Everyday Discipleship Every Day Podcast: Elizabeth Urbanowics, Teaching Truth

Episode 3: Elizabeth Urbanowics and Discipling Our Children, Teaching Truth

Do you children know how to discern truth? Do you know how to help them discern between their emotions and objective truth? Elizabeth Urbanowics helps us with simple tools for discipling our children.

Our Guest: Elizabeth Urbanowicz

Elizabeth Urbanowicz is a follower of Jesus who is passionate about equipping kids to understand the truth of the biblical worldview. Elizabeth spent the first decade of her professional career teaching elementary students at a Christian school. After completing her M.A. in Christian Apologetics at Biola University, Elizabeth started Foundation Worldview, an organization that helps Christian adults equip children to carefully evaluate every idea and understand the truth of the biblical worldview.

Information on Foundation Worldview

Our Story
Foundation Worldview began with the realization that the Christian youth exodus
doesn’t begin with teens, it begins with kids.
Our Founder
Elizabeth Urbanowicz (er-ban-o-wits) is a follower of Jesus who is passionate about
equipping kids to understand the truth of the biblical worldview. She holds an M.A. in
Christian Apologetics from Biola University.
Our Mission
Foundation Worldview exists to equip Christian adults with the resources they need
to train children to soundly interpret Scripture, carefully evaluate every idea they
encounter, and understand the truth of the biblical worldview.
Our Resources
Foundation Worldview creates curridula, podcasts, webinars, and book clubs that
equip Christian adults to disciple the children God has placed in their care.
Our Curriculum
Foundation Worldview offers the Biblcal Worldview Curriculum for ages 4+, the
Attributes of God Curriculum for ages 4+, the Comparative Worldview Curriculum
for ages 8+, the Studying the Bible Curriculum for ages 8+, and the Careful Thinking
Curriculum for ages 10+.
Contact
To learn more about Foundation Worldview, contact Renee Reithel, Public Relations
and Media Outreach, at renee@foundationworldview.com or (502) 380-6900.

Elizabeth’s new picture book: What Is Truth? is available now.

Show Transcript:

Terrie (00:38):

Hi, friends. I’m so glad you’ve joined us today. And today we have a very special guest with us on Everyday Discipleship. She is the founder and CEO of Foundation Worldview. Her name is Elizabeth Urbanowics, and she is a phenomenal person. I enjoy talking with her so much. She talks a lot about how to build a Christian worldview, how to help our children discern truth. She has curricula available for very young children up through teenagers, as well as a parenting curriculum on her website. She has a lot of freebies as well. Free videos, free materials. Check out her website, foundationworldview.com. You’ll find so much to use and to help you as we parent and disciple our children, and also as we grow as disciples as well in a crazy culture these days. I hope you’ll enjoy the conversation. I surely enjoyed having the conversation with her. I hope it blesses you, inspires you, and most of all helps you to feel empowered so that you can know that you can do this, that you can help your children discern truth and follow God faithfully in our culture today. So join us now and in the conversation.

Terrie (01:59):

Well, Elizabeth, thank you for joining us for this conversation as we’re talking about what does discipleship look like in the 21st century. And I think when I was growing up, it had a very different feel to it. We were focusing more on sitting down with a book and answering questions about Bible and theology. But then as we went to the mission field is where I first realized we needed to broaden our ideas more. We needed to equip people a little better. I had a person come because we were in Taiwan, we were in a culture that believes in all kinds of spiritual things that are scary sometimes. And one of our first people we witnessed too, and led to the Lord at one of our churches, he said, why didn’t you teach me more about spiritual battles? The conflict that we’re facing all the time, the temptations and all of that? Because we talked more about quiet times and Bible study and those kinds of things. And then I was discipling two young women and one of them said to me, well, I always thought reincarnation was real until you become a Christian. And then it stopped and you then, when you died, you went to heaven. So she still believed in reincarnation even though she’d become a Christian. And I never would’ve thought to ask her, I never would’ve thought to talk to her about these kinds of things. And so I know that your organization, your foundation, is dealing with truth and helping people discern truth. So how can we disciple this generation and help them to find God’s truth?

