Main Point of Discussion:
We all bleed red. Racism is based on fear, misinformation, and stereo types.
Vital Info Before You Get Started:
(The following should help you contextualize this important issue so you can have a great discussion about it with your kids.)
- You can start this discussion with your family by playing an “Agree-Disagree” game.
- Have all your family members huddle in the middle of a room and then designate one side of the room as the “Agree” side and the other side of the room the “Disagree” side.
- Just read the following statements to your family members and have them go to the appropriate sides according to their personal opinions:
Three Simple Questions (with Answers You May Be Looking for):
- There is more racism/prejudice today than there was 20 years ago.
- Teens are more racist than adults.
- Racism is nothing more than fear.
- You can be a racist and be a good person.
- Some racism-prejudice is justified.
- If your family is racist, you will be racist.
Q: What do our answers tell us about racism?
A: (No answer—it will be different for each family.)
Q: How do you suppose we—as serious Christ-followers—should react to racism?
A: We stand against it. Of all human beings, Christians should be on the front lines fighting against this injustice (and humbly acknowledging that the church’s past is checkered at best when it comes to both racist behavior/attitudes and the act of standing up to racism).
Q: How can we move from healthy, Bible-based opinions about this situation to actually living out those opinions?
A: When we encounter racism, whether in the church or outside the church, we should confront it—in love, not with judgment. Many people have been raised to treat people differently according to their skin color, and that’s all they know—those people should be gently shown the way of Jesus. He made no distinctions regarding persons—everyone is equal in his sight!
Where to Take It from Here:
Wherever it feels natural. If these questions lead to a longer discussion on the topic, wonderful! (There’s a guide just after this paragraph that helps you do just that.) If your kids are barely uttering grunts, don’t get discouraged—the next time it feels right, keep engaging them.
For Deeper Discussion:(If your kids seem into diving in deeper, the following discussion guide can help take you there.)
CLICK HERE if you want to look at a quick training article on small groups and drawing questions out of young people—you may find much of the information applicable as you go through this subject with your family members.
Above all, don’t appear as if you have a “canned” discussion in your head and rattle off questions like a teacher giving a pop quiz—your kids get enough of that in school. This is a guide,
primarily—not a verbatim script. Just familiarize yourself with the content here and start a conversation in the most natural, unforced way you know how.
More Discussion Questions:
- HAVE ALL YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS ANSWER: What is racism?
- ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What causes racism?
- ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What problems does racism cause?
- HAVE ALL YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS ANSWER: How, if at all, have you been affected by racism?
Read This Passage from the Bible:
ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What does this Bible verse say about racism? (Parent—answer you’re looking for: Everybody’s equal in God’s eyes; in God’s economy, there’s no difference between humans, no matter where they come from, and despite what they look like on the outside.)
ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Think about someone you didn't like at first, but then you became friends. Why did your attitude change? (Parent note: You want your family members to see that their attitudes changed after they got more information and got to know these people who they didn’t like at first—and the same principle applies to people they may not at first want to associate with because they look different.)
HAVE ALL YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS ANSWER: What sorts of steps can you take this week to make sure that your attitudes are not racist—and that you confront racism whenever it rears its head?
There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you
are all one in Christ Jesus.
I want you to close your eyes and use your imaginations. Let’s say you are hungry and decide to go into a restaurant. After waiting to be seated for 30 minutes the manager walks up to you and says, "We don't serve your kind here!" You leave the restaurant in anger and decide to go home. On your way you stop in the park to get a drink from a fountain. Just as you start to drink, someone taps your shoulder sharply. "You can't drink from this fountain—that one over there is for your kind!" In frustration you walk down the street. People move in your way, forcing you to walk in the gutter. You get on your bus home, having to sit in the back so that people who aren't of your kind don't have to look at you. From the bus you see people like yourself being mistreated, even beaten, just because they are different . . .
This kind of racism/prejudice happens throughout the world every day—and often a lot closer to home than we’d care to imagine. While America currently doesn’t have oppressive laws for separate drinking fountains, schools, places to sit on the bus for people who are different—we used to! And old memories and attitudes sometimes die hard in people. You see, there are still many Americans (even one is too many!) who hate each other because of different skin colors, ethnic backgrounds, dress styles, music preferences, financial/social statuses—and even because of religious beliefs.
It's amazing that, throughout history, wars have brought together people who never would have come together to fight for a united cause. Conflict or crisis often brings people together to conquer adversity. People realize how silly their hate is when they realize that others are in the same boat.
We are different, but we are the human race. And one of the saddest things we all have in common is that we’re all dying from a disease—a fatal illness that attacks all races of humanity. Sin! And it’s a sin to know what’s right in a situation and fail to do it.
There is another thing we have in common: A healing solution of the disease of sin. The Bible says, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
(Romans 5:8) God puts an infinite value on each of us.
Jesus accepts all of us for who we are, no matter what our skin color is, or what we have done. He took our disease of sin upon himself and died in our place. Now in God’s eyes, all are equal—and we now all have a choice to make: to be healed from sin and be renewed in Jesus, or to continue to die from the disease of sin.
Close in Prayer