Raising Critical Thinkers In a Fake News World – Part 1

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Episode Summary

We are seeing the next generation swept away to absurd philosophies that contradict biblical truth and it’s happening on purpose. So we need to be more on purpose than ever to counter this effort. It’s vital that you proactively equip your kids to be critical thinkers, and this doesn’t just happen in the normal flow of life unless you purpose to do so. Get practical tips that will help every parent no matter how old your kids are.

Critical thinking is becoming a lost skill in our world and as you listen to this episode, not only will it likely challenge you, but it will give you important tips to do with your children regardless of the age that equips them to not get swayed by false media and opinions of others.

The normal rhythm of Christian childhood experiences largely is failing to create good critical thinkers. If we want different results we must do things differently. Tune in to part one of this two-part series to get practical insights in equipping your kids to be able to stand strong against wrong information when you’re not around.

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In This Episode We Cover:

  1. Humans are easily swayed
  2. Challenge your kids minds
  3. Initiate deep conversations

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Scripture In This Episode:

1 John 4:1-6 – Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.”

1 Peter 1:13 – “Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

Hebrews 4:12-13 –For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”



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Full Transcript:

Welcome to Courageous Parenting Podcast, a weekly show with parents with biblical truth on raising confident Christian kids in an uncertain world.

Hi, I’m Angie from Courageous Mom, and I’m Isaac from Resolute Man. We’ve been married for 21 years and have seen the fruit from raising our eight kids biblically.

Based on the raw truth found in the Bible, we can no longer let the culture win the hearts of children. Too many children from Christian families are walking away from their faith by age 18. And it doesn’t have to be this way. It shouldn’t be this way. Join us as we start an important conversation about effective parenting in a fallen world.

Hey, everyone, welcome to the podcast. Wow, what a time we are living in. It is fascinating.

That’s right. We’re glad to be back with you guys. And we have a pretty relevant conversation we want to talk to you guys about today. And it’s raising critical thinkers in a fake news world.

So important. And, you know, it is geared towards how to equip your kids even from a very, very young age or if they’re already teenagers or in the middle. This will be relevant to you, but also let it sink in for yourself because we are so easily influenced, no matter how strong you think you are, no matter how strong your kids think you are. And by the way, as humans, I think we all think we’re strong. I think human beings think we’re strong in this regard. But studies after study after study shows that human beings are easily swayed, easily influenced in all kinds of ways. So this is important.

Yeah, I think that even today to last last week’s podcast, we talked briefly about relativism. And I think that that goes along with this issue of being swayed because so many people are preaching. Follow your feelings. Follow your heart. Right. And so if something immediately looks good, feels good, that doesn’t mean that it is good. We have to discern we have to take time to actually be skeptical, dig for truth, pray about it, filter it through the word of God. And what we know is real truth, because really the word of God is the only truth.

Yeah, absolutely. And it’s so important that we’re training our kids and we’re going to be practical ways to do that. Thank you for being part of the one million Legacy’s movement. We always give a shout out for that. I just want you guys know when you give five stars on iTunes or write a comment, it helps the algorithms and helps it get out there to more people. We have a significant mission ahead of us for one million legacies. Yeah, we’ve had over a million downloads, but that’s it’s not a million people. I mean, it’s it’s a lot of people. And it’s amazing what God’s doing. But this year, by the way, our goal is to have one million downloads just this year, first year, two million downloads and another doubling it this year just as we get to that million legacy.

So can you see how I’m married to a visionary?

He’s a guy you’ve got to have you’ve got to have something that I mean, we’re doing this together. We got something we’re doing together with purpose and intention.

And it motivates me, you know, to have impact. And it’s something you should know about Angie and I, everything I’m literally talking everything we’ve ever done has been about impact.

That’s true. Except for the resources. And that’s why I lost so handily.

We’re not going to tell that story because that’s really embarrassing. But I think I did tell it somewhere.

I think that was in our Season one podcast where you shared about that.

You’ll have to dig that up because I’m not going to share that. Again, that is very embarrassing, but.

Ok. All right, so but it is so important that we stop the cycle of kids being raised in Christian homes and then falling away to liberalism, to ways of the world, to what feels like I can’t imagine somebody thinking this and they do. Why does that happen? And so we need to dive into this. And I would say the first thing we have to do is from a very young age, whatever age they are, consistently challenge their minds. Because we are just going to get you thinking about this for a second.