Elizabeth (03:32):

Yeah. Well I think you were hitting on an important thing there with the examples that you gave, is that so many of the lies that the people you were discipling believed, you know, were deeply ingrained because of the culture in which they found themselves. And, you know, so those lies, they might be similar to some lies that people, in our 21st century, Western US culture are facing, or they might be different. And so when at Foundation Worldview, when we’re talking with parents and church leaders and Christian educators, we say that, you know, we really need to think of discipleship holistically. Because a lot of times what we can do is God has given us maybe like a passion for one specific thing. You know, maybe it’s for Bible study, maybe it’s for sound theology, maybe it’s for sharing the gospel. Maybe it’s for building relationships, maybe it’s for serving. And those are really good passions that God has given us. And we do wanna dive down deep and utilize the spiritual gifts that God has given us to build up his body. And as we’re thinking about discipling children, we need to think about, okay, how can I not just focus on this, you know, really one area of passion that the Lord has given me, but look holistically. So it’s kind of cheesy to say, but I think it’s a really easy way to remember it. What we tell, especially parents, is when we think of holistic discipleship, we need to think of the head, the heart, and the hands. And so the head is really our intellect. You know, the things that we think, you know, understanding how to read God’s word, understanding how to evaluate ideas.

Elizabeth (04:58):

The heart is the affections and relationships. So actually having a relationship with God, having relationships with others in the body of Christ. You know, having affections that are stirred towards God, that actually desire the things of God. And then the hands are the rhythms and routines of daily life. You know, like the practices that we implement, the things that we do. And so we really encourage parents to think through, okay, as you look through your daily schedule with your children, what are the things that you are doing on a daily basis to help them think critically and think biblically. What are the things you’re doing on a daily basis that are helping cultivate your children’s relationship with God as well as the relationship with you and relationship with one another? Because those relationships are vital. You know, what are the kind of things that you are stirring their affections for, that you’re creating an appetite in them for? And then what are just the daily rhythms and routines that are in place in your home that are helping your children develop habits of serving, of worshiping God, of meeting the needs of others. So I know that’s a lot, but if we can just think of that, you know, simple, just head, heart, hands, then I think it’s a little bit easier for us to think through, okay, what am I doing on a daily basis that is helping this holistic discipleship of the children God has placed in my care?

Terrie (06:22):

Well, I love that. And, and it does simplify. I think because it can be overwhelming to think of everything. Have I covered everything? Have I taught what I need to teach? But I also love the idea. What I thought of too, when you were talking about that, is it gives us a way to pray for our kids too. Because we can pray for what the things they’re being bombarded with, with their intellect, with ideas and false statements or whatever beliefs. But I love the hands part. I think that is something that is missing in so much of what we’re doing. When we help our kids to think outside themselves. They can be happier, more fulfilled. They can find meaning and purpose in life, even at a very young age. And so I think that is something we don’t often think of because we still think of them as little children and don’t think of them as offering service and blessing others with their hands. And I just, I love that. I think that’s really good. Okay. So what would a parent do, or how could a parent maybe deal with, if their child comes home saying something that is so not true, and we’re kind of disturbed by what they’ve been taught or told. What would you say to that parent?

Elizabeth (07:39):

Well, that’s where I think both then the head and the heart are connecting. You know? Because you’re thinking about relationally, what do you know about this child? You know? Because you’re gonna talk to a 15-year-old who comes home with a false idea different than you’re gonna talk to a 5-year-old. You know, who comes home with a false idea. And so the first thing, the thing that I think is really, really important is not to freak out, because I think that’s naturally, you know, just our first response we’re like, oh my goodness, there’s this lie. My child’s believing it. I have to get rid of it. Where it is wise is that we notice that and it is vital that we’re intentional with that. But then we have to think, okay, how can I be relationally wise here? And so I think usually the first thing that’s good to do is to ask a question.

