Silence isn’t an option.
If you watch the news or participate in any form of social media, you have seen and heard the outcries of racial injustice over the past few weeks. Senseless murders, racial prejudice, and injustice have always marked the history of our country, and because of recent events, it feels like we are still so far from healing. So far from justice.
As believers in Christ, this isn’t about politics. It’s about standing up for our brothers and sisters in Christ and rebuking hatred and bias based on skin color—color that the Lord perfectly and intricately used when designing His beloved children. We have no excuse to stand on the sidelines and do nothing.
For parents who proclaim the name of Jesus, we have an obligation to teach our students what it means to honor and love the black community and other people of color. It’s not enough to just disassociate ourselves from racism.
We must dismantle racism, and that starts within our homes.
Before we can ever expect our children to live out racial justice in their own lives, we must first model it in ours. Some small examples can include simple things like watching yourself for bias (then repenting when it happens), honoring the skin color of your friends, and not tolerating racial slurs from co-workers.
And just as important as our actions, it’s crucial to have conversations with our students about why believers must stand for racial justice.
Think about it. When you want to teach your students how to honor the Lord with their bodies or finances, you don’t just model it. You talk to them about it. Why? Because it’s too important not to talk about it.
So yes, talking about racism with your teen will be a hard conversation to have. It is uncomfortable, heartbreaking, and awkward. But hear this: it is a holy conversation. Because when we teach our students to love and honor the image bearers of God, we are inviting the Holy Spirit to change our hearts to be more like Christ’s.
So, where to start?
Before entering into the conversation with your teen, it is so important to start with a posture of humility. It’s okay to not have all the answers and to acknowledge that you’ve made mistakes. Ask the Lord to shine a light on the areas of your life that require repentance, then ask for His grace and mercy. He doesn’t withhold.
8 Questions to Ask Your Student:
- What do you know about racism?
- Why is it important to have friends that don’t look just like us?
- How can we celebrate our differences?
- How have you ever noticed your nonwhite friends being treated differently because of their skin color?
- Why does God call us to love and honor everybody even when they don’t look like us?
- How do we do that at home? At school? With our friends? At the store?
- How can we be safe, caring people to our friends of color?
- Why is justice important to God?
Once you finish this conversation, spend some time seeking God in His Word on the subject. What does He say about how we treat and love others? What does He say about standing up for justice?
Here are some Scripture references to get you started:
- Genesis 1:27
- Psalm 139:13-14
- Psalm 146:7-9
- Proverbs 31:8-9
- Jeremiah 22:3
- Amos 5:21-24
- Micah 6:8
- Acts 10:34-35
- 1 Corinthians 12
- Romans 12:9-13
Remember—this is an ongoing conversation. It’s not a one-time chat, share a post on social media kind of deal. It’s a shift in our hearts that overflows into the ways we speak and live.
We’re learning so much right now at Lifeway Girls. We don’t have all the answers, and we don’t have a pretty bow to tie this all up with. But, we are committed to continuing this conversation and growing from it.
For further research, check out these recommend resources below:
Podcasts—Be the Bridge, 1619,
Rooted Ministry also provided additional resources that you can find here.