I read this book once the other 90 percent, I think it was in that book or it was in the book about Einstein in his mind, Einstein Factor. I read a long time ago, I’m not necessarily recommending these books, but there was something interesting is that when you from your experiences and from your learning books, your reading and things like that, as you stretch your mind, even go a different way home, you’re making new connections in your brain.

What’s interesting is those connections don’t just automatically stay. It’s not like you’re building up and you’re you’re connecting more of your brain together. What happens is if you stop reading books and he stopped challenging your mind, you always go the same way home.

You get in a rhythm of real normalcy that your brain doesn’t have to be really proactive working, you actually disconnect your brain connections are starting to disconnect.

So there’s no status quo where the growing or were receding, receding, smarter or, well, not smarter.

I want to see what you say. I don’t like using those words. Smeltzer those are banned words in our home. I set you up so word and the D word, but so I just think that’s important.

It’s like we need to be growing and we need to challenge our kids minds in different ways. And also, when you challenge your kids minds in different ways, it expands the kind of thinking they do.

So it’s really important. So what are some ways to challenge kids minds?

Well, I think one of the benefits that I’ve seen in being able to spend a lot of time with the kids is always keeping them stimulated. You are saying expand the kids minds. The word that comes to mind is stimulating. Yeah, right. And so one way is when they have mastered something and curriculum and you can see them starting to get bored or it’s not something that comes really easily to them.

You push them to try the next harder thing or you change the curriculum up so that it’s more difficult for them to keep them stimulated. Or you add in something into their curriculum. Right, like a foreign language or something like that. That’s a little bit more. And that would be stimulating their mind on the academic side. But you can stimulate their mind on a character side and on a spiritual side, and even you can stimulate them like even the mindset. I think it would be a mindset thing if you were to challenge your kids to like if you’re working out right. And it’s easy for you to do 10 reps on something. If you just keep doing those 10 reps and you don’t ever try 13 reps or you don’t try more weight, you’re not going to make very much progress. Right. And so even on a physical level, we want to teach our kids to push themselves. And so it’s it’s not that we are alone, the only ones stimulating their minds. We want to be teaching them to be pushing themselves always in all these areas also.

Yeah. And one of the things that we found really powerful is the Socratic method, teaching kids in a way, there’s something also called flip class. And if you homeschool or they go to school, regard this is important. That is that the kids are given. They’re supposed to do all their learning on their own. And then when they come together, they talk about what they already learned.

So it’s the opposite of traditional education where you go to class to learn, which doesn’t only fits one kind of personality and there’s no actual dialogue, and we know that rhetoric is the ability to be able to reteach what you’ve been taught, which is actually when those things are solidified as mastery, if you can teach it, then you’ve mastered it.

So even if I mean in flip classes is a classroom setting mentality, the stats are off the charts of how much better that is, because when you get together as a group and discuss what you’ve learned, you have to put in your opinions. You have to put in your ideas. And these are muscles that must be worked from an early age. And if you’re home schooling, you can do that within your family. If they’re going to school, you can make up for that in their home if it’s not at their school.

And I would say to that, you know, the interesting aspect of what you’re talking about regarding flip classes, which is the same for Socratic dialogue, which we experience in classical conversations, which is another fantastic program that we’ve done for many years, is you won’t have anything to say if you haven’t done the work ahead of time. So it’s this it’s a good peer pressure to come prepared so that you can contribute because you’re not going to have respect from your peers or even know what you’re not going to be able to bring a good contribution if you haven’t done the work ahead of time. And so and that is a personal discipline that kids need to be taught so that they’re able to do it when they’re older.

And if you have a real high doer in your family, someone that wants to know why all the time and they like to take action and they learn from doing things, that’s kind of me when I was a kid, the worst thing for me or your kid like that is to go to to to learn something without a purpose for it now to practice. Now, obviously, everybody’s taught well.

The purpose is you pass your class and you’re going to graduate, OK? But people like me need something more important than that. Like I’m responsible to carry a conversation about this.

I want to be able to do that, you know, have a greater purpose to do it. So now when I’m reading, I don’t just forget everything which always happened to me. I’m reading with an intent that’s short term coming at me.