Elizabeth (08:27):

Because if we just come in with, that’s not true, that’s gonna cut down a relationship with a 15-year-old. If we just come in with, that’s not true to a five-year-old. Rather than teaching them how to think, well, we’re just teaching them that they have to be dependent on us. And so that’s the first thing, you know, that I would encourage any parent to do. You know, whether it’s a 5-year-old, an 8-year-old, a 12-year-old, a 15-year-old, whoever, to just say, that’s really interesting. Where did you, where did you hear that? Or where did you come up with that idea? Because we just wanna glean a little bit more information because what our child just shared with us, you know, it might be a very deeply ingrained false idea that has been there for years that we just didn’t know about. Or it could be something that they just heard, you know, talking with friends, you know, five minutes before. And they’re just simply regurgitating. And so we wanna gather a little bit more information. You know, where does this idea come from? Does our child actually believe it, or are they just kind of regurgitating what they heard? And then once we’ve gathered a little bit more information, that’s when we can determine, okay, what is the best way to walk through this with our child? You know? So we could, you know, we could ask another question. We could ask, you know, have you ever considered this? You know, and, and give them another option. Probably not with a five-year-old, you know, with a five year-old, you’re gonna be a little bit more direct. But then to take them through, like, have you ever thought about this? This is why I don’t think that is true. You know? And at times we’ll be taking them directly to scripture, you know, o other times, you know, if they’re, you know, stating a scientific truth, that’s actually a falsehood.

Elizabeth (09:56):

We’re gonna be taking them to some research for that. But that was, that’s really what I would encourage parents to do first, to not freak out, second to gather, ask questions, to gather a little bit more information. And then third, figure out how can you walk the child through the truth. And sometimes part of the not freaking out is, you know, like our child may say something that’s completely untrue as we are getting in the car for school. And we’re like, oh my goodness, I don’t have time to address this right now. Or like on the way to soccer practice or on the way to church, or, you know, somebody’s coming over. And it’s okay if in the moment you can address it now. You don’t wanna wait three weeks to address it, but it’s okay if you need, you know, if you need another day, if you need a little bit of time to think and pray through it, if you need time to, you know, phone your pastor or somebody else in your church, you know, that you respect. So, so that’s, that’s really what I would encourage parents to do. Don’t freak out, gather more information and help guide them in the truth.

Terrie (10:50):

I love that. That’s very key. And it’s so tempting to freak out. I remember when my son, my kids are all grown. I’m obviously older and one of my kids has friends who are into Wiccan and I have another kid whose friends are now, they were in a church, not a Christian Church, but then they saw that it wasn’t true. So they just rejected God completely. So most of his friends, except for the ones that he is with in college, ’cause he’s at a Christian college, but his friends from high school, most of them have either become atheist or have seriously bought into this non-Christian faith that they were brought up in. And then a few have started to talk about their sexual identity. And here’s my son, who’s a very sensitive soul in with all of these kids. And it just breaks his heart. And I’m like, I had to help him kind of even figure out how to navigate his emotions and how, you know, how he can talk to them and still be their friend, even though he’s grieving for what he’s seeing happen, and also not to get then sucked into it, into those beliefs. And so that was terrifying. And I did want to panic a little bit, but yeah, I had to back off and just pray a lot and help him walk through it. And he came to me last vacation. He was home last year and said, I think we don’t agree on anything anymore. And I thought, okay, here’s a conversation I’m not looking forward to.

Elizabeth (12:32):

Yeah, seriously.

Terrie (12:33):

And so we sat down and I said, well, tell me what you believe, what’s going on? And the hilarious thing about it was we didn’t disagree on anything. He was making assumptions about what I believed, because I go to a fairly traditional church, you know, and I’ve brought him up in a fairly traditional way. And so he assumed I believed things that I didn’t believe. He assumed that if he brought his gay friend over that I would be very judgmental and condemning and yell at him or something. And I’m like, when have I ever responded to anyone that way? You know? And, and so I think he had bought into some of the rhetoric that’s just out there in the world saying how Christians respond to people. And so when he really thought about it, he’s like, well, you know, you never have been that way.

