Are children born racist? Do humans comes into this world naturally hating those with a different skin color? Join AMBrewster as he looks at three character traits of God that are instilled in all humans and which help children not be racist.
Support TLP by becoming a TLP Friend!
Discover the following episodes by clicking the titles or navigating to the episode in your app:
“TLP 138: Teach Your Children to Obey, Part 1”
“TLP 164: Friends, Part 1”
“TLP 287: Parenting Angry Children, Part 1”
“TLP 128: The Four Family Loves, Part 1”
“TLP 342: Parenting Suffering Children, Part 1”
Click here for our free Parenting Course!
Like us on Facebook.
Follow us on Instagram.
Follow us on Twitter.
Follow AMBrewster on Parler.
Follow AMBrewster on Twitter.
Pin us on Pinterest.
Subscribe to us on YouTube.
Need some help? Write to us at Counselor@TruthLoveParent.com.
Click "Read More" for today’s Episode Notes and Transcript.
Click the link below to download the PDF.
Welcome back to our ongoing parenting conversation about hot topics and big ideas your children are likely encountering these days.
My name is Aaron Brewster, and I welcome you to join us in this parenting journey. We’re a group of people excited to learn how God would have us raise up our children in His nurture and admonition.
And that does not mean that we cram “churchy” stuff into our kids on Sunday and then lives our lives the rest of the week. No, God’s Word is sufficient to equip us not only for godliness, but also for life. That means that the Bible is going to help us think like God about any and all issues that may face us and our kids.
That’s why we’re taking three episodes to talk about a very big issue being discussed in America today — racism.
But before we do that, I want to invite you to check out the TLP Store. We not only offer a free parenting course, but we also have a growing collection of apparel that is all about God and family. The clothes are super-comfortable and very trendy, but — most importantly — they elevate God and His word.
Every purchase helps us continue creating free Gospel-centered parenting resources, so fill your wardrobe with TLP merch. You’ll look great, and TLP can continue serving God by equipping dads and moms to be the parents He called and created them to be.
And speaking of TLP, one month ago we celebrated our 4 year anniversary. God is so infinite, but I am so finite. I actually forgot all about it. My life was so crazy busy, I completely forgot that TLP was turning 4 years old. I posted a video on line about my forgetfulness and God’s goodness. I hope you all follow us on social media so you don’t miss the parenting encouragement and the Brewster apologies.
Let’s start this conversation about racism by discussing what makes children naturally not racist. Next time we’ll consider what makes them racist, and then we’ll learn to teach our kids what the Bible says about racism.
Now, in case you’re hands are full with little kids, driving, or deboning a duck, we have free episode notes and transcripts you can download from TakingBackTheFamily.com.
As I’ve been mentioning since the beginning of Season 16, we’re working through a progressive study which assumes that our families will never be able to come to the right conclusions about anything in this life unless we learn to think the way God created us to think.
This involves putting priority on Truth and using theologic to process and apply that Truth. And it assumes that Truth can only be fully comprehended when it is understood through the lens of the Scriptures.
We also discussed man’s sinful propensity for delusional rebellion.
Only when we start from that premise can we know that we and our families will be able to come to a Christ-honoring conclusion about anything.
That’s why — during our last regular episode — we had to acknowledge that children will naturally approach the concept of justice from a divine and a diabolical standpoint, so therefore we must help them think biblically about it — putting to death the fleshly Failure Philosophies and building up the heavenly Truth.
So, you can rightly postulate that we will approach the discussion of racism the exact same way. But, since racism is such a hot-button issue, I didn’t want to try to cram those three points into one episode the way I did the show on justice. So, we’re going to talk about each of those points over three episodes.
So, today’s topic addresses the fact that — like justice — because your children were created in the image of God, common grace is afforded them to not act out as wickedly as they could, and — instead — make choices the are shadows of true righteousness.
If you’re curious how behavior that appears righteous may not actually be righteous, please listen to our "Teach Your Children to Obey" series.