And that is how im wired, you know, you just brought up another good way. If you want a practical way to be able to challenge your kids in critical thinking and stimulate their minds, it would be in the topic of conversation.

Are you actually having conversations with your kids? That’s just a basic one, right? Like if you know that they’ve read a certain book recently, let’s say your kid is reading a C.S. Lewis book signing. OK, so one of our kids is currently reading Screwtape Letters. And so I sit down with her and I can ask her some questions about Screwtape Letters because I’ve already read the book, or I can ask her to teach me what she’s learning and what does that do that stimulates her mind to have to remember, to recall and then to communicate it back. And so being a critical thinker is is so important in communication as well, because a lot of people might be going, oh, yeah, well, this is really important, but how do I teach that? And then what does that look like later? And not everyone’s going to have the gift of teaching, but we all need to be able to communicate because we go back to what we talked about last week in Revelations 12 11, we overcome the enemy. One of the ways is by the word of our testimony, we need to be able to communicate with other people, even in conversation.

And what if you’re like, well, I wish I would have had that kind of education. I feel like I need to get better at this. I don’t discuss my ideas, what I’m learning and share it with people. And then if that’s the case, I would challenge you to do that in your marriage, to share with one another, have robust dialogue and get good at that for your own critical thinking, which is important.

Another thing is logic. I know that was big. You were heavily involved with that. Why don’t you share a little bit how teaching logic helps people think beyond the news headlines and really make sense of things that seem confusing coming at us?

Yeah, I mean, I think that this can start as young as kids are talking and making choices, right? Because we want kids to make to think logically, to use common sense. There’s that difference between book smarts and street smarts. People often use those two different terms, but really want to. One of the differences is, is common sense. Right. And so if a mom is a helicopter mom, for example. Right. Or helicopter parent, because dads can do this, too. Obviously, I’m not just directing moms. I’m just speaking for myself. If we’re constantly there preventing our kids from ever experiencing natural consequences, then they’re not going to learn from the experience and they’re not going to tuck that memory away as a lesson learned that helps them to develop common sense, that actually helps them to develop street smarts. Right. And when you develop those things and you read something that would be book smart and you look at that and you go, well, that’s not. Right, because if you so that you’re not going to reap that they can discern, that makes no logical sense. And so that’s one way when your kids are really little, is letting them experience the natural consequences. At times.

It’s a bunch of if then statements. Right? If this happens, then then that happens. And if that happens, then that means this would have to be true over here. And if that’s true, this whole belief system over here is wrong.

Right. And so as your kids get older, though, it does change into more of a topic of conversation where you’re actually talking about will, does that make logical sense? So, you know, when your kids are six, seven, eight, nine, which is typically when kids will start, like, potentially struggling with taking ownership over the mistakes that they make, sometimes they blame shift or they’ll they’ll struggle with the temptation of lying. Right. And you’re sitting there going, I know they’re lying to me. This doesn’t make logical sense. Well, that’s a good conversation to have, actually. Yeah, right. To actually listen to them, ask them some really hard questions so they have to confess that they lied or that they’re blame shifting and go. Do you know how I was able to tell? Because logically, this doesn’t make sense because of A, B and C or this and this and this. Your kids learn from that. They literally learn that’s what they need to learn to be able to navigate this crazy world in a way where they’re not going to be swayed and believe lies. Right. But then as they get to be like 11, 12 years old, that’s when we start having them read books like The Fallacy Detective or the Thinking Toolbox. The Fancy Detective is a book that is recommended by many different curriculum. What age group should is good for? Well, I was just saying 11 or 12. Yeah. So typically seventh grade. So depending on what age your seventh grader is, sometimes kids are more advanced and they can handle at age 10.

But it’s really something that you want to read with your kids so that you can dialogue with them and go through and or maybe even have them make a report right. Where they’re literally explain what a straw man argument is or different aspects. And this helps them to identify different types of exaggerations. Why something logically can’t be this way, why someone would be motivated to twist things and be able to discern that. And so when you actually are reading books with your kids, you’re having that dialogue. That’s a very it’s a safe place for kids to be able to start out with a Socratic dialogue. If you can get your kids in a co-op or have a couple kids, maybe there’s some families in your church and you have your kids going to a Christian school. And, you know, they’re not reading this kind of book or they’re not ever going to do logic together. And you get together with a couple of moms, you go, you know what? I was listening to this podcast, and I really think that my kids need help and learning logic. Do you want to read a book with our kids together, maybe three or four kids. You have them read the books, you have them get together, you give them muffins or cookies. And then one every other week a different mom is going to moderate it. Right.

