Do Be Do Be Do…. should we be asking our kids to be good or do good?


Should we be telling our kids to be good or do good? Is there a difference? And if so, does it really matter?

“Be a good boy!” or,  “You’re such a good girl!” — these kinds of phrases fall from our lips all the time. But perhaps it’s time to reconsider what we ask of our kids, and indeed, what we think about goodness altogether.

You see, if we believe that goodness is something inherently in us or not in us and our kids, we’ll run the risk of raising little Pharisees, who judge everyone else by their actions, but themselves by their intentions. Our world has never felt so divided and polarised – largely because so many people believe that they are good, and that others who don’t think like them are inherently bad or stupid.

It was the Russian philosopher, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn who said, “The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either—but right through every human heart—and through all human hearts.”

His sentiments are echoed in the Bible too. None are born righteous or inherently good. In Genesis 1 and 2, we see humans made in God’s image – with his raw beauty on display. In Genesis 3, we see the other side of our nature though – humans are beautiful yes, but broken and rebellious too. We are not good (at least not all the way through). Yet in Micah 6:8, we are encouraged to do good. Of course, this is far easier to say than to actually do. But it’s an important part of our Christian walk – as we slowly (with his help and empowering Spirit) become more and more like him.

As Christian parents, let’s keep this in mind as we hit the daily grind too. Let’s remember that our kids are not good or bad, but that their actions certainly are! As our number one disciples, our kids may not listen to everything we say, but they watch everything we do. And speaking of watching, let’s be vigilant with what we allow ourselves and our kids to watch… is South Africa’s first Christian streaming service. With an ever-growing list of hand-picked, wholesome content, there are plenty of faith-based movies, series and kids shows that not only embody biblical values, but inspire it in viewers of all ages too.

In conclusion, let’s all celebrate acts of goodness more – in us, our kids and strangers. Like Micah implores us to, let’s walk humbly, love mercy and do good.



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