So, as we mentioned last time, God’s image in us causes all human beings to share traits that are unique to humanity. However, I only want to focus on three for today’s purposes.
1. Due to the image of God in them, children are naturally friendly.
Now, you may think this is a weak point on which to start, and I’ll grant you that it’s not the most compelling. I know that some children are very shy and others are downright ornery.
Remember, we’re talking about God’s image worked out through a finite, immature human. In addition to that, it’s marred by sin. No human is going to perfectly approximate any of the character traits we discuss, but — in general — we find children have these natural predispositions that create an atmosphere non-conducive for racism to grow and flourish.
We also need to point out that family situations and life experiences can quickly diminish and adulterate a child’s natural proclivity to make friends.
What I’m pointing out here is that — in the absence of the effects of sin — children show a natural inhibition that allows them to make “best friends” out of complete strangers.
Nearly every parent has had that gut-stopping moment when their very small child toddled off and struck up a conversation with a seedy-looking adult. Just a couple days ago I was walking down the aisles of one of my favorite establishments — Goodwill — and a boy no older than 5 — with absolutely no provocation from me — walked up to me, said “Hi,” and introduced himself. And just as he was about to launch into a discourse on the item I had lifted from the shelf of second-hand treasures, his dad came around the endcap and said, “Stop talking to strangers.”
My children can play for hours in very complicated and involved alternate realities with complete strangers at the park, and on our way home announce that they had a new best friend. And though I would ask the child’s name, they never knew. It apparently wasn’t important to possess intimate details concerning one’s best friends.
By the way, if you’d be interested in learning what the Bible has to say about your children’s friends, you can find a link in the description of this episode for our “Friends” series.
My family used to live half an hour outside of Chicago in a very multi-ethnic community. Though Caucasian may well have been the most represented ethnicity, there were so many ethnicities that my family and I were often some of the only white people at the store or event.
And my kids never were more or less friendly to a man, woman, or child due to the color of their skin.
This inherent friendliness comes from God. Though the actual English word “friendly” doesn’t show up frequently in the Scriptures, we learn often of God’s kindness.
Titus 3:4-5 tells us “But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, 5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit.”
And God’s people are commanded to be kind all throughout the Scripture. We spent a lot of time discussing Ephesians 4:31-32 during our “Parenting Angry Children” series.
I Corinthians 13:4 tells us that love is kind, kindness is a Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5, and one of my favorites is Proverbs 21:21, “Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness, and honor.”
Kind, loving people don’t hate in the sinful sense.
During our “Four Family Loves” series we learned that true, biblical love wants and works toward God’s best interest in the life of the one they love. It will never be in anyone’s best interest to discriminate against them due to their ethnicity.
We need to nurture this kind, friendly spirit in our children. I know how easy it is to want to quash their gregarious natures. We don’t want them talking to strangers. We don’t want them getting in with the wrong group. We want them to be wise and discerning, and I’m all for that.
But we also need to work to mature and beautify our children’s natural propensity to accept others the way they are.
2. Due to the image of God in them, children are naturally curious.
In Proverbs 25:2 we learn that it’s the glory of a king to search out a matter. Proverbs 27:20 refers to man’s insatiable spirit.
The Scriptures are filled with curious people asking fantastic questions.
We and our kids come into this world with a palpable thirst for new experiences, sights, sounds, tastes, and tactile adventures.
It’s this curiosity that often fuels a child’s desire to make new friends and meet new people. And it’s also their curiosity that causes them to pay close attention to that which is out of the ordinary and ask questions about it.
Knowing the nature of children in general — and my own in particular — I remember a time when my daughter was very young and we were in Walmart and a lady entered in a very fancy wheel chair. She was clearly a full-grown woman, but she had a very aggressive physical condition that made her very malformed and in need of a fully motorized wheelchair in which she appeared to be fully integrated.
I knew this would catch my daughter’s eyes, and I knew she would want to ask me about it at the most inopportune time in the loudest voice possible.