You guys realize you’re literally helping your kids pave new ways for you, for their brains to think forever. Yeah, see, it’s not knowledge that matters. It’s the ability to think and process information points in a way that is logical and defends them against being swayed to something that’s not true.

And that, you know, the important aspect of parents being involved in this proactively and teaching kids logical thinking, I’m just this hits me hard, is that all of these things come back to the truth, the word of God.

And obviously, if you’re a believer, you know the word probably better than your eight year old or your eleven year old, right?

I would hope so. And as you’re moderating a conversation with them and a few friends, you can say, hey, that’s just like this scripture, and you dig into it with them and you show them how it’s a biblical concept to actually discern. Right. And you encourage them. Oh, that was really good. And then when they get into high school, there are other logic curriculums that teach more what you were talking about, where it’s the if then and that’s actually the very first stages of even learning programming. A lot of coding and programming comes from this. These is really code breaking in a sentence. But these are huge curriculums. You can find them online. Maybe we’ll put a link in the podcast.

And by the way, once you teach them this, you can take current events, one situation and go, well, what do we think about this? What do you think about this? And then have them decipher it from an if then statement equation like, OK, well, they’re saying this happened. Well, what else do we know around that and happening in the world? OK, well, if that’s true, then this can’t be true. But there’s more evidence that this is true over here. So therefore that’s not true.

Right. So, for example, I’ll use something that is controversial right now. A lot of people have said for a long time that it’s a conspiracy theory to even talk about a great reset. OK, that word when. People here that where they’re like, oh, they’re those people, right? And the reality is, I even thought that way before I did. I thought that way at first. But then as soon as world leaders started talking about it on the news without blinking an eye like prime minister of Canada, the prime minister of Australia, and they’re talking about this and even putting a date on it and saying 2030. Then you look at the the news even in America, and they’re like, oh, this isn’t true. And blah, blah, blah, blah. And all this stuff is going on and, you know, you can’t really trust it. What do you do if these world leaders are all congruently saying one thing and then it’s all being censored here? Obviously, there’s something not right. Yeah. So you have to be able to look at the whole picture. I think that’s also part of something that we need to teach our kids to look past their own personal experiences and look more abroad. Worldwide.

Yeah. How can you get objective when you’re emotional about something? It’s hard and that takes discipline to. And so that is something to teach. Like when your kids are in an argument, it’s like get the emotions down and go. Well, let’s think through this and let’s walk through step by step what happened without you continuing to think about how you’re wronged. Let’s just walk through this for a second. And because you’re trying to discover to what’s going on.

Yeah. And I think that what we’re seeing, even with extremist groups, right. That become violent, for example, they haven’t necessarily been raised in homes where they were taught self control. Right. Because there wasn’t a truth or an absolute that was being taught for them.

Oh, how do you know we should do a whole episode on that?

I mean, I just wonder if you were to, like, look at their highest, those those specific individuals that are looting and killing and vandalizing. Right.

Like what are their backgrounds were they taught conflict resolution, were they taught self control over their emotions, where they taught these things.

And if they’re not interesting, how if the minute they’re offended, that’s another thing I think is that helps kids brains is chess. A chess is a strategic game. You have to do more moves ahead. You think the better. And literally there was another study done. And it’s not just all about success in the world, don’t get me wrong here, but it is about how the mind works.

The further a leader or a person can see ahead, the more successful they are in our society.

And you’re not necessarily talking about, like, prophetically seen ahead because we’re a Christian podcast. We want to be really clear, guys.

