As parents, we need to be teaching our children how to recognize injustice in the world and understand it through a biblical perspective.
The root of all true injustice is sin, and it is an affront to God.
One of the gravest forms of injustice in the world is when people are exploited and oppressed. People who are made in God’s image and precious in His eyes. God values human life, cares about how we treat each other, and wants us to take action when we see true injustice.
“Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.” Psalm 82:3
Injustice in the World is Ugly
Is it really appropriate to talk to our kids about things like this, though? Oppression, injustice, and exploitation are so ugly. Won’t we traumatize them?
I’m so glad you asked. 🙂 I believe that all followers of Christ are called to take action and help victims of injustice in the world. If God presses on your heart a desire to to do so as a family, He will provide a way that is appropriate for your child’s age and maturity while also preparing them for good works.
Pray and ask the Lord for these things:
- Wisdom and guidance on how to tackle difficult subjects carefully
- A gospel-centered perspective and the grace to teach it to your children
- Practical ideas for how your family can take action together
Tackling Difficult Subjects
My husband and I have the view that we want our children to learn about injustice in the world from us first. We want to be the ones to discern the right time to introduce a difficult subject, adapt the discussion to their level of maturity and sensitivity, provide biblical insight, and always point them to the good news of Jesus Christ.
Our kids understand that there is evil, sin, and injustice in the world and they learn about it in a safe, Christ-centered environment. But even more importantly, they understand that there is a loving God who saves and redeems, and who provides a way for us to be a part of helping others, all for His glory.
Opportunities to Discuss Injustices in the World
There are great opportunities to introduce these kinds of discussions. Here are my favorite ways to do this:
- Reading through the Bible – it’s definitely not PG and full of examples of injustice, so you’ll get plenty of practice there. It’s certainly how many of our conversations start.
- Reading/listening to missionary biographies – missionary biographies and audio dramas are full of powerful accounts of God using faithful men and women to help the poor and oppressed around the world.
- Discussing current events – we use a heavy filter until they’re older, obviously, but we use current events to prompt age-level appropriate discussion about abortion, oppressive regimes, persecution, and more.
- Supporting ministries that fight injustice in the world – we choose too support Christian ministries like Remember Nhu that help fight injustice and help those who are exploited, teaching our kids to take action in practical ways.
It’s always the right time to start practicing these kinds of activities and conversations, turning them into a natural part of your family culture.
Remember Nhu is a Christ-centered, non-profit organization committed to ending child trafficking through prevention. They currently have 100 homes for children in 16 countries, and have prevented over 2,000 children from being sold! They identify and remove at-risk children from harm by placing them in a home where their physical, education, emotional, and spiritual needs can be met. Click here to learn how your family can help!
Family Service Project: Fighting Human Trafficking
As an example of this process, let me show you how our family approaches the VERY difficult subject of human trafficking.
What is Human Trafficking?
Human trafficking is slavery. It is forcing or coercing someone to provide some kind of labor or service against their will. It’s sinful and horrible, and God hates it. That is the watered-down, child-friendly version.
I personally don’t tell my kids the details of the physical and emotional abuse that these children suffer, although I know they will learn of it as they grow older. Truth be told, I’m not able to get too far into those weeds myself. But it does help for us as parents to have some facts. You can find more information here and here.
How to Discuss Human Trafficking with Kids
We first learned about a ministry called Remember Nhu at a homeschool conference. It was clearly God’s answer to our prayers for ways to help with this issue. So my husband and I worked out how we would talk to our children about it. We made it an ongoing family service project.
Here are some important things to keep in mind when you’re discussing this and similar topics with your kids.
1) Pray for wisdom and discernment.
The Holy Spirit will help you know what, when, and how to talk about these kinds of injustices in the world. This is the MOST important thing you can do. We also pray that through these discussion and experiences, our children will learn to live by the command to “do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8)
2) Always point to hope in Christ.
These topics involve sin, pain, death, and sadness. They’re HARD! But the purpose of discussing them with your children isn’t to dwell on the evil… it’s to be the hands and feet of Jesus and to always point to the Savior!
It’s also so that WHEN they encounter these issues in the world, they won’t be caught completely off guard. Instead, they’ll be better equipped with:
- biblical worldview
- trust in our Sovereign God
- faith that is spurred on to good works
And what’s more, they will have the opportunity to begin to do those good works NOW with your family. What a blessing!
3) Find helpful materials for children.
You know your children best. Decide what level of detail is appropriate for where they are right now. Look for age-appropriate materials with a Christian worldview that you can use to facilitate discussion. Books, movies, audios, web sites,… just make sure to preview everything first before sharing it with your kids.
One of our family’s favorite resources is Brinkman Adventures audio dramas, which are based on true stories of missionaries and Christian heroes around the world. We were thrilled to find out they had an episode about the Remember Nhu ministry and how it got started!
This is the episode we listened to as a family to introduce this subject to our kids. Here was our discussion:
- In parts of the world it is common for this to happen because of poverty. However, the root of slavery and human trafficking is sin.
- Many children are sold into slavery, never seeing their families again.
- It’s a terrible way to treat these children, made in God’s image, and brings great sadness and righteous anger.
- The particular story we are going to listen to has a happy ending. It will give us some ideas for how we can be helpful for children going through this terrible experience.
- We also discussed several Scriptures about the value of human life, what the Bible says about trafficking, and that God’s people should defend the weak.
- I prepared them for a few rough parts in the audio drama. The grandma slaps Nhu and tells her she is being sold. However, they do not mention details of what physically happens to Nhu.
Then we listened to the Brinkman Adventure episode about Remember Nhu. We cried, we laughed, and by the end of it… my kids were excited and ready to take action!
We looked up pictures of Nhu and learned where she is now. We prayed for children to be saved from injustice. Then we brainstormed ways we could help support Remember Nhu and their amazing ministry.
Take Action Together
Your family can always help others in difficult situations. Here’s our list of ideas for how our family can take action and support the work of Remember Nhu. Join us or use them as a starting point to plan your own family service projects!
- PRAY! This is the best service you can do! Even if this is all you can do right now, make it a priority as a family.
- Write prayer topics on popsicle sticks and put them in a jar, selecting one each day to pray for together.
- Email the ministry and ask for prayer needs, or see if they have prayer opportunities on their web site.
- Sign up for emails and follow them on social media. Make a point to take a moment to pray whenever you see something from them.
- Sponsor a child – There are several ways to donate to Remember Nhu, including sponsoring a child and providing a new life for them safe from child trafficking. We love praying for the child we’ve sponsored, writing her letters, and getting updates from her!
- Check employer matching – Many companies offer fund matching for qualified charities. Be sure to check with your employer, because it can possibly double the donation!
- Do a fundraiser – Fundraisers can be big efforts a couple of times a year or little efforts you do all year round, Everything helps!
- Lemonade stand
- Hot chocolate stand
- Bake sale
- Walk dogs
- Mow lawns
- Weed yards
- Sell snacks and treats
- Collect cans and bottles to recycle for the deposit refund
- Donate a day’s income (from your day job, product sales, babysitting, etc.)
- Do a social media fundraiser, such as those can do on Facebook for your birthday
- Raise awareness
I’m sure you and your family can brainstorm more great ideas to add to this list!
I hope this post provides some great resources and discussion ideas for addressing injustices in the world with your children. ❤️
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