Talking to your children about evil

Posted on February 18, 2015 · Posted in Current Events, Gospel, Worldview


There is much debate this day about how to respond to horrific waves of violence. The Bible is clear. Evil inhabits the world we live in. Sometimes evil takes a violent form. When this happens a violent response is appropriate, even mandated! This is an important truth, a fact of life that your children must know.

It is important to train and encourage people to turn against evil and violence. The virtues of peace must never be forgotten. However, when violence occurs under the banner of evil, those who do such evil should fear the sword. If these evildoers have no fear of a violent response against them, then there can be no expectation that their violent acts will be deterred.

Notice carefully what the Holy Spirit says in Romans 13:4:

For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.

While the truth laid out in this passage may be repugnant to some, nonetheless, this truth is essential for any form of orderly government to survive and offer protection for its citizens. There are times when words are ineffective. There are times when the violent response of the sword is all that stands between safety and chaos. Those who would bring violence must know that violence will be returned to them for their actions. This response must be strong enough to strike fear into their hearts.

This is the God-given job that our military and police are mandated to enforce for the safety and well-being of all. We owe these servants our gratitude. History has shown that failure to repulse evil leads not to peace but to the most unspeakable forms of barbarism.

This truth is something that your children must be taught. First, so that they will learn to fear the consequences if they engage in violence. Secondly, so that they grow up expecting and requiring that their government, whether local or national, will have the courage to respond to violent evil in a way the brings fear to the evildoer.

The most obvious and effective response to evil is to bring the gospel to those who are lost. We must never lose sight of this ultimate truth. But while the mission of spreading the gospel is ongoing, we must also be ready to follow God’s directive to support those agents of wrath that God has provided for our safety.

We must pray earnestly for the spread of the gospel and for the safety of those that God has called to be his servants for our protection.

Jay Younts
Jay Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger. He is the author of Everyday Talk and other materials on parenting. He has been teaching and speaking on parenting issues for 30 years. Jay and his wife, Ruth, live in Fountain Inn, South Carolina. He serves as a ruling elder at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He and Ruth have five adult children.