Caught or Taught?

Leading your children to good truth is among the most important things parents will ever do. How can it be caught and taught?

Caught or Taught?

Do you want your children to value what you value? To agree with your priorities? To support your ambitions?

We must model and teach what we believe. Much is caught and taught. I’m not convinced more is caught than taught. If this does happen, it might be because we don’t teach enough.

Children can pay close attention to what we teach when we teach with rich illustrations they can follow. When we show them why what we’re teaching is relevant they can listen. Assuming they’ll know these things is unwise.

If you have children, you know teaching obedience is harder than teaching academics. Yet we skill and drill the ABC’s and the 1,2,3’s and state a rule and expect immediate compliance. This, too, is unwise.

In a similar way, we shouldn’t expect our children to easily adopt our beliefs if they line up with Biblical truth. Because this truth goes against their sinful nature they don’t feel natural. Without Christ, our values are self-serving. With Christ, they’re not.

Kids will benefit from seeing us put our core values into practice. And talking about them while we’re using them is the best teaching. Beliefs that are caught and taught will be best believed, remembered, and applied.

When’s the last time your children observed you use your beliefs when talking with someone else about her beliefs? Do this soon.

When have your kids heard you talk out loud about your values as you wrestled with what you believed about something going on in your community? Do this soon.

When have you used teachable moments to explain why you say what you say and do what you do when agreeing with or disagreeing with someone’s stand? Do this soon.

You can lead your children to good truth!

NOTE: This was first published as a column in the March 3rd Celebrate Kids email newsletter. If you’d like to subscribe, you can do that here.