Using God’s Name Christian Parenting and Family from Families OnLine Magazine
From the Christian Parenting Corner
Using God’s Name
by Sylvia Cochran
by Sylvia Cochran
Exodus 20:7 reads: No using the name of GOD your God, in curses or silly banter; GOD won’t put up with the irreverent use of his name. (Message Bible)
We all hear the name of Jesus Christ uttered frequently these days. Sadly, many of these utterings are not expressions of faith, but instead are an abuse of God’s holy name. In some cases, God’s name is even paired with a curse word.
Our children hear what we hear. They, too, are aware that Jesus’ name is used in settings other than prayer, sharing one’s faith, or during church.
If the child is younger, s/he may wonder about that, but after a while a child grows accustomed to such a usage of the name of God and thinks nothing of it. What is the Christian parent to do?
1. Understand God’s Name
God’s name is an embodiment of His qualities. God declares Himself to be the I Am. Nothing about His name is synonymous with ugliness, evil, impurity, etc. Similarly, Jesus Christ is known as the only person to have ever lived a sinless human life.
It is evident that combining a name that denotes perfection with a curse word or cussword is a desecration of something holy. Similarly, using this name in an unworthy manner is just as sacrilegious.
2. Honor God’s Name
Yet even on the playground children are beginning to hear and use God’s name in irreverent ways. Christian parents must model at home that the use of God’s name is a privilege that must be exercised carefully, appropriately, and reverently.
Mom, if you are rolling your eyes and mentioned Jesus Christ in connection with your child’s perceived slowness in getting her chores done, you must understand that you will reap what you sow, and pretty soon your young one also will not see Christ’s holy name as something set apart. Similarly, Dad, if you are dropping f-bombs all around, sometimes accompanied by Christ’s name, don’t be surprised if junior will do the same thing, and in so doing not only imitates your bad behavior but also your irreverent spirit.
Instead, Christian parents will be wise to heed the warning of Exodus 20:7.
Speak to your child(ren) about God’s name. Explain that some folks don’t treat it the right way, and that this is wrong. don’t be afraid to call another adult on her or his misuse of God’s name. don’t allow such behavior in your home neither by adults nor by children. In short, model reverence, and your child will follow in your footsteps and get off to a great start in her/his relationship with God. On the other hand, if you model irreverence, don’t be surprised if your child will not treat God with any more respect than you yourself are willing to give Him.
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