Teach Your Kids to Choose Their Words Wisely

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Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14

Words can be so damaging or so uplifting. Words can tear down or build up.  Words can discourage or encourage. We are doing our kids a huge favor if we teach them Biblical guidelines for choosing wise words; AND it will eliminate LOTS of problems in our homes, too.

Scripture has so much to say about our words. One Scripture we used in our home as a good guide for choosing your words was Ephesians 4: 29 ” Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification [according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.

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More Ideas for Easy Family Devotions

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Family devotion time doesn’t need to be complicated. I remember little Matt when he was about 3 or 4; he would get his pillow and stretch out on his back underneath the coffee table every night with his feet up in the air touching the bottom of the table top. We never let our kids disrupt family time by running around being loud, but expected them to listen quietly. Matt, listening quietly, would fall asleep every time! Sweet memories. It’s okay. They’ll pick up a whole lot more than you think even if it appears that they aren’t being real attentive.

So, continuing with suggestions for easy Family Bible Times, let me share with you several more ways we spent time together as a family learning about God. (Miss Part 1? Read it here)

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Ideas for Easy Family Devotions

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In raising our 14 kids I can’t say we’ve always been consistent in family devotion times. It actually got much harder as the kids got older and had so many out of the home commitments. But before we got to that stage, we had fairly consistent family Bible times.

In the next couple of posts I plan to share some of the things we did that proved successful but not overwhelming to accomplish, as well as some of the resources we developed that can be picked up and used without prep time on Dad or Mom’s part. Rick was a dad who had a physically intensive job so he would come home very tired and not at his creative best, so something that did not require a lot of preparation was important for that reason. Perhaps you find yourself in a similar situation.

Family Devotions don’t have to be in-depth, or extremely time-consuming. They don’t have to follow a particular formula, and you don’t have to have visuals and activities planned out to accompany your time together in order to “make it work”.  What is important, really, is that you try to set aside some time to simply lead your family in listening to God’s word and discussing it together. If you want to do more, great! But, if you cannot- don’t lose heart! Do what you can. Little is MUCH when God is in it!

Here are Easy Ideas and Resources for Family Devotions:

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Teaching Your Kids to Care: Part 5

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In the last 4 posts, I’ve tried to give you some “shoe leather” – real stuff-  you can do with your family, not just pie-in-the-sky ideas that sound good but aren’t practical. I’ve been doing this type of thing for MANY years now. I just completed my 37th year homeschooling and graduated my last child. Whew! But, I’m not done yet. Just beginning. I’ve got 16 grandchildren with number 17 on the way in March. And yes, I’m not their parents, but Scripture does hold me responsible to influence my grandchildren in a godly fashion.

I KNOW it’s not easy having a bunch of “littles” in your home to work around and cart with you in car seats when you go places. Believe me, I know all about it! But, listen to me- IT’S WORTH every minute of it.

What do you want to see at the end of your life? I want to see kids and grandkids and even great grandkids who are thoroughly committed to the Lord, who are living lives pleasing to Him; a big part of that is investing themselves in others. People go to heaven. Things don’t . People can be saved. Things can’t. People can be encouraged and inspired to attempt great things for God and even do things that others may see as little things, but are really BIG things in God’s eyes.

Continue reading Teaching Your Kids to Care: Part 5

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Teaching Your Kids to Care: Part 3

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I hope to give a vision through these posts that learning to invest in the lives of others isn’t a complicated, difficult task. Families with little ones can be a part of ministering to others. This post will give you ideas if you are a family with only little people. Next time, I’ll talk about things families with older kids can undertake.

Learning by example is a powerful way to learn. As you take your little ones by the hand and seek to be a blessing to those around you, believe me, those little people are taking it all in. I raised 14 kids. I understand your time is limited. Some things you just have to say “NO” to and wait for a different season of life, but teaching kids to be servant-hearted is something that shouldn’t wait. It’s what you’re supposed to be doing and it’s SO much more important than teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic. It’s foundational.

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Teaching Your Kids to Care: Part 2

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Miss Part 1 of this series? Read it here

Mark 12:30-31: ” And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

We want to raise our kids to be kids of character. That means more than just mentally knowing what character is.  Sure, that’s the first step in training your kids. They can’t take steps to implement it if they’re unaware of it. After they’ve learned that though, it’s important to take action. How do we do it? When do we do it? How do we find needs?

First of all, look around you. Look at your neighbors. Look at your church members. Look at your acquaintances. Those are the people God has put in your sphere of influence. Begin listening to them. It can almost be like a treasure hunt to see who can be attentive/alert and find needs that others have.

Continue reading Teaching Your Kids to Care: Part 2

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Teaching Your Kids to Care: Part 1

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It’s so easy, especially for homeschoolers, to inadvertently communicate to our kids that life is all about them. We’re looking for the perfect curriculum to meet their needs, engaging them in activities that they are passionate about, taking them on exciting outings, planