A Recipe for Love: Teaching Children about Shades of Skin

I have made cookies with my two boys since they were really little. Our favorite recipe to make together is oatmeal chocolate chip with extra chocolate chips thrown in … basically a big chocolate chip with a few bits of oatmeal! Recently, we were making these cookies, and a great opportunity to lay groundwork in their hearts about people was unexpectedly presented. I needed two eggs, and I happened to have one white egg and one brown.

“Look, boys. These eggs are different colors. But when I crack them in the bowl, they are the same inside. The yolk is yellow, and the clear runny part is the same for both eggs, but the shell is a different color for both. People are like that. God made people with different shades of skin — some are darker and some lighter. But on the inside we are all the same — a brain, a heart, and the ability to think and make choices.”

I am teaching my boys what Martin Luther King, Jr. said when he hoped his children would, “Not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

It’s what Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

Moreover, Paul states in the Book of Acts, “From one man, He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth.”

Here Paul was speaking to the Athenians, a Greek people who prided themselves on being racially superior to all other people. Paul told them here that they, like all other people, had descended from one source: Adam. Therefore, this fact excluded the possibility of the essential superiority of any race.*

My boys will one day face the temptation to have an “us versus them” mentality. I don’t know in what form it will come. Perhaps a person at school will repeat a hate-filled comment about an entire people group based on skin color (or eye shape, or accent, etc.). My boys consequently have the choice to go along and agree or disagree and speak the truth.

The truth is that, similar to an egg, our outsides may look different, but on the inside we are the same. Made from the same Creator with the ability to choose right from wrong, to love and care, to speak or be silent.

As I strive to raise my sons in a Christian home, I teach them not treat someone any different simply based on the color of their skin. Skin color is obviously different and is acknowledged as such. But I teach them to treat people the way Christ would no matter the differences — to love and care for people as brothers and sisters in Him.

While this, of course, is not the whole of my teaching to them on this subject, as young children, this is one of my first layers. My hope, my prayer, is that the groundwork of eggs helps them to know the truth and further speak the truth when needed.

What ideas do you have? I would love to hear how you teach your children about love and acceptance of all people. I await your answers! Until then, I will have some of those oatmeal (extra) chocolate chip cookies!

*Dr. Constable’s Notes, authored by Dr. Thomas L. Constable, Acts 17:26