I don’t know if you’re like me but, I sometimes get caught in the “if its not big it ain’t worth it” trap. You know the one, right? If its not something that took two years of research and another year of planning and tweaking, then there’s no possible way that it could be beneficial.
I am thankful that I serve a God loving enough to keep teaching me the same lesson over and over! Moses told the children of Israel to teach God’s word to their kids daily.
“These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deuteronomy 6:6-7, HCSB
Well the other day, I got one of those lessons. I saw a mom make a promise of a fun bowling trip to her son, only to have to cancel it later so that she could go serve a new mom; with her son in tow!! She left the new mom’s home to make a visit to a local hospital. In both places she served with a smile, a meal and her sweet son.
As I reflected on the day, I was awestruck by this mom serving with her son along for the ride. What a lesson!! Just because you had plans for the day, doesn’t mean that’s where God planned for you to be.
One thing we know, is that more is caught than taught. This mom could have planned a lesson or family devotion about serving with a smile. Instead she chose to LIVE the lesson in front of her baby! Good job mom!! Lesson caught!!
Jesus says, “I have a given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.” John 13:15, NLT
The life you model for your kids will have a much greater impact on the life they live rather than the words you share with them. Mahatma Ghandi is credited with having said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” I would change that to, “Be the adult you wish your child to be.”
Just like Jesus modeled the life He wanted us to live, let’s do the same for our kids.
“And walk in love, as the Messiah also loved us and gave Himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God.” Ephesians 5:2, HCSB
Jesus, thank you for loving us enough to show us Your example!!
For the past couple weeks, we’ve been talking about engaging your children intentionally. There is a plethora of ministries that are producing content that will help you as a parent some free and some for a cost. As I’ve been walking down this path of intentionally making disciples of my children, I’ve come across some resources that may be of interest to you. I’ve listed and linked to them below. Hope this helps!!
SEEDs Family Worship CDs (All ages)
These CDs are AWESOME!! This ministry has set the text of scriptures to music. Its all scripture! Play this in the car and your kids will be singing scripture constantly! They also have YouTube videos of some of these same scriptures. These CDs are not free, though their YouTube content is.
Parent Cue App (All ages)
This app is a free download from the folks at Parent Cue. This is soooo cool!! This app sends you regular reminders and encouragements about your parenting. Within the app you can setup a profile for each of your children. They use the age of your children to share weekly video devotions that are spot on to what they may be dealing with at this time. If you head over to their website, they also have videos, podcasts and other resources to help keep parents on the path of discipleship.
Bible App for Kids (Up to about age 7)
If you have the YouVersion Bible app on your phone, then you are already familiar with this ministry. This is more than just an app. There is an app that allows kids to play games to help them learn different stories from scripture. But wait that’s not all!! There is also the webpage!! This is the coolest part! There is a full curriculum that will walk you through the Bible in an age appropriate manner for kids up to about age 7. Everything you need is there (FREE)!! There are also videos embedded from YouTube of many many Bible stories. They ALSO have a children’s story Bible (not free) that maps along with the videos. (This might be a good way to help kids who are learning to read).
Jelly Telly (Pre-K to Elementary)
I LOVE this app and so do my kids!! This is NOT a free download. There are a couple different price structures, my family is doing $5/month. This app is similar to Netflix but there are only Christian based kids shows without advertisements. This is one of the few entertainment apps that I can open up for my kids and feel ok about them watching without me sitting over their shoulder. My kids’ favorite shows here are Veggie Tales and Bibleman. There are many others.
Homeschool Curriculum (All ages)
I couldn’t begin to list all the many homeschool curriculums that are available online these days; many of them free. This is a great option if you are looking to engage your child outside of the classroom. Google and Pinterest are your best friends in this search.
Mommy Blogs (All ages)
If you are looking for a free and completely customizable option this is it! God has empowered His moms across the globe with an internet connection. If you are looking for an object lesson you can do at home with your children this is a great place to start. I actually plan to feature some of those on this blog later in the year. So many of these moms (some homeschoolers, some stay at home, others not) have created the content they couldn’t find in bookstores and are willing to share it with other parents. Some of them charge, but many do not.
Christian Bookstores (All ages)
One of the best things we have in our home is a personal daily devotional for my 6-year-old son. He is required to go through this short devotion each day before he can play or watch TV. Some days he has questions to answer, other days there’s an activity. There are many many of these available for kids (and adults) of all ages. There are also many different topics and focuses.
Our hope is that this list is helpful for you. We hope you found something on this list that will aid you in being more diligent and intentional about equipping your children.
I can remember when the news broke that someone, just days before Christmas, had walked into an elementary school and shot and killed a number of kids; many of whom were under the age of seven. My heart broke in a way that I was previously unaware it could. No, I didn’t personally know anyone affected by this tragedy. However, I had just given birth two months before this to my first child. This was all so new! I was suddenly confronted with the thought that I would one day send my sweet baby boy off to school and be completely unable to fully ensure his safety.
I remember asking my mom, how I could safely raise my son if there were so many people intent on harming him?! If I am honest this is a thought with which I have wrestled constantly since then.
Years later I still struggle with this. My oldest has started kindergarten and its truly been a struggle. But late in 2018, I came across a verse that reminded me of the answer.
“3 His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. 4 By these He has given us very great and precious promises, so that through them you may share in the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world because of evil desires.”
2 Peter 1:3-4, HCSB
His promises are where my focus should lie. His promises are what protect my baby, not me. Recognizing the gift that they are and the precious gift of His promises is what will protect my babies!
While I haven’t the ability to be everywhere my children are at all times and completely aware of the intentions of everyone around them…. I know someone who is….
Thank You, Jesus for loving my babies better than I ever could!!
I came across a verse when my oldest was only about 15 months. Since then the Holy Spirit has refused to let me forget it. This verse hits me hard because it is my heart’s desire that these words never be spoken about my children, grandchildren or even great-great-great grandchildren.
“And all that generation also were gathered to their fathers. And there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord or the work that He had done for Israel.”
Judges 2:10, HCSB
As you read through the book of Judges, you can see a general cycle of obedience under a strong leader and then their death leads to a downfall into corruption and disobedience. This verse is right on par with that cycle. However, the reason this one makes me shudder as a mother and teacher is that someone in the previous generation(s) didn’t do their God given job of teaching.
This verse has been my motivation as a parent. I’m hoping that it motivates you as well! We can read about the consequences of shirking this God given responsibility. So let’s make sure this could NEVER be written about our kids!
Let’s instead have kids who can honestly and boldly say:
16For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, "The righteous shall live by faith."
Thank you Jesus!!