Elizabeth (13:26):

So Well good for you for making the time to have that conversation and, you know, to ask him questions and share with him because that could have been easily something that cut down, you know, your relationship with one another, but you took the time to actually engage in a conversation.

Terrie (13:42):

Yeah. And, and I was afraid, I was concerned that our relationship had been hurt in some way. Because I didn’t know where this was coming from or what he was going to say. So it was really eye-opening and not as frightening as I thought it was going to be once we talked. And I think that’s something too, as parents, as we go to disciple our kids, as we intentionally open up conversations, sometimes we’re more afraid than we need to be. Our kids are not the enemy, and the enemy is the same enemy it’s always been. And that’s Satan and his lies. And so helping our kids navigate the world they’re in shouldn’t be as frightening as it is because our kids are still on our side for the most part. Okay. So as we are navigating these waters, as we are helping our kids grow and discern, how would you say that we can really equip our kids to have discernment, to investigate truth, and to really, I mean, I just feel like we’re not going to be sitting down, at least not always sitting down with a Bible study with our kids. If we’re homeschooling, of course we’ve got curriculum we can do, but on a daily basis, how can we just bring this into our natural day-to-day activities? Like Deuteronomy says, you know, as you’re walking along the road, as you’re sitting at the dinner table or going to bed or getting up, that we teach our kids what we’ve learned. How can we do that in our day-to-day walk with each other?

Elizabeth (15:11):

Yeah. That’s where I think we really need to, we do need to spend some focus time at the front end giving our kids some skills that they can implement in any and every situation. Like I, I think about the analogy of reading. You know, when we think about how we were taught to read, you know, somebody could have sat down with us and shown us words and had us memorize those words. And that would’ve been a way of learning how to read. However, we would’ve been dependent upon that person or someone else to continue instructing us with new words. So what did our parents or our teachers or whoever taught us how to redo, they taught us 26 letters and the sounds that correspond to each of those letters. Then they taught us how to manipulate those letters, to put them together, to make different sound groups, and then eventually words. And so now, because we know those 26 letters and the corresponding sounds, we can basically read almost any word that is put in front of us because we have those transferable skills. And I think it’s the same way with discipleship and, you know, in teaching our kids to think well and teaching them to think biblically, we can’t just wait until a situation comes up to then address it instead on the front end. You know, especially when our children are younger, we need to teach them some basic skills that they can then carry with them in any and every situation. I, I think about a situation that a mom wrote into in, in our organization, that she had taken her son who was seven years old at the time, through our biblical worldview curriculum. And in that curriculum, the first whole unit is on truth and how truths are different than feelings.

Elizabeth (16:45):

And her son came home from school one day, you know, she picked him up, he got in the car and she was like, “Hey bud, how was your day?” And he was like, “Mom, it was such a weird day.” And she said, “Well, what was so weird about it?” And he was like, “Well, my teacher was absent, and we had a substitute.” And he was like, “But the substitute was a man, but he was wearing a dress and he had us call him Mrs. So-And-So.” And so she’s like internally freaking out, you know? Because they have not had this conversation about transgenderism or anything. But she stayed calm externally and she said, “Well bud, what did you think about that?” And he said, “Mom, it was so sad.” She was like, sad. What? “What Do you mean? It was so sad?” He was like, “Well, the truth is that God made him a boy. That’s the body God gave him. But instead of believing the truth, he was believing his feelings.”

Elizabeth (17:26):

And so that’s what I’m talking about when I say a transferable skill. You know, that the mom had taught her son how to discern the difference between an objective truth, you know, that’s outside of the control of our inner emotional world versus a subjective feeling that’s completely based on our internal emotional world. And because she gave her son that skill, he was then able to take that skill with him into a very hot button, you know, hot topic in our culture that she hadn’t even covered with him. And he was able to apply that skill in that situation. And so I think it’s so important that we do invest some time just teaching our kids some of these basic skills so that then they can carry those skills with them.