That’s not what we’re talking about. Certain people that are like, yeah, I’m paying attention to what I’m doing this week and it doesn’t go much further than that. I’m paying attention to what I’m doing this month, and I don’t really think or plan ahead of that. I’m thinking about what I’m doing this year. And beyond that, who knows? I do have some thoughts about the next five years and a lot of people don’t. And then ten years, I’d like to see this and other people don’t. The further out someone has vision is a better way to say it and can see things for their life the more successful they are. There was a study done. It’s chess also is strategic, the further head you can see. So when you’re solving problems or in your situation, you need to be able to think ahead about what possibly could happen, possibly could be happening. You see these different situations and my decisions I make now could trigger these things differently. So what is the wisest choice to make based on all these possible scenarios? That’s what chess teaches.

So I put a bounty on it where they get in our family. We get twenty bucks the first time they beat Dad and we’ve only had two winners of four out of eight.

But they work at it, they work hard at it and it’s fun to see them play it as well. But it’s interesting as you were talking about it, because when it comes to life, we want our kids to make right choices, right? Well, to make good choices, to make choices that are in the will of the Lord, which is a two step process. And Isaac and I are talking about today critical thinking, which is part of that. Right. And then the other aspect of it is the spiritual side of discernment, obedience to God, following his word, hearing his voice and what he’s calling you to in your life.

Right. And so I want to read from first John, chapter 4:1-6 because this is an important scripture for your kids to hear. It says, beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they’re from God. For many false prophets have gone out into the world by this, you know, the spirit of God, every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God and every spirit that does not confess. Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the Antichrist. Little a OK, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. Little children. You are from God and have overcome them. Who have they overcome the little a antichrist ok for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. This is something we need to encourage our kids with because we don’t. I want them to be overwhelmed by what their future is going to hold. They are from the world, therefore they speak from the world and the world listens to them. That’s what we’re happy. What’s happening with fake news today? Right. But we are from God, whoever knows God’s list, God listens to us. Whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this. We know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

And so there there is guidance, you guys, in the word of God, that also equally at the same time, more so even we need to teach our kids to rely on the truth, to trust God, to recognize that he’s the one that helps us to overcome them. And these principles of having critical thinking is actually also inspired by the Bible. It’s that the spiritual law of sowing and reaping. Yeah. You know, when you’re playing chess and I’m talking about, OK, so what is path a lead me to if I. So this direction, what am I going to reap if I go down path B.. What am I going to reap.

That’s the beautiful aspect of teaching your kids a game like that, that you can also bring the Bible into it to teach them. This is actually a spiritual war that God gave us, that we all we all live by, whether we choose to or not, because we can’t escape it.

I want to take a moment and give you something for free if you haven’t got it already is the date night one. She is a beautiful document you can download that Will has some key questions on it for your date night. Just get in alignment about what’s most important for your family. No matter what time of year, it’s always important to recalibrate. You can get that by going to CourageousParenting.com and subscribing to our mailing list. Also, you can get all of our show notes and everything, a CourageousParenting.com. And I also just want to share real quick about the Parenting Mentor program. So many families are being transformed by going through this. It’s the six week self-paced program with live engagement for us and even direct interaction. So if you want to join us, here’s a little bit more about it and you can find out more at CourageousParenting.com.

Steve and I realized that we were getting too comfortable with the world’s vision of how to raise our children.

What Angie and Isaac have done and creating this is literally phenomenal.

This program provided awesome scripture based teachings and just some really great practical applications. This class has just really rocked my world.

It has given me a vision for not just the different things that we might focus on as parents who are trying to raise our kids basically like our kids are behaving or what we’re doing with discipline, but also the things that heart.

We now have a game plan to how we want to raise our children. We have so many answers to the questions that have been in our mind.

It’s not just these hypothetical situations or it’s not just this. Here’s what I think you should do. It’s let me show you where in scripture this is.

Do your legacy a favor and yourself a favor and just do it.

One of the best things that we’ve done this year, one of the best investments we’ve made this year, and I could not recommend it more. We’re no longer fearing dark days ahead, but we’re so excited to raise the lights to be leaders for the next generation.

I hope you’re seeing listening to the real equipping that’s happening here when you do this with your kids like this is forever equipping them to handle the things that come out them in the decision making that they do and how to receive media and distill it down and what is worthy of my attention and what is not worthy of my attention.

Which takes our next topic, which is deep conversations.

Right. Deep conversations and probably the first. Well, first of all, you want to develop a relationship with your kids that allows deep conversations if you only have shallow conversations with your kids. Hey, did you have fun with your friends?

