What are some tools that we can use to teach our kids about diversity?
For Christians, we have the Bible. You can use it as a guide to see how God has created all these different people for one purpose — to glorify Him, and that we are all united by the blood of Jesus.
We also have history books. Choose a country, make a dish from the country, listen to their music, and just celebrate and enjoy learning. Think of fun ways to learn. You can take advantage of different holidays that celebrate cultures too.
Try not to get stuck in your protective bubble. Try to get out, meet new people, learn about new people. This even helps us to fulfill the great commission, teaches us empathy, and helps us teach our children. Our world-view isn’t the only way. Everyone has their own culture and personality too.
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What does the future look like for our kids?
We hope that our kids would love their neighbors as themselves. That includes listening and learning from others. Every single person on this earth is made in the image of God. Because of that, every single person has value and worth. Let’s help our kids embrace that and pass it along to their friends too!
We are a sinful people, but if we keep teaching our kids about diversity, that can help the next generation. Hopefully, our kids will pass along the knowledge and love that they gain, one generation after another.
How do we teach our kids to truly listen?
If we stop and really listen to our kids, it teaches them to listen to others too. It’s a discipline and it does take energy, it’s something we always need to work on. In our culture, as a whole, we struggle to listen. It takes self-control to wait and listen, to discern, to pray, to be slow to speak. It’s something we have to ask the Lord to help us with. Our culture is loosing the skill to listen well and that affects us.
Social media doesn’t help us with that either. You just have to work harder than ever to listen and we have to remember that this will affect our children too. It’s a continual discipline that we will have to work on and teach to our children.
How do I start this conversation about cultures in my home?
Just start at Genesis 1, or start with a resource, pick a person or a public figure. Just start somewhere. Pick one thing and just start.
Because the conversation of race is usually fraught with fear, we need to put a different light on it. We need to celebrate and learn to delight and learn to enjoy our neighbors. Ask God to help you to celebrate and enjoy differences rather than fear them.
Trillia Newbell is the author of the kids’ book God’s Very Good Idea, as well as Enjoy: Finding the Freedom to Delight Daily in God’s Good Gifts (2016), Fear and Faith: Finding the Peace Your Heart Craves (2015) and United: Captured by God’s Vision for Diversity(2014). Her writings on issues of faith, family, and diversity have been published in the Knoxville News-Sentinel, Desiring God, True Woman, Christianity Today, The Gospel Coalition, and more. She has spoken at numerous conferences, churches, women’s retreats, colleges and seminaries, including True Woman, The Gospel Coalition Women’s conference, Southeastern Theological Seminary, and more. She currently is the Director of Community Outreach for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission for the Southern Baptist Convention.
Her greatest love besides God is her family. She is married to her best friend and love, Thern. They reside with their two children near Nashville, TN.