Elizabeth (18:08):

Another skill would be how to soundly read, interpret, and apply scripture. A basic skill is just always read Bible verses in context. So just taking our kids, you know, to some famous Bible passages, you know, like Jeremiah 29:11 and saying, okay, you know, God says, “I know the plans I have for you, plans to give you hope in a future.” Well, what does this sound like? It sounds like all of God’s plans for us are amazing. Everything’s gonna turn out alright. Well let’s read all of Jeremiah chapter 29. What does God say in that chapter? He’s telling the people of the nation of Judah that they’re going to be captive in a foreign land for 70 years. And they need to not try to escape. They need to not try to go back. They need to settle down there. They need to make that their home because God has plans for them right there. And say, oh, okay, so what does that verse really mean in its context? It means that no matter the situation we’re going through, we can trust that God is going to use it for our good somehow. Even if we don’t like it, we don’t want it, it doesn’t seem like it’s good. So just some of those basic skills. So then when our children, you know, are faced with a meme, you know, a Bible verse taken out of context that seems like it means something completely different, they’re asking themselves, Hmm, what does that verse actually mean when I read it in its entire context, in the chapter? So just, if we can give them some of these basic foundational skills, they can then take them and implement them in any and every situation.

Terrie (19:30):

That’s great. I love that. And also when they’re memorizing scripture trying to memorize beyond just the popular verse, but to get the context in your memorization as well, I think.

Elizabeth (19:43):

Absolutely. It helps a lot.

Terrie (19:44):

So what, what do you think real discipleship looks like within our families today? Where, if you were gonna say this is discipleship, how would you describe it? Because I know it has many facets to it. How would you describe that? And Well, I’ll wait for the rest after that. So, how would you describe, when we say discipleship, what do you think, what would you say we mean?

Elizabeth (20:08):

Well, you think of the word disciple, you know, and what it means is to be a follower, you know, to be a student under someone. And we’re not trying to make disciples of ourselves or of our pastors, or of our culture or of our neighborhood. We’re trying to make disciples of Jesus. And so when we think about, okay, so how do we? We ultimately have no full control over the decisions our children make. Our God has given our children free will. So we cannot say, well, here is the guaranteed formula for making a disciple of Jesus. You know, because there is no such thing. And if I had such a thing, I would be a millionaire right now. But there isn’t such thing. But as we’re thinking about making disciples, an analogy that I like to, to use is thinking of a plant and how we garden. Ultimately, we don’t have any control over the genetic information that’s in a seed, you know? And whether a seed is actually going to germinate, take root, grow into a plant, and one day blossom, we did not create that seed. And so we don’t ultimately have control over that. However, if we just leave that seed, like on our counter, chances are pretty slim that that seed is actually going to grow into a mature plant. Where what we can do is we can make sure that the elements for growth are in place so we can, you know, take that seed and plant it in good soil. We can put it in a place where it’s gonna receive sunlight every day, where can make sure that we’re watering it the proper amount and then the rest of the results are left to God, you know, as to whether that seed actually germinates takes root and grows into a mature plant.

Elizabeth (21:51):

And I would say the same thing is true with our kids. That what we need to do is we need to be intentional to have those elements for growth in place. And like I said, I think we need to keep our eyes on the head, the heart and the hands. You know, what are the things that we’re doing to make sure those elements for growth are in place? Are we living them out? You know? Because we can’t expect to pass along to our children something that we don’t have. You know, so are we truly disciples of Jesus? Are we being intentional and then ultimately leaving the results to God because our job is the elements for growth. We can’t actually bring about that growth. And then, so that’s the analogy that I would give. And then one thing that I also want to say is I think discipleship involves both planned and organic moments that like, we can’t just be like, yeah, well maybe this conversation will come up one day. You know, we have to have some sort of a plan for making sure that we’re covering key skills and ideas and concepts with our kids, but we also need to make sure that we’re also just having the everyday conversations with them. You know, like when we’re at the grocery store, when we’re cooking dinner, you know, when we’re doing homework together, that we’re having those conversations and bringing in those discipleship moments in everyday life.

