The Wall and the Word

The Wall and the Word

Centurion Education Foundation, Blog,Vol. 1.

Biblical analysis by Dr. Andrew Knight     December 29, 2017

When Your Child Won’t Hug the Relatives:

How to manage the tricky balance between a child’s shy behavior and adults’ wish to show them simple affection

Many parents welcome holiday gatherings as a time for small children to bond with relatives—until their little one runs away and hides when grandma asks for a kiss.

Smoothing over relatives’ hurt feelings falls to mom or dad. “That level of discomfort and shyness can make a child seem rude, and leave you thinking, ‘I’m a bad parent,’ ” says Joanna Faber, an author and educator on parenting who conducts workshops on communicating with children.

Greeting adult relatives and friends at holiday gatherings can be daunting for a small child. It’s an emotional topic for many adults, too, as shown by a fiery social-media response to a recent blog post by the Girl Scouts advising against pressuring children to hug or kiss relatives. Easing the strain requires understanding the obstacles from children’s points of view, preparing them for social encounters and staying patient as they learn at their own speed………[1]

A biblical Worldview

Children who are anti-social are so because of nurture not nature. The answer to the stated problem of children avoiding interaction with relatives and friends of the parents are not psychiatric, physical, or political. The problem rather lies in the non-agrarian, technological subculture in which children are raised in. Today culture and families is decentralized. A vast part of human history families and relatives worked together, lived close, and had a natural social incubator built into the family network. The more decentralized our culture becomes the harder we have to work at developing social skills in children in their formative years.

Biblical principles

Psalm 127:1-3 “Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.”

Deuteronomy 6:7-9 “And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.”

Ephesians 6:1-3 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.”

Biblical applications

  1. Bible believing Christians cannot be faithful to the Scriptures by superimposing doctrine written in the Middle-East, in a Jewish subculture, and an agrarian economy, and forcing biblical principles into a Western, pluralistic, secular society, and expect to Christianize this culture.


The Christian that wants to be faithful to the Scriptures must adjust their present subculture, economic, and whole worldview to align oneself to biblical principles, relative to marriage and family.


  1. In order for Christians to be faithful to the Scriptures they do not have to live like the Amish, though there would be nothing wrong with that, but biblical principles should be applied to the family life. Family life, family devotions, church friends and relationships, training children to have a heart for God, teaching children to socialize, and teaching children discretion in how to navigate relationships are all part of a child’s development within a Christian home and worldview.


  1. Technology is a big part of our culture, and technology is very useful in our lives. But like any other tool Christian parents are the gate keepers of technology in the home, and must control it and not allow technology to control children. The technology has replaced relationships to much degree and has made it more difficult for social development to happen in the developing minds of children. I John 1:15-17 “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.


  1. The Christian worldview is one that is very different in a world of unbelief, and a world more concerned with the tings of this world than the next. A Christian worldview however is one that permeates every area of life, and most certainly every area of family and children. One major aspect of Christian family life is that of the families’ relationship to the local church. The relationships that develop within the local church are meaningful and generational. The local church acts as an extension of the family, and a social incubator which fasters a child’s social development.

[1] Sue Shellenbarger, “When Your Child Won’t Hug the Relatives:” The Wall Street Journal, (accessed December 29, 2017).

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