Being more observant than my daughter, I headed the situation off at the pass and — no, I didn’t rush off so that my daughter wouldn’t see the woman — in a hushed voice, and without drawing undo attention to the lady, I was able to guide my daughter to see her as well as take the moment to help my child think through the situation theologically — on the level of a curious child.
From there on out, we’ve had similar conversations as my children would see people with various handicaps, meet relatives with downs syndrome, and be exposed to the continent-wide array of clothing styles, haircuts, piercings, tattoos, and other equally eye-catching life choices.
And what I find interesting is that most kids are not put off by differences as much as they are simply curious about investigating them — much the same way people who live in third world countries act the first time they meet a blonde-haired, light-skinned foreigner.
Yes, I know many children have experienced disgust and fear at the sight of someone who looks very different than they, but in my years of biblical counseling I have often discovered that they have been reared in homes that are unloving, prejudiced, and mean.
Next time we’ll investigate the natural tendencies in our children that make it easy for them to move away from the image of God in them and embrace behaviors that stand in contrast to the way they were created.
Still, curious people who see the world with wide-eyed wonder are positioned to find joy in the differences of people.
We need to — for so many reasons — embolden and enrich our children’s curiosity. But for the sake of our topic, Christian parents should help their children nurture their curiosity as a way to build empathy.
When we are curious to truly know another person, understand who they are, feel their emotions, and walk a mile in their shoes, it will be hard to hate that person.
Empathy grows from compassion, but it also requires a large dose of curiosity.
Okay, so children possess the ability to be naturally non-racist by virtue of the fact that they can be very kind and curious.
And lastly . . .
3. Due to the image of God in them, children naturally appreciate beauty.
Our God is the Creator of endless beauty. The ESV rendering of Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, “He has made everything beautiful in its time.” And Philippians 4:8 commands us to dwell on that which is lovely.
There are so many different shapes, sizes, and colors in humanity because God is infinitely creative. Everything He makes is beautiful, and our curiosity should drive us to want to see it all.
I love how children have the ability to see beauty where adults see only their own jaded reflections.
I remember one day when my daughter greeted her great grandmother after not seeing her for a long time, and the first words out of her mouth were, “Your glasses are so beautiful!”
It melted my grandmother’s heart and perfectly illustrated the child’s ability to see beauty in everything.
It’s this element of God’s divine image in humans that fights against the temptation to think something ugly just because of the way it looks.
We need to help our children find the beauty in everything. Every part of nature is beautiful in one way or another. Every person is beautiful. And if you’re coming up with a hundred examples of people and things that you do not think are beautiful, you need to look at those things through the eyes of the Creator.
But it’s far too often we parents complain about the weather, proclaim that spiders are ugly, and harshly critique the way that people dress. And children learn from us not only that some things are not beautiful, but that they are deserving of our spite.
This same attitude pervades the way we look at situations that come into our lives. Instead of viewing them through God’s eyes and thinking theologically about them, we proclaim that they’re bad and that they are to be avoided.
Instead, we need to encourage our children to find God’s beautiful will even in the darkest and hardest of times.
We talked about this to a great degree in our “Parenting Suffering Children” series.
And it is a fantastic lesson to teach our children because it grows out of their God-given propensity to see beauty.
Many people are trying to convince us that some children are actually born racist. That is patently illogical and biblically untrue.
Children are born with at least three character traits that are predisposed to reject racism, prejudice, and hatred.
Everyone should cultivate those traits in their kids, and Christians in particular should be leading the charge.
Unfortunately, due to their sin nature, children also have at least three natural tendencies that — when cultivated — create the perfect breeding ground of racism.
Please share this episode on your favorite social media outlets and remember, if we want our children to grow up into Christ, we must be vigilant to nurture the Truth and love in our kids, but we must also be prepared to counter the lies and hatred in our kids.
To that end, join us next time as we look at “What Makes Children Naturally Racist.”
Join The TLP Family and receive email updates when we publish new articles and episodes.
Subscribe to Our Podcast