Yeah, cool. Is that deep?

No, you know, how was school today?

So, you know, a good test of this. You know, some people might think that they have deep conversations with their kids or that they know their kids. Yeah, but, you know, the reality is, as most kids feel like their parents don’t actually know them, and that’s really sad. And so I would encourage you within your marriage relationship to ask one another if you think that there’s any kid that you don’t really fully know much about him or you don’t have time to invest in them. And I’ll be honest, you know, in a big family, some kids with certain kinds of personalities, they can hide and some kids with certain personalities can kind of dominate time. And so it’s important to understand what those kids needs are. But sometimes you have to, like, help someone to sacrifice a little bit so that the other person can get what they need.

Something I’ve always done in leadership and I teach this. I just gave a speech with a big company and I taught this, which is always kind of have a thermometer over your people’s head in your in a way of understanding where they’re at and where your relationship is out with them.

And great leaders always know what’s in the minds and hearts of their people, some actual quote. But that quote always stuck with me. I read it 18 years ago and it’s just like, do I really know what’s in the minds and hearts of my kids, my kids? And you know what? That’s a hard thing to tackle. So if you’re discouraged when you’re listening to this. I think all of us could do better at this. I know this is a constant, never ending process because they’re changing so fast. There’s so much going on in the world in our lives.

And one day they could be great. And then the next day they I mean, especially teenagers. And if they are on social media and if they’re learning how to discern things, which you guys I know that a lot of people are so super anti social media, but the reality is, is your kids are eventually going to be on it. And so you really need to equip them and how to be able to discern and be a critical thinkers and test the spirits like we were just talking about. And so but the reality is, is that could actually be something that affects them on a day to day basis. If they’re on social media and they’re being influenced one day, they could be joyful and happy and and hopeful. And then the next day with what’s going on in the world, they could be depressed and sad and scared that they’re not going to. You know what I mean? I don’t know what job to choose now and not, you know. And so I just want to encourage you guys that we have to teach our kids, in addition to critical thinking, to take their thoughts captive. That’s something we as parents are always talking about doing for ourselves. But we have to teach our kids that.

I do want to just encourage you with first, Peter, 1:13. So good. I’m going to let you read that one. OK, sure.

Yeah. Happy to. Therefore, preparing your minds for action and being sober minded. Set your hopefully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

So we need to prepare our minds for action. We need preparing. What does that look like? Preparing our minds for action. It’s action that hasn’t happened yet. So we’re preparing in advance for future action. You get that. And we need to be sober minded. We need to understand the truth in the word of God, and we prepare our minds to be ready for those situations. So are you preparing your kids to be ready for whatever situations come and they take the right action?

This is an important word because you use the word sober minded. And when I whenever I think of sober minded, I think of other verses that talk about sober mindedness that are like, do not think of yourself more highly than you ought to write, because that that would be the spirit of pride. Right. And we all know that humanity struggles with pride. All people struggle with pride off and on. But don’t don’t young children who like for example, if they can’t admit that they’re wrong or they can’t say they’re sorry or they can’t see themselves or or teenagers or young adults even that are struggling with this, if they have received Jesus Christ, then you can talk to them.

From this perspective of God calls us to be sober minded. That means we have to look at ourselves in light of Christ. And that brings us to a position of humility when we’re when we see that none of our good works are that God did those things through us and that they’re like filthy rags in the eyes of the Lord, right. Yeah. And so but the reason why I’m bringing this up is because they cannot possibly be ready to test the spirits, to discern, to hear God fully if they’re not sober minded. And so this is actually one of the fruits that we need to look for in our kids as they’re accepting Jesus, as they’re are getting saved as their own in their faith.

This should be a fruit we see. And if it’s not, then we need to keep working with our kids. We I mean, we always need to work with our kids. But I would question if there’s true salvation there.

And so I’m saying that because it’s super important, super important, more in deep conversations, the practical of how to actually have deep conversations, it’s that you have to ask questions in the right way. First of all, when you ask a question, you have to make sure you have enough time to actually receive the answer and or make sure you spend the time, because sometimes you never feel like you have time. But you need to do this.

