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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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Hospitality

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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Faith

Former Pope Blames ‘Swingin’ Sixties’ for Catholic Church’s Cesspool of Pedophilia

The Catholic Church is again attempting to blame their rampant pedophilia on the outside world.

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Pope Benedict

The high pontiffs of the Catholic Church would make fantastic dodgeball players. Given just how well they’ve avoided taking the blame for, or properly reacting to, the disturbing prevalence of pedophilia among their ranks, there is little doubt that these purposefully-ignorant would be able to dodge just about anything. The problem is obtuse, obvious, and ostensibly disgusting.  There are literally thousands upon thousands of young children who have been sexualized by Catholic priests over the course of several decades in all corners of the globe.  The problem is not isolated at all, and the only common factor between these horrific crimes is that they occurred at the hands of the Catholic Church. If the entire world got sick from eating a certain food, we would stop eating that food.  In the case of the Catholic Church, the children of the world are being undeniably harmed by their religious leaders in habitual and systemic acts of pedophilia, yet the leaders at The Vatican continue to ignore and obfuscate the truth. Now, one former Pope is even blaming the cultural revolution of the 1960’s for the issue. Emeritus Pope Benedict has emerged from his cone of silence to offer a personal analysis of the clerical sex abuse crisis, citing the sexual revolution, a corruption of moral theology, and the formation of “homosexual cliques” in seminaries as causes of the problem. Benedict says that he felt compelled to contribute to a response to the present situation “since I myself had served in a position of responsibility as shepherd of the Church at the time of the public outbreak of the crisis,” and so penned his reflections, obtaining the present pope’s blessing to make them public. In his new, 6,000-word bombshell essay, the former pope turns his gaze toward societal forces outside the Church as well as…

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Faith

This Husband Didn’t Want To Adopt, Then God Gave Him An Incredible Vision

When God has something in store for your life, you can’t run from it for long.

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Adoption is an incredible, God-mirroring feat for Christian families to undertake, but it’s not without its challenges and pitfalls. When God has something in store for your life, however, you can’t run from it for long. Jeffrey and Kristine Moore learned this lesson on their 10-year adoption journey, ultimately leading them to adopt four children, Elizabeth, Jhonatan, Mariaelena, and Talia, from Peru. Jeffrey, however, recalled in an interview with PureFlix Insider that he wanted nothing to do with adoption in the early days of their marriage—even after suffering two miscarriages. “At the time I had said, ‘I don’t think I could adopt, I don’t think I could love a child that wasn’t my own biologically,’” Jeffrey said. Soon after, God lovingly set Jeffrey straight with an incredible vision that he reveals in the video below: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1910950709034153 “The story of adoption began because God called us to it. I had a vision, and it was really, really powerful,” he said. “I was floating in the ocean at night. It was very calm and peaceful, and I was being carried by something in the water, like a current pushing me toward something.” Jeffrey remembered the water in his vision becoming shallow and leading him to a beach on a tropical island. It’s there that he saw something breathtaking. “There were all of these jewels or gemstones that were lying around in the sand, and every one of them was glowing with this internal fire,” he continued. “All these points of light…and I just felt compelled to reach out and pick one up.” His vision ends there, but Jeffrey says he believes God was giving him a very clear message about international adoption: “‘He said, ‘My son, are you willing to be carried by my spirit to a land far away to pick…

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