Terrie (23:03):

I love that. That’s good. And recognizing that we are discipling them, whether we think we are or not, because they’re watching how we’re living out our faith. They’re watching how we react to someone who, you know, blasts us with their anger and all of those things. They’re just like little sponges watching and absorbing those in the every day that we go through. And so I’ve had parents who have come to me and said, oh, it’s too late. I became a Christian too late. It’s too late to disciple my kids. And I’m like, no, as they see you growing in your faith, you’re discipling them. And the other thing I think that is kind of a misconception anyway, I feel like it is, is that we don’t disciple them until they become a Christian until they’ve actually made that statement of faith or that step of faith. And I think that is wrong. I think we have to really recognize that from day one, we’re teaching them from the moment they’re born, the books we read to them, the attitudes we have, the way we treat them, the way we treat others. These are all teaching our kids how to live life. And that’s discipleship. And then our respect for God and our belief in God influences where they’re going to go. And I think if they see hypocrisy, especially as they’re in the teenage years and their young adult years, if they see us saying one thing and living another thing, it can be so detrimental. And so really, like you said, we have to make sure that we’re dynamically living our life with Christ and growing in our faith as well. And that all of that is a part of discipleship and helping them to have the nourishment they need to grow and then let God bring the results.

Terrie (24:52):

Two key things, I think if we leave our parents with nothing else is, is recognizing that God is the one who’s going to bring the results, bring the growth. And not freaking out when we’re confronted with scary situations or scary conversations, but just trusting that we can ask them questions and open up conversations. I think those are key. And then I love your analogies, that makes it really clear and something that we can hold onto. I’m very visual, and so your analogies help me to like, hold onto those ideas. Mm-Hmm. So I love that. Okay. So if we want to be intentional, and not just in our day-to-day, but we do want to bring in some Bible study or showing our children how to study the Bible, how to pray. Do you have any pointers or ideas of how we can be effective in helping our children learn those things?

Elizabeth (25:50):

Yes. My number one, encouragement to parents. One, actually get our kids in scripture. And two, keep it simple. Like all the time at Foundation Worldview, we get requests like, what do you, what is the best children’s bible for kids? And I’m like, you know, children’s bibles can be great. I’m not saying, like don’t have the children’s bibles, but I’m like, why can’t we read actual scripture to our three-year-olds? You know, like, who says we can’t do that? You know, like, yeah, there’s certain portions of scripture, you know, we’re not going to read to a three-year-old, but they have enough comprehension to understand some basic things and to actually be immersed in the text. And so we somehow have this faulty idea in the West that we need some extra resource, like, we need some devotional book, or we need some children’s Bible, or we need some Bible study guide.

Elizabeth (26:34):

And I’m like, God has revealed himself to us through his word. So one, get our kids in scripture, you know, just like make it a daily habit. And then two, keep things simple. You know, even right now I’m discipling a 17-year-old at my church who did not grow up in a Christian home, you know, so scripture reading, things like that are new to her. And so she and I are doing some very simple things. We’re reading through one book of the Bible at a time. And every week in our reading as we do it separately, what we’re looking for is we look at what are truths revealed about God in this passage, you know? And then we come back together and we talk about, okay, what truths were revealed about God in this passage? What verse or verses, you know, was this specific truth revealed in? And then we’re just memorizing. We just got done memorizing Romans eight together, and now we just started on working on James one. So just keep it simple, you know, we don’t need lots of fancy questions or, you know, commentaries. Not that those things are bad, but I’m just saying let’s keep it simple for ourselves and for our kids. And trust that God has revealed what is necessary in his word. And let’s immerse them in that. Keep it simple, keep it as a journey of seeking God and do it every day.

