The conscience search mechanism operates evaluating a situation for moral liability, and then responding by looking for maps and truths laid down upon it in the past. If it finds a corresponding value, it activates a warning and prompts a moral solution. We need to demonstrate to our kids how to search for the right maps and apply them to situations.
I heard a man talk about how his father trained his conscience. One Sunday an elderly man came into church late. He entered the room with no place to sit. THis young man noticed and immediately, almost instinctively got up and offered his chair to this older man. Why? His conscience evaluated the situation. Older man, many years his senior had no place to sit… Search for map… Found one, “You shall rise for the grey headed, and honor the presence of an old man and fear your God.” Lev 19:32. This truth turned into a map, and that map was acted on. His dad had trained the terrain with truth.
In the movie BLAST FROM THE PAST, Brendon Fraiser goes underground for 20 years in fear of a nuclear bomb. When he returns to the American culture, he is interacting with two twenty somethings who have never seen a young man with a trained conscience.
Many of us have wonderful maps from our parents and grandparents. But many of them are laid on top of maps from our culture. The conflicting maps cause confusion and lack of clarity to our moral mapping. Most of us try to pull up on a map on our inner navigator and it looks like this.
Early in life we lay out maps by teaching consequences. if you touch the stove, you’ll get burned. a child reached for the stove, we smack their hand. We are teaching that disobedience brings pain. That’s a principle.
DRIVE THE INSTRUCTIONS
It’s not enough to have a GPS. You must use your GPS. So part of our role as parents is teaching our kids how to USE the maps in specific situations. it’s One thing to Build them and have them in your head. It’s another to be able to access the right map at the right time, but then we must DRIVE. we must put that map into motion. Our kids need to see and be held accountable on How to Drive the instructions. How to put them into motion. Whether its faith, finances, disappointment, lust, etc. We need to model and play out how to use the maps to work through these issues.
When I was in highschool, a friend owned a two toned Chevette that looked jsut like mine. he pulled me aside after school and said, “The police pulled me over and asked me if I was doing doughnuts in the church parking lot across town. I told them that it wasn’t me, but since your car is identical to mine, I thought it might be you…’ he was right, it was me. I went home that day and said to my dad, “Dad, the police are looking for me for doing doughnuts in the church parking lot last week.” My dad pulled out the phone, called the police and explained to them that he was with me and teaching me to countersteer a turn in the snow. ~ Lest you think my dad was lying, that was the truth. My dad knew this was my first Illinois winter in the snow. He knew that he had explained how to get out of a turn, but needed me to Experience how to get out of a turn. So one evening we went to a churhc parkign lot, and he got us spinning and taught us how to counter spin… Now, after that, he did show me how he was able to do a 360 in the parking lot in reverse.. .which was cool… But the bulk of the time was teaching. He was preparing me for danger. And he taught me when I came home how to call the police and address the problem directly.
My grandpa used to train my dad’s conscience. He would teach my father about interest and work. If my dad wanted a toy, my grandpa would buy it, but my dad couldn’t open it. -until he worked it off. So up on the shelf at the house sat this toy. My grandpa (An engineer who always had a pocket protector with pencil and notebook) would note the cost of the item and would offer chores to my dad and subtrast the amount earned from the toy until he earned it. Then he could open it. I passed this tradition on to my kids. I have occasionally sat down with them at the kitchen table with pennies and nickels and played the role of the Credit card company offering to give them money for a toy. Then I role play the payments over a 5 month period of time to show them how much they pay by making minimum payments to me using pennies and nickles. They are shocked to see that after 6 months they paid me double the cost of the toy and still owe me money.
How to Develop an Internal Navigation: TRAIN THE TERRAIN! BUILD, SEARCH, DRIVE.
To watch the first session of Godonomics free, check out http://www.godonomics.com/watch-session-1