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Teaching Children How To Love Their Neighbors as Themselves

How are we putting the second-greatest commandment into practice?

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As Christian parents, our plates are full of responsibilities: training and teaching our children, nurturing them, pointing their little hearts and minds to Christ in all things, let alone keeping them clothed, fed, and alive by the end of each day! What if I told you there was one not-so-small detail you, like so many of us, might be leaving out?

Jesus gives us our greatest commandments, which should be the foundation of the Christian life, in Matthew 22: “…You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Even on our worst days, we return to the Lord in our hearts and seek his grace, and our children see and model this. Yet, in the age of active shooter drills in schools, increasing acceptance of “gender fluidity” and other societal dangers from which we want to insulate our precious cargo, how are we putting the second-greatest commandment into practice? How are we loving our neighbor like Jesus, and teaching our kids to do the same?

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Author Lisa Scandrette grew up in a family that beautifully modeled selfless hospitality. “The walls were elastic,” she shared with Christianity Today, referring to countless Bible studies in her home, foster children that joined their family, and other community engagements her family did together. Now, as a mom of three, Lisa sees this approach as a permanent lifestyle: “We have the opportunity to model the way of love to our kids. Part of the work we do as a family is to encourage each other to extend the sort of belonging we hope to cultivate to the people around us.”

Popping The Bubble

Lindsy Wallace, a missionary with InnerCHANGE, which ministers to the poorest, most vulnerable people in urban areas, notices that Christian culture can often pressure us to raise our children in a protective bubble. Church attendance, Christian schools and friends, and Bible stories are great, but they don’t provide our families with the lived experience of a life that looks like Jesus. “It’s difficult to imagine how a deep love for Jesus and neighbor will develop in our children if all they have is book knowledge of Jesus but have never seen him in the eyes of the poor and have never witnessed their parents visiting him in prison,” Wallace says, referring to Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 25:35–36.

Immitation

Kathy Khang, author of Raise Your Voice, encourages us to live out and model loving our neighbor for our kids to imitate, just as we do with loving God. “My kids are 22, 18, and 16, and I am still learning about helping them find their own voice,” she says. “I try to model living out my values in ways they can integrate into their own lives as they enter into adulthood: recycle, vote, donate blood, volunteer, advocate, protest with your feet and your budget, but I have to remember they have their own interests, concerns, and skills.”

When we saturate our lives with God’s love for the lost sheep in an active and intentional way, our children, at any age, can learn from us. They can learn how loving God translates to loving our neighbors, and hold both commandments in their hearts as they grow.

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Kanye West Asked ‘Jesus Is King’ Employees To Abstain From Pre-Marital Sex; Says Porn Is ‘Not Okay’

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Superstar rap artist Kanye West, who has been all over the news for the last few months due to his open proclamation of Christian conversion, recently opened up about the making of his latest album set to be released soon, “Jesus Is King,” saying he told employees working on the album they had to abstain from pre-marital sex. West also went on to slam pornography saying it’s “not okay.” Here’s more from The Daily Wire: “When collaborating with others on ‘Jesus Is King,’ West set up some lifestyle guidelines that they would have to abide by in order be part of the project,” Billboard reported. “Yeezy asked others to fast during portions of creating and also not partake in any premarital sex at times, which he knew would receive some blowback once it became public.” “There were times where I was asking people not to have premarital sex while they were working on the album,” West told Lowe, noting, “When people pray together and fast together, the power is increased.” The 42-year-old explained that he no longer views himself as a “slave” to the music industry, but as a “free” “son of God” spreading the gospel. West went on to talk about how he feels he has now been called to spread the gospel with his platform, noting how he used to talk about high fashion, alcohol, and others things that had a profound impact on his life. But now, however, all that’s changed. Jesus is what he’s all about now. “Now that I’m in service to Christ, my job is to spread the gospel, to let people know what Jesus has done for me. I’ve spread a lot of things. There was a time I was letting you know what high fashion had done for me, I was letting…

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Entertainment

Popular Christian Artist Toby Mac’s Son Dies Suddenly At 21

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Tragedy has struck Christian superstar TobyMac as his son, Truett Foster McKeehan, has died suddenly at his home in Nashville, Tennessee. McKeehan was only 21-year-old. Here’s more from TheBlaze: The Davidson County Medical Examiner’s office on Wednesday confirmed McKeehan’s death. In a statement, the office said that the aspiring rapper’s cause of death was not yet determined. “Cause of death has not been determined,” the office said in its statement. “Toby was traveling back from Canada and did not get home to be with his family until after midnight last night so there is no statement. We just ask that everyone please be respectful of their privacy during this time and allow them to grieve their loss.” TobyMac — real name Kevin Michael McKeehan — was touring in Canada when he received the news of his son’s untimely death. Last year, TobyMac released a song called, “Scars, dedicating it to his first-born son. The Christian artist posted a video where he explained the meaning of the song saying it was intended to provide encouragement and support for parents who sometimes “insulate [hardships] from the ones we love, our children.” “So to see them go out there and do this real world it’s painful. I wrote this one for my boy,” TobyMac explained. “I wanted to let him know that I’m here for him and God is there for him. So lift your head my son to where your help comes from.” Here’s a few lyrics from the song that illustrated what the Christian rapper said: When life cuts so deep Try and remember You are not alone We’ve all been there Scars come with livin’ You are not alone We’ve all been there So lift your head, lift your head Lift your head to where your help comes from Yeah,…

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