Don’t Teach Feelings

April 18, 2017 at 2:57 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments
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Last time, I discussed the problem of teaching Bible stories to children as though they are fables. Now we will see another concern that surfaces in many children’s Bible lessons: the emphasis on feelings.

Bible lessons are not therapy sessions. They are not really supposed to be opportunities for children to explore their emotions or feelings. Often, a children’s Bible lesson will have an “application” section so that the teacher can ask the child, “How do you think Jonah felt when was about to be thrown overboard? How do you think Jesus feels when you disobey?” And so forth.

Our feelings are not trustworthy, and it is better that our children understand, at a very early age, that the Bible is a book of absolute truth, not a sounding board for our opinions or feelings.

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

Jeremiah 17:9

A child should not be encouraged to see himself as the hero in every Bible story. Quite the opposite: he should be encouraged to see himself as the SINNER in every Bible story. Our feelings (just like our wills and our intellects) are fallen. That are bent toward self-glorification, self-justification, and self-interpretation. The hard thing about teaching children is not building up their self-esteem. The hard thing is replacing it (not tearing it down) with esteem for God. Our job as parents, or as children’s Bible teachers, is to utterly convince them that He is absolutely supreme. This task will face its toughest obstacle not in convincing them that He is supreme over the weather, the government, their earthly heroes, us, or even death and the grave. It will be convincing them that He is absolutely supreme over THEM.

He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.

Proverbs 28:26

“Just trust your heart,” says Walt Disney. “Follow your heart,” says Cinderella or the little mermaid. “Listen to your heart,” says OprahNO! Trusting and following your heart will make you a fool and may cut you off from God’s help. In grace, you will fail quickly, but in His judgment He may let you have your own way, and you do not want to have your own way over God’s way. Walk wisely and you will figure life out on your own? No. Walk wisely and you will learn from experience? No. Walk wisely and you will be what? DELIVERED, which means rescued by someone more loving, more powerful, more wise, more SUPREME than you.

Let’s teach children Bible truth, not feelings. Then their God-given feelings will focus on Him – where they belong.

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  1. […] Children’s Ministry Tool (II Timothy 3:15) 39. Don’t Teach Fables (Matthew 12:38-41) 40. Don’t Teach Feelings (Proverbs 28:26) 41. The Blessings and Hazards of Companionship (Proverbs […]

  2. […] Children’s Ministry Tool (II Timothy 3:15) 17. Don’t Teach Fables (Matthew 12:38-41) 18. Don’t Teach Feelings (Proverbs […]

  3. […] “Follow your heart;” “listen to your heart;” and “trust your heart,” are the mantras and messages of all kinds of Disney-entertainment-style idiocy, which is pervasive in our culture. If we are wise, we will train our hearts to stay on the right hand side of God – the side of His lovingkindness, power, protection, and provision. […]

  4. […] the way we would teach fables, and of the danger of teaching them that the Bible is filter for our feelings. Now we will see that we must also beware of the temptation to teach obedience to God as though it […]

  5. […] that way at times, but we are not to be regulated by our feelings. We are to be regulated by the Word of God and our commitments and covenant […]

  6. […] or know what He would have us to do (James 1:5). Do not seek a sign (Matthew 12:39); do not trust gut feelings (Jeremiah 17:9); and attribute all blessings – expected and unexpected alike – to God […]

  7. […] by what “seems” good, by what “looks” good, by what “sounds” good, and by what “feels” good. We are living in a time when almost everyone does what seems right in his or her own eyes. […]

  8. […] I would emphasize to children is that the devil made a horrible choice in trying to make himself equal to God (Isaiah 14:12-14) […]


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