And I have an encouragement for families that have, you know, more than three kids, too, I would say, or if you have little kids and you have older kids, I think it’s important that both you and your husband take time to have one on one time away from the home with each kid. And I know that that may be like, whoa, OK. I mean, you guys were pregnant with our ninth. I get it. But just today, I mean, I planned this two days ago with our oldest and I said, we’re going to we’re going to go we’re going to have a meal together somewhere else so that we can have undivided conversation right time where there’s no distractions or interruptions.

However, if they make you wear a mask, I wouldn’t I would just I would walk around the neighborhood. I’d rather walk in the cold in the neighborhood than sit in a restaurant with a mask on.

Ok, honey. So but deep conversations are really, really they are so important.

And you have to ask questions correctly. Don’t ask a question in a way where someone can say yes or no to it. I’ll think about that for a second. You might ask a lot of questions where people can just say yes or no. Yes, ma’am. Right. And if they give you a short answer, then you ask another question. You’ve heard me say this before, right? Three questions. Did you teach in depth on that? Super, super, super. And you’ve got to so you ask, so how was school or whatever the party or whatever they’re at?

Oh, it was good, Mom. It’s good, Dad. Oh, cool. Did you see so-and-so? Yeah. How are they doing? What did you guys do. What did you talk about. Was that. Were there any challenges? What was the best part of the party? How did you feel being there?

Ok, now you’re getting into something deeper maybe. And you know what? They all people give all the surface positive things. But it’s that third or fourth time you ask about something that the deep thing comes out. Well, actually, I felt really slighted because Johnny, who I usually hang out with, he doesn’t want to hang out with me, you know, these other boys. And I don’t if he thought they’re cooler or.

Yeah, you know, all this stuff comes out. But a lot of times kids have to you know, they might be feeling something inside and not actually be critically thinking themselves about why they’re feeling the way they’re feeling.

And so when you’re doing that with your kids, you’re actually helping them to learn how to process those things. Because if they were offended, then what does the Bible say? You follow Matthew 18 and you teach them to go to their friend that they have been offended by and confront them so and so it’s it becomes a bigger learning experience is the point. And and you always can go back to the word God, because there’s the Bible speaks to every aspect of life.

But back on the deep conversation. So what this does is now you can discuss problems I find discussing problems a great way to have a deep conversation, test their critical thinking and what’s going on. So what’s a problem might be relational conflicts. So talk those things out. Any time there’s relational conflict, you need to talk that problem out and get them thinking about it. A lot of times they’re instant thoughts of how they should react to it is not the best. And you can teach them to do that. But I don’t just tell them. I ask them questions. Well, do you think that’s the best way or what? What other way could you handle that?

Oh, now they’re thinking of it versus me preaching at them. See, strong people don’t like people just preaching at them, just giving them the answer. If you want to build a deep conversation, open relationship, good relationship with your kid, you’re going to challenge them to think, because when they come up with it, they own it. And you want your kids to own the solutions versus just have you tee them all up and then they may or may not own them in their life. It’s so important. And so you really have to talk about it. How about discussing world problems, discussing challenges going on? You know, how would you solve that? Hey, if you were in that leader shoes, what would you do? You know, asking questions, drawing things up. There’s this is really it’s probably one of the better things I’ve done in a long time in this regard. We were heading to church and I there was about ten information points about what’s going on in the world. This is post January 6th. You know, when the United States, both Biden and Trump were having some difficulties in transition, I found way to put it, depending on when you’re listening to this time in history here. And and I just looked at ten information points happening in the world, not just the US. And I said, OK, guys, I want you to listen to these information points. And then when I’m done, I want you to connect all these in in one story is if they all were connected, OK? And I don’t know if they are at all, but this will be a fun exercise. And then I shared something about Italy. I shared something about Pakistan. I shared something many things about the US going on and seemingly very different things. And they might be and I said, make a story. And they took stabs at it.

It was so much fun. And not only that, but the kids were all like listening to one another and then going, oh yeah. And what if. And they were adding to it. Right. They were like challenging each other to think more, which was exciting because you want your kids to be able to speak into each other’s lives because they’re going to need each other in their generation. Right? Yeah. And so I think there’s an element of teaching your kids to have mutual respect for each other’s ideas as well and being able to challenge one another and critical thinking. And that doesn’t happen if you’re not doing it. So it starts with the parents first and it trickles down. It becomes part of your family culture.

