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  Children's Ministry Today    

Today's Featured Article

Not in Front of the Kids
                  Larry Christenson


Mom and Dad will not always agree about everything, of course. Sometimes a conflict of opinion will arise when the children are watching. How does it affect the kids to see their parents argue?

That depends on the way the parents handle their disagreement. If they share their differing viewpoints calmly, realizing that God alone is entirely wise and that some compromise or giving in may be necessary, the children are unlikely to be harmed. In fact, they may even be helped by seeing differences handled in a mature, Christian way.

On the other hand, if the parents disagree sharply and bitterly--if they get into a fight--the children can suffer ill effects.

Children should not have to deal with parental disharmony. They don't need to witness one parent opposing the other. Being less mature, children are often driven to side with one parent. Since they love and need both parents, this puts them under tremendous pressure.

What children need is to see their father and mother in harmony. In John 17:21, Jesus prays that His disciples "may be one, Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You." When a husband and wife live in harmony, they become witnesses to their children for the Lord.

When parents have disagreements, they normally should work them out in private. Sorting something out may be necessary, but it does not need to be done in front of the children.

People live in very close quarters in a family. Plaster saints don't last long. Parents will muff it sometimes. When they do, they should ask forgiveness not only of each other, but of the children as well. They might have to say, “We really got out of the Spirit, and we weren't a good testimony to you. Our behavior was not the kind of example we want you kids to follow."

The children will be blessed by receiving an honest admission of human frailty from their parents. It may not be an easy thing for a parent to do, but a chiId deserves no less than any other Christian when there is a need for repentance.

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