The Christian Parent’s Guide to Celebrating Earth Day
By Sylvia Cochran – Christian Parenting –
Loyal readers of this column already know that I take an occasionally somewhat unorthodox stance on some of the issues that Christian parents face on a daily basis. Halloween, Christmas and Earth Day are but a few examples of times when unorthodoxy is called for in the best interest of the child, the parent and the scriptures. –
It is an open secret that there are some folks within the Christian community who abhor the celebration of anything that the Bible does not expressly order.
Quite a few of these same folks see a left wing, Liberal conspiracy behind Earth Day. Perhaps it is the original title of “International Mother Earth Day” that does not sit well. Maybe it was the Democratic Party membership of Gaylord Nelson, the American politician, who championed this annual event in the United States. As a result, there are plenty of conservative and fundamentalist Christians who do… nothing. And that’s a shame.
Take care of the Earth! (Genesis 2:15)
It is immaterial if you believe in global warming or put blame for the perceived heating of the earth on the shoulders of humankind. What matters, however, is that God told Adam in Eden to take care of it. Protecting the forests, cleaning up the rivers, keeping trash out of the oceans and reducing the pollution that escapes into the atmosphere should be of foremost importance to any Christian simply because God has said so.
The earth is the Lord’s! (Psalm 24:1)
When we show up to spend the week at grandma’s house, we do not trash the place. In fact, we are even more mindful of cleaning up after ourselves and others in the family. We do not want to insult grandma’s hospitality. We do not want her to be sorry that she ever invited us to stay at her home. Well, God is very clear in stating that the earth belongs to him. Should a Christian parent be any less committed to keeping God’s earth clean than she is to keeping grandma’s floors free of food wrappers and muddy footprints?
Do everything for God’s glory (1 Corinthians 10:31)
The Bible warns against greed, the love of money and selfishness. If you know this to be true, then how do you explain your unwillingness to teach your children how to be good stewards of the earth and all that is in it? After all, it takes selflessness to a willingness to forgo some monetary gains when we choose to protect the earth. How can you justify you unwillingness to rethink your recycling efforts or energy usage? Sure, the sometimes-inflammatory rhetoric of Earth Day supporters can go on your nerves but it is no excuse to prevent your children from taking on their rightful responsibilities that come from living on the blue planet. Ignore the rabid politicizing of the day and instead do your part “for the glory of God.
A Christian parent’s practical guide to celebrating Earth Day
- Avoid the rabid politicizing of Earth Day. Attend events that focus primarily on conservation efforts, beach cleanups or education.
- Coloring pages are your friends. Find and print out Earth Day coloring pages for the kids to help them understand what is behind the terms “solar energy,” “recycling” and “waste management.”
- Re-evaluate your stewardship efforts. If you have copious amounts of electronic waste in your garage, commit to finding a recycling event that welcomes this type of waste. Do not toss out old prescription drugs but dispose of them properly. Talk to your pharmacy if you need help. Recycle more. Compost. Buy in bulk to cut down on packaging. Attend beach cleanups.
- Spearhead conservation efforts in your community. The Christian church is big on outreach but sparsely represented in public conservation efforts. Volunteer to put together your church’s team for a church-sponsored beach cleanup, electronic waste disposal drive or litter removal project for the local forest or wetland.
In short, the Christian parent’s mandate for Earth Day is to get out and do something. Just sitting on your hands and bemoaning the way others are using the occasion for their occasionally unwelcome messages is no longer acceptable once you know God’s view of your role as steward of the earth.
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