And then I and I reeled off the ten information points in the way I would write the movie. And and, you know, some of it actually some of that exposed some of what happened happened just days later, actually.

And it was super fun. But you have to be a thinker yourself to be able to come up with something like that. You know, it’s just because I’m paying attention to what’s going on. I think critically, Angie thinks critically. And so then we can lead our kids to think critically. And if you’re not working that muscle yourself, you need to have deep conversations within your marriage about what’s going on in the world. I don’t think it should just be one of you that’s leading the conversation. Obviously, you know, I am leading a lot of conversations and she’s leading conversations to with politics. And all kinds of things, and I just think it’s super healthy and it’s super good for a marriage, and I would encourage you to have deep conversation with each other and then encourage those deep conversations with the kids. You want the kind of relationship where they go. I love talking to my mom. We talk about all kinds of things. I feel so comfortable talking to her about anything. She’s always receptive and always listens. And she really challenges me to grow. And I’m a better thinker. I’m a better citizen. I’m a better human being. I’m a better believer because I talk to my mom.

Or dad would want the same thing. Yeah, and so I think there’s an aspect, too, of critical thinking that people need to be aware of.

So a lot has gone on in the last couple of months and there’s emotions flying high. And a lot of people are overwhelmed, concerned, don’t know what to think, don’t know how to respond, all these things right now. And so I get a lot of people going, how do you how do you come? You seem so cool and calm about things and how can you handle all of this information that’s coming in? And you know what? It’s not that it doesn’t get to me. There was one day this last week where it did start to get to me. And so the minute that I sense that I pulled the plug on what I was doing and I just spent more time in the word, got that music blasting and realized like this, no, my kids need me.

Yeah. To show confidence, to be joyful, to not let this faze me. And this is the reality is critical when you’re critically thinking it removes emotion, OK, you’re thinking with your mind, with facts, with things that you know, and when there are not a lot of facts, which is what’s happening right now, people can struggle to be critically thinking. And that’s when we need to stop thinking, actually suspend thinking and just pray. It’s and I and the reason why I’m saying this is because a lot of people could assume that, oh, we’re talking about critical thinking. And you always need to be thinking. You always need to be testing and evaluating. You actually need to take action in planning time of rest. You need to take action in planning time for your brain to just not be critically thinking and to trust God and to be in his word.

So here’s a perfect scripture on this part one of a two part series that we’re doing here, which is Hebrews 4:11-13. Let us therefore strive to enter that rest so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience for the word of God is living and active.

Have you taught your kids that that this thing is alive and it’s active and it’ll speak to you, just you and the way you need to receive it and take you to the places you need to be in it?

It’s live. It’s living an active, sharper than any two edged sword if your kids like swords or boys like swords. And this is a sword of the spirit piercing to the division of soul and of the spirit and of joints and of marrow and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all our naked exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

So let’s be in the word God will help you do this and pray. Ask for God to give you those divine appointment with your kids to have you come up the right questions scenarios to really help them become critical thinkers in the next part.

We’ll be going over the the other four points to this two part series.

See you next time. Hey, thanks for listening to this episode.

For more resources, go to CourageousParenting.com and CourageousMom.com For free online workshops, blog posts and best selling courses. Also, we wanted to quickly tell you about our six week online parenting mentor program, Isaac and I created a powerful biblical curriculum. Here’s how it works. Each week we release a video with a downloadable parenting package to make it easy for you to incorporate those teachings directly into your parenting.

This is an incredible self-paced program where we cover everything from obedience training to overcoming mistakes most Christians are making. But more than that, it’s a supportive community. You’ll have access to our private online group, Live Webcast and the courageous parenting text message line. Ranjini, I can send you weekly encouragement straight to your phone.

If you’re interested in joining our next online parenting mentor program. Secure your spot now at CourageousParenting.com

Written By Angie Tolpin
Angie has been married to Isaac for 19 years and together they have eight children, whom she homeschools. She is the Founder of CourageousMom.com, a doula, the author of the best-selling book Redeeming Childbirth, and the creator of the first ever Christian Postpartum Course. Angie loves ministering to Women and has created a few online Bible Studies on Biblical Friendship and Motherhood.

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