Encouraging Activism in Children

Help your mini-activist grow in faith
 Are you an activist? Do you feel closer to God when you’re working against child slavery, pornography, political change, or standing up for truth in other areas? Maybe you sign online petitions to call the government to justice on aboriginal issues, speak up for adoption in your church, or go overseas to free the slaves.

But we don’t have to wait until adulthood to be activists!

Children can be incredibly compassionate and justice-minded, we just need to release them to do what God is calling them to do! 

Sometimes that means teaching them about issues you find important.

At the time of writing, the western world is reeling from the implications of the Syrian refugee crisis. I have seen so many posts on social media from people wondering what they can do, but no posts wondering what their children can do.

We are right to shield our children from the evil in the world, but if we don’t introduce them to some of it on our own terms, they may become staggered by the weight of it when they are older. 

Can I give you an example of how we shared the refugee crisis with our young boys?

On Friday night, we were doing our devotion on the life of Elisha, and discussing how God had used him to help the widow. We discussed how God sometimes wants to use us to help others in need as well. I took this opportunity to share with my boys a little bit about the refugee crisis.

I told them that there are some countries in the world where there are lot of bad people. They are trying to hurt people and take their homes. These people want so badly to escape the bad guys that they run away from their homes. They don’t bring anything with them – no clothes, no food, no money, no cars. They walk and walk and walk until they reach a place that is safer. But it is very hard for them to find a place that is safe. 

I proposed to them a plan.

We would count and sort all our cans and bottles then bring them to the bottle depot. After we got our money we would use it to buy gift cards from Superstore. Our church already works with refugees and there is a family coming from Burma very soon, so the gift cards would go to them. After an initial hesitation (because they remembered the stench and noise of the bottle depot!) they agreed wholeheartedly. 

Picture

I was so proud of them – they didn’t complain about not getting to keep any of the money, and they were so excited to pass their bills over to the cashier in exchange for the gift cards.

They may not know much about the horror of being a refugee, but they do know that they can do something to help.

My prayer is that they will remember this experience and refuse to be paralyzed into inaction when needs arise.

We have since sorted and returned the recycling again when there were nearly 100,000 people evacuated from a city north of us during a wildfire. That time we donated the money to the Canadian Red Cross.

I will leave you with one final picture that makes my heart beat faster:

welcoming refugees

The picture is of the earth surrounded by space (and an astronaut!), drawn by my 6 year old.
 
I am so proud of my children for slowly developing the heart of a God-following activist..

For other posts in the Sacred Pathways for Kids series, click here! 
(Sacred Pathways = ways of connecting with God beyond the “I do my daily devotions” we were taught in our younger years. Many of these pathways are also applicable to children!)
 
This post and all the other “Sacred Pathways for Kids” posts are bundled in my new e-book, “Guiding your child into relationship with Jesus”. Purchase it here for only $3.99!

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2 Comments on “Encouraging Activism in Children”

  1. I love this post, Christie! My girls were similarly touched and inspired to help in some way. They made and sold Italian cookies at Christmas time raising $440 for the Syrian refugee crisis. It was amazing to see how their compassion catalyze others!

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