As National Suicide Prevention Month comes to a close, it’s important for pastors to be on the lookout for things that may make children vulnerable to suicide.
We need to be aware of unforeseen situations that can take our children by surprise and shake their spiritual, mental, and emotional stability. Worldly values, significant losses, divorce, domestic violence, and bullying all fall under this category.
Here’s what you, as a pastor and parent, can do to instill Godly values over worldly values in the kids you care for:
Build a family identity
Help your children find their sense of group identity at home by clearly identifying the values and beliefs you hold as a family. Take steps to ensure your family’s values stand in stark contrast to the values of the world.
Practice assurance and acceptance
Make your home the kind of place where these issues can be discussed openly. Encourage your kids to ask questions and challenge basic assumptions. Explain why you believe what you believe. Most importantly, let your kids know that you’ll always love and cherish them, no matter what they do.
Be consistent and steadfast
Model your values in front of your kids. Make integrity the centerpiece of your family relationships. Keep your promises and do what you say you’re going to do.
Assess your values frequently so that you can keep tabs on where you and your family stand, regarding the things that matter most in life.
For more information on some of the things that might make the children in your church more vulnerable to suicide, go to AliveToThrive.com. There, you will find a free, six-part training program designed to help you learn how to prevent teen suicide.