Do You Desire To Bring Your Child Into The Kingdom?

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Problem Of the Week - Is It Blasphemy?

photo by subcircle
Each week I’ll pose a question, a problem that any typical Christian parent might face that makes teaching a child about God and His truths a challenge. How would you answer that parent? What advice would you give? Are you struggling with the same issue? What does the Bible say about it?

This week's question:

Your young child comes home and you notice a sudden repeated use of the phrase, “Oh my God!” You recognize this is a common phrase, used often in entertainment media and often absent-mindedly among acquaintances.

Should the use of these words by your child be an issue?

Related Articles:
Can You Say His Name?
Walking Baby Steps With Our Children
You Just Gotta Believe


Jessica said...

I don't allow my my son to say this however i have said oh my goodness. I don't type the letters because it can be misconstrued as something else. I also think that people resort to foul language one out of habit and two as a lack of a larger vocabulary. i try and teach Isaac lots of words that are not common so that he has an arsenal of words at his disposal when the need to use a foul word arises. but that is just me.

Deb Burton said...

Good perspective, Jessica. Sometimes we have a habit that we're not even aware of until someone points it out. And I think other times certain phrases have become so commonplace that no one blinks an eye at the underlying connotation. Thanks for commenting.

Curt - 37 said...

I don't say it and I tell my kids that it is not okay to say because you should only use God's name in a reverent way. If He is truly "your God," then you should want to treat his name with respect. Otherwise, it does just become habit. In my opinion, it is blasphemy. There are a lot of aethiests who use the phrase. If they don't believe in God, who are they talking about?

Your comment about saying "oh my gosh" is also a common problem that people debate. Is saying, "darn it" or "oh crap" any better than their alternatives? I don't believe so. My philosophy is that if it's not something you would say (or do) in front of your mother or your pastor, just don't say (or do) it at all. But, these days, what some people will say and do in front of these people amazes me, too.

Rick Osborne said...

When it comes to slang my kids and I have had some great conversations. When defending certain 'in' slang words they'll point out that determining what is derogatory is subjective - culture, context, intent etc. I can't argue there, even the King James version of the Bible uses at least three words that most of us wouldn't use in regular conversation. When it comes right down to it a lot of slang is a matter of the heart and conscience. I agree with Jessica, as long as our kid's words are not filthy, corrupt, demeaning or degrading, I usually point my kids towards a better vocabulary. One that will correctly mirror their intelligence and relationship with God.

However, when it comes to using God's name in slang, as an oath or even in culturally acceptable and casual sayings I believe the brakes must be firmly applied.

We live in a culture that is actively either trying to deny God's existence or marginalize his place. Using his name like it doesn't matter contributes to this cultural trend.

As Christians we should do everything we can to show that God is to be respected and honored. The Bible is clear about using God's name in vain and there isn't one valid argument that can excuse using his name irreverently.

Once, to make my point I started using my kid's names as swear words. Even though they knew I was trying to make a point, they didn't like their names used as expletives and/or synonyms for the words jerk or idiot or worse. They got my point.

God loves us and he's good to us and his name on our lips should demonstrate our love for him.

Deb Burton said...

Curt, thanks for checking in. As a parent we have to define for our children what is acceptable and what is not, but I think in some cases the nobility of mothers and pastors has either diminished or been redefined as well. Still, a good measuring stick for most people.

Rick, thanks for adding your expertise! And thanks for a great idea for teaching in a very concrete way how using God's name in a mocking or irreverent way must sound to Him. I can imagine how a child would react!

Anonymous said...

interestingly enough my 5 yr old son and I have just recently had this conversation. I have taught him that he shouldnt say OMG unless he is praying. I have taught him to instead say om my gosh. growing up I was told not to say OMG either. It is taking the Lord's name in vain. Small as this issue may seem, I think it is best to teach your child by example and start with the small stuff. God Bless.