Terrie (27:42):

Yeah. That’s awesome. I, I was interviewing this one, he’s a publisher and a writer and a dad. And one of the things that hit me so strong with what he said is every day his family at the, I believe at the breakfast table, they just read scripture. And, and so they will read like through one whole psalm or one whole chapter and talk about it. And he said his son became quite ill, and his son was sick for quite a while. And so he, he was talking to him and he said, what would you, you know, let’s read some scripture. What would you like me to read? And his son said, read Psalm. And he named the psalm, and it was a psalm of lament, it was a psalm that just reflected his heart as he was struggling through this illness. And, and really I think he was, his life was, you know, they didn’t know how he was, the outcome was going to be what was going to happen. And he said it just floored him that he saw all this planting, these little seeds of scripture every day, that it had taken root in his son’s heart to the point that he knew exactly what scripture he needed to hear at that moment. It made me cry. It was so beautiful. You know, it’s like, oh, that’s what we want. We want the word of God to be so real with our kids and the others we disciple that it’s taken root, that it’s theirs, that they have ownership of it. I teach English as a teacher each week and that’s one of the things I talk to my students about is it’s not enough to learn a list of vocabulary words. It’s got to be yours. And for it to be yours, you’ve got to not only understand it, but you’ve got to use it.

Terrie (29:24):

And it’s the same with the word of God. It’s not just understanding. We’ve memorized 10 scriptures. It’s knowing what those scriptures mean and letting them take root in our hearts and minds and owning it, that it’s a part of us. And I just think that’s beautiful. And when we can build that week by week, then I think that’s really authentic discipleship. I love that you’re having your disciplee, I don’t know if that’s a word, the person you’re discipling read scripture and you’re both reading scripture and then coming back and discussing it. That was what I used to do too, with my most enjoyable, effective, wonderful time I had. Discipling has always been like that, where we read the scriptures, come back, they ask questions if they didn’t understand something. And so we talk through that and then we can discuss if there’s something hard that neither of us understand. Because sometimes I read scripture and come away with more questions than answers. And then to really dig in and talk about what God is trying to show us, what he wants us to do, understand, believe, accept, you know. And I think that that is just amazing because then the word of God becomes theirs, becomes ours, and takes root. So Yeah. That’s beautiful. And how would you talk to children, especially about prayer? How can we help our kids become real prayer warriors?

Elizabeth (30:51):

Yeah, well I think first we need to model that for them. You know, we, we need to be, you know, bringing them before the throne of God, you know, multiple times a day. You know, like when we have meals, when we’re checking them in at bedtime, you know, when a need arises and just giving them the opportunities to pray. I just, you know, as we’re recording this podcast, Thanksgiving was just last week and I was at my brother’s house and he has, he and his wife have four kids, 6, 5, 3, and two. And you know, every day, you know, like when we would sit down for a meal, like my brother would pray, you know, a brief prayer and then he would ask his kids, you know, if they wanted to pray for us as well. So just giving them that opportunity. And I thought, you know, wow, this is, this is so great that they’re getting this opportunity, you know, every day to hear and see their parents’ model prayer for them.

Elizabeth (31:41):

But then they’re having that opportunity as well, you know, as the three-year-Old’s prayer, you know, as in depth as my brother’s. No, but the 3-year-old is understanding, you know, that God is there, that he listens to us and that he is the one who provides for our needs. So I would just say, you know, it doesn’t have to be long and complicated, just, you know, make, we need to make sure that we’re people of prayer, that we’re modeling that for our kids and that we’re giving them the opportunity to come before the throne of God and talk to him to thank him and bring our requests before him.

Terrie (32:12):

That’s good. And as we kind of finish up today, I know you’ve done many episodes with other people and on your website as well of some of the truths. We really need to be intentional in helping our kids grasp. What would you say today are the main things we need to make sure our children understand as far as truth? Hmm.

