not bring His disapproval of His children.
If you hear, the above statement,
Ask questions: What do you mean? Why do you think that?
Acknowledge that we should obey God because He knows what’s best for us and how we can live with joy and peace, but first and foremost,
Assure the child that God is always pleased with them because of the finished work of Jesus Christ in His life, death, and resurrection. God loved them before they ever obeyed or disobeyed and loves them no matter what, no “if’s,” “and’s,” or “but’s.” No matter what they do or don’t do, God loves and delights in them.