Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thursday Book Club: Mama Made the Difference- Lesson Three

Mamas Teach Us to Be Broad-minded

In this day and age Christians are given the stigma of being narrow-minded because we choose to follow and obey what Jesus says. Being "narrow-minded" in your faith is not a bad thing as some would make us think. It means that we stand firmly on our beliefs and we do not waiver between what God's Word says is right and wrong. In that sense, we need to be sure that our children are "narrow-minded"- know what they believe and are able to stand firm on their own.

T.D. Jakes says that Mamas teach us to be broad-minded. At first, that took me back. But as I continued to read what he meant by narrow and broad minded, it made sense to me where he was coming from.

Many people live fairly narrow lives. We exist in little boxes created by "our" people, "our" places, and "our" things. We crave the comfort of the familiar and often prefer what we know to what we have never seen. How true this is! As you have gotten to know me through reading my posts, you have come to learn that I love my comfort zone- my home, my family, the friendships that we have developed, etc. I don't like change. Entering the unknown is a bit intimidating to me. However, sometimes making a change really does make a huge difference for us. We need to teach our children, by example, that sometimes, change is good and leaving the comfort zone can make things more comfortable.

There is more to life than you may realize and your world is far larger than you know. It is time for you to discover it. For my birthday several years ago, my sister bought me the book, 1001 Things Your Kids Should See & Do. This past December, when we spent a week in Ft. Lauderdale, I brought the book along and read it from cover to cover. It is a great resource of activities and things for us to do with our children. Granted, there are some things you may choose to skip (I know there were some things I am not going to go near with Addie), but the majority are great. If you and your child go through even one half of the things in this book, your child will have the most well-rounded curriculum imaginable and will grow to realize that the world is larger than he/she is and does not revolve around them (a very narrow-minded way of thinking).

These are the chapters that you will find in the book:

  1. They Need to Visit Mister Rogers' Neighborhood

  2. They Need to Grow Up

  3. They Need to Exercise

  4. They Need Culture

  5. They Need to Be Good in Science

  6. They Need to Cook for Themselves

  7. They Need to Learn about Money

  8. They Need to Be a Computer Geek

  9. They Need to Understand What Is Going on in Today's World

  10. They Need to Explore Life's Spiritual Dimension (tread this area carefully as not to confuse your children)

  11. They Need to Travel

  12. They Need to Prepare for College

  13. They Need to Read 100 Books (a list of books is given... also to be carefully considered. What goes in to their minds can never be removed.)

  14. They Need to Be Good Citizens

  15. They Need to Learn to Handle Life

  16. They Need to Know What to Do in an Emergency

  17. They Need to Know the Facts about Alc*hol and Dr*gs

  18. They Need to Know More about S*x than They Think They Know (a very parent led topic)

  19. They Need to Become Responsible

  20. They Need Encouragement
The idea of teaching our children to be broad-minded sounds wonderful and modern, but we need to be careful about what we teach our children to accept. God's Word needs to be the foundation of every lesson, and as we teach our children the "broader" lessons, we need to always take everything back to God's Word. Don't forget, we already have a world of "broad" thinkers, and look where it has gotten us so far.

Homework for the heart: What did you learn from your mother about tolerating other people's differences? How did she foster your curiosity about all the amazing diversity our world has to offer? What did you teach your mother about being broad-minded?

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