MONTHLY ARCHIVES: August 2011
It really depends upon what you are aiming for. Like most parents you long for your children to “succeed” in life. But what does that mean? Is it merely getting into the right schools, having the right grades, the right friends and the right skills so that they can get the right job?
Ask yourself this question, “Am I helping my kids develop the ‘right stuff’ from a Biblical perspective?” Are you, like an archer, carefully aiming your parenting to produce Godly children who will not only have a vital relationship with Jesus Christ, but embody God’s Kingdom values in the way they live their lives?
What can you do to help your kids develop spiritually? Merely sending them to church activities isn’t enough. Studies show that 90% of youth who have heavily participated in church drop out after 2 years in college. For many youth, the checking out begins as early as the age of 16. They find packaged religion to be irrelevant to the real world. What can you do to counter this trend?
1. Embrace God’s Kingdom agenda.
Whether you know it or not, you are now teaching them values that either conform to or conflict with God’s Kingdom. When you decide to participate in an activity that regularly interferes with spiritual responsibilities (church attendance, Bible study, spiritual service) you have taught them that personal fulfillment is more important than obedience to and fellowship with God. You are on display to them 24/7. They watch your every move, how you spend your time, how you spend your money. They listen to what you talk about. Do they see in you generosity, compassion, and a love of God and His Word? Do they see you ordering your life around God’s priorities? You are the first Bible they have read and they started reading right after birth. What have they learned?
2. Create the environment.
How does the environment of your home aesthetically and socially reflect God’s Kingdom agenda? Children swim in the environment of the home. Things dear to God’s heart can be reflected even in the way you decorate your home. Have you as carefully thought about the “value environment” in your home as you have how you have selected its decor? Think of how you celebrate holidays… what can you do to turn them into “teaching moments” that zero in on what God values?
3. Teach by using experience.
Jesus taught people by taking them places and exposing them to real life. The world and all its activity became a textbook of illustrations Jesus used to drive home Biblical truth. The quickest and easiest way to do this is to begin to serve Christ as a family. Go on family mission trips together. Serve in your local area together. God has placed gifts and abilities in your family and He expects you to use them.
The book, Mission As Life: Making the Kingdom of God Your Family’s Passion provides valuable insights and resources designed to help you raise kids to have the “right stuff” from God’s perspective. Your family is a microcosm of God’s church. God has gifted you and your children for serving Him. Doesn’t it make sense that you do that together as a family? Visit Mission As Life for family mission trip ideas and also get a copy of the book Mission As Life.
This article is a paid promotion from a LifeWay.com advertiser.
by Rachel Lovingood
Alarming statistics remind us that, as parents, we need to work hard to keep our tweenagers from making mistakes that can affect them for the rest of their lives. This is especially true regarding sexual issues. Tweens are developing socially, and that inevitably means interest in the opposite sex. We must equip our tweens to make godly choices, and thereby to resist the influences they constantly receive from the world around them.
The culture of middle schoolers is very sexual – from their music, to the television shows they watch, to their hallway conversations. If you’ve resisted talking with your tweens about sex and dating, then you’re already behind. It’s vital that you keep communication lines open so you recognize when issues need to be addressed. If you’re reluctant to speak openly with your tweens about sex, the world is more than willing to speak on your behalf, and you may not like its message.
If you aren’t sure what messages your middle schoolers have received, watch the television shows that capture their attention, read lyrics to their favorite songs, and check out the websites they surf. You may be stunned.
Selma and I were married seven years before our first child was born. I thought I knew my wife, but when children entered the picture, I realized there was a lot more “marrying” to be done.
Scripture says our children are a reward (Ps. 127), and ours have been a blessing. But the truth remains: Parenting presents challenges and opportunities for growth in the strongest marriage.
Depending on their ages, children require lots of time, and rightfully so. Kids grow up quickly, and you need to be fully engaged in teaching, loving, encouraging, and disciplining. But in the midst of the busyness of child-rearing, there needs to be some time for Mom and Dad.
Easy? No. But it’s essential. That short walk together now and then while older brother watches little sister is a must for your marriage during the craziness of raising a family.
Kids are wonderful. They have an unending supply of energy — and you don’t. A wise marriage leader once said tired bodies make for tired sex. And we could add that tired communication, tired arguments, and tired partners lead to an overall tired marriage.
Couples, this is where you’ve got to rise to the challenge. A 30-minute rescue can revive a parent (“Honey, I’ve got the kids for the next hour. You go soak in the tub.”). Maybe it’s a date without the kids or a simple break from the routine. The key is to carve out small bits of time to recover the energy spent on kids. Your marriage will be stronger when you do.
You’ve heard it said, “Always present a united front to the kids.” To be truly united, meet in advance of any family discussion to hammer out just what it is that your parent team wants to present.
For example, if one child feels she deserves a later bedtime than her younger sister, start by discussing it with your spouse. Rather than one parent immediately responding, make it a shared decision. The planned approach provides daily communication opportunities to build confidence in the marriage team.
The parenting years are excellent times to show respect (directly and indirectly) for your mate. Choose to focus on positive attributes of your mate when speaking to the children. Let them know how crazy you are about their dad or mom. Statements like, “Isn’t it cool that Mom spends a lot of time with you?” or “What other dad would take time off to watch his daughter’s tennis match?” communicate a powerful message to your children — and to your spouse. Whether or not your mate is present when you give the compliment, the respect you communicate is obvious.
One of the greatest gifts you can give your children is a healthy marriage. Parenting gives you numerous opportunities to show off your marriage to your kids. And it builds confidence in your relationship.
As your kids see you and your spouse working hard to clearly communicate with each other, working through conflict and forgiving each other, holding each other, or going on a date without them — they witness a growing marriage. When the time comes for your child to find a mate, he or she will most likely emulate what was modeled.
• Spiritual Closeness:
No couple has done this parenting thing perfectly. The wisest thing you can do together is to present yourselves to the Lord. One night Selma and I were on our knees, praying in our bedroom, when Jennifer (then in high school) walked in. She later shared with Selma what a strong impact that experience had on her.
Don’t miss the opportunities that come with parenting. Rise to the challenges, and let God grow your marriage in the midst of raising children.
This article is courtesy of HomeLife magazine.
Your children may have many questions about the Bible that challenge your knowledge, but one thing they can’t stump you on is your testimony! No one can argue with the story of how Jesus changed your life. Unfortunately, many parents never tell their salvation story to their children. Give your kids a glimpse into the most important moment of your life.
This week, find a time to share your story with your children. Considering the age of your children, craft your story to talk about three things:
1. Your Life Before Christ
3. Your Life After Christ
You will be amazed at how your story will impact them in a deep way. It will show them that your faith is alive and not just a religious checklist.
Share your story this week! And if you would like, tell us here at Camp how it went in the space below…