Elizabeth (32:36):

Well, regarding truth, I think one thing that is really foundational is understanding that truth is objective. Meaning that truth doesn’t change based on my thoughts, feelings, or beliefs. I may have an incorrect understanding of a truth, but my incorrect understanding doesn’t flip that truth on its head and make it false. And you know, we can give kids like really simple examples like if I believe that the sun shines during the night instead of during the day, does the sun all of a sudden start to shine at night? No, that’s silly. My feelings can’t change that. You know, the sun shining during the day is a truth. And so just giving them some really concrete examples, you know, if I have a chocolate chip cookie in front of me and I don’t like chocolate chips, and I close my eyes and say, there are no chocolate chips in this cookie.

Elizabeth (33:25):

There are no chocolate chips in this cookie, are the chocolate chips going to disappear? No, my feelings can’t change the truth about there being chocolate chips in this cookie. And we need to really get our kids to understand that because our culture is just constantly preaching to us and to our children, that our internal subjective emotions are the most reliable guide to reality. So we want to help them understand that yes, our feelings are important. They’re part of being created in God’s image. You know, we shouldn’t negate our emotions, but we should discern them, you know, and ask, is this feeling pointing me towards truth? Or is it pointing me away from it? Because we need, we want our kids to understand that what we believe about God, what is revealed about God in the Bible. It’s not based on someone’s emotions, it’s based on God’s objective self revelation.

Elizabeth (34:12):

So we need to establish that foundation of truth first and then equip our kids to seek truth through scripture so that they actually have a biblical reality based understanding of who God is. Because we all know like our emotions, you know, they are a gift from God on this side of Genesis three, on this side of the fall, our emotions are up and down. Sometimes they’re great, sometimes they’re pointing us towards the truth. Sometimes they’re doing just the opposite. They’re deceiving us. And so we want our kids to understand that their relationship with God, their trust in God is not based on how they feel about God. Because there’s going to be times where we feel really great about God. There’s going to be times where we feel angry at God. You know, and this is exactly what the Psalms lead us to believe. You know that, that we’re going to have changing emotions about God, but to understand the truth of who God is as it’s rooted in his self revelation scripture.

Terrie (35:03):

That’s good. And I do want to take just a moment to talk about your book before we end today too, because I love it, and this is such a great resource for families. What is truth? And it is an interactive picture book where the children can respond to, like you said, if you say something silly, they can respond with an X. No, that’s not right. That’s silly. And then cheer with their arms up that yes, this is a truth. And to begin to build that foundation with our little guys. And then tell us about the next book you have coming out. Because by the time this airs, it may already have launched. So, tell us about the next one that’s coming out.

Elizabeth (35:43):

Yeah, so the next one that’s coming out, we still are working on a title that’s nice and succinct, but, basically, we’re helping little ones discern the difference between truths and feelings, you know, so something like, one of the fun illustrations we have in the book is we have a page where the character says slides are fun. And you know, like two of the characters are cheering because they think slides are so fun. And then the little monster that’s going down the slide is just terrified because she’s really scared of going down the slide head first. We talk about, you know, like that’s a feeling. Some people really feel like slides are fun, some people really feel like they’re not fun. Where then we give them the example of something that’s actually true, where we say something like, many parks have slides. You know, like that’s not based on our feelings. That’s a truth that there’s many parks that have slides. So just to equip little ones to think, Hmm, is what I’m hearing, something that’s true, something that’s not true, or something that’s a feeling.

Terrie (36:41):

I love that. That’s great. And of course you have curriculum that churches and homeschoolers can use to help families build that Christian worldview, biblical worldview, and so many resources available on your website@foundationworldview.com. And we want to make sure that we direct people to that. That will be in the show notes as well. And I just really appreciate, God has blessed you with so much wisdom and you have really shared that with the world through your curriculum and through the things you teach, and you offer so many great resources for us as parents, as teachers. I’m just thankful. So very thankful for what God has done through you and is doing through your organization. So thank you so much for being with us and talking with us today. I think we’ve got some good information for families available and I just appreciate you so much.

Elizabeth (37:36):

Oh, thanks so much for having me on.

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