I constantly need to remind myself and you do too, that every negative character quality your kids demonstrate, is really just a positive character quality misused. God is directing you to show your kids in Scripture, what God’s Word has to say about it. For instance, if someone mistreats you, teases you ,etc. it’s perfectly natural to get angry. What your kids don’t understand is that if they cultivate anger in their lives and it becomes a pattern, they will end up like the angry man in Scripture. No one starts out wanting to be like the angry man. Instead, if you can lovingly guide them to see what God’s Words says and how His blessing is on the man who practices self-control, you’ll be guiding them in how to make a wise decision.
As my kids were growing up, I saw all these negative character qualities in their lives and I was driven to Scripture to see how to deal with them. I was encouraged to see that God’s Word has the answers. I began to study these negative and opposite corresponding positive character qualities. As I studied them myself , I would list Bible references and turn them into questions for my kids to look up. (this is now seen in Growing in Wisdom Bible Study)
There is something about digging it out yourself instead of having it lectured or spoon fed to you. When your kids see the consequences of bad choices and the consequences of wise choices, they realize they have a choice to make.
I used to think I HAD to spend time with the Lord first thing in the morning. “Give God the best of your time.” I lived under a guilt trip for a long time until I realized,
“Hey, morning is NOT my best time.” As a mom and especially as a mom of young babies and toddlers for so many years, morning was up to nurse, change diapers, get little ones up and dressed, in time to start school. I’d been up during the night to feed infants, so morning was NEVER my best time. My best time changed through the years according to Rick’s schedule, the ages of the kids, etc, but I came to realize I need to find what works BEST for ME. When is my best time to concentrate on God and His Word? God knows our heart and the hour isn’t the what counts to him- it’s your heart. So find what time works best with least distractions and make it your time with God- for now!
Hide It, Then Use It!
Once you’ve led your kids in hiding the Word in their hearts, then you need to show them how to put it into practice, by taking them by the hand and using what you’re learning to bless others
“By Love serve one another.” Galatians 5:13
When my youngest daughter was 10 years old I told her I wanted her to have a ministry in our church. She was surprised and asked how that would be possible. I told her I wanted her to have a HUG ministry. I told her to look for an older person who was lonely and make it a point to give them a hug every week. As she did this, she began to develop strong relationships with widowers/elderly folks in our church and began to find other ways to be a blessing besides just giving them a hug and cheery greeting each Sunday.
“Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others….” Phillipians 2:4
LOOK for opportunities to serve- Prompt and guide them in looking for needs that they could help to meet. Teach them how to listen for hints of what a person likes, needs etc. Watch for opportunities to help new moms, single moms, or families whose dad is out of work or who have a sick child or whatever!
Lead and guide them in putting into practice what they’ve learned so it’s not just head knowledge.
Romans 13:7 tells us “Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.”
One way we have put this into practice is by seeking ways to give honor to men who have served in the military. My daughter Kasey became extremely interested in hearing about my dad’s service in World War II. We started reading about the military engagements he was involved in. Then she started noticing men around town with World War II caps on their heads. We would go up and introduce ourselves, thanking them for their service to our country and their role in preserving our freedoms. Then we asked if we could visit them at a later date and hear about their experiences.
In attempting to show them honor we’ve been blessed beyond measure! To learn history from those who lived it has been so incredible. We still keep up our relationship with many of them and look for ways to be a blessing to them.
As you seek to look for ways to help your child apply Scripture it becomes a way of life. I love it when they begin to see opportunities to serve, and apply what they’re learning. It might be some work getting it started, but it will come back to bless you many times over as you watch your kids learn to be a blessing to others.
Create projects to help your kids apply what they’re learning. Instead of just teaching them information, walk them through life situations and show them how to put into practice what they are learning. Here a few suggestions of things we did with our kids that really worked. Continue reading Helping Your Children Hide God’s Word In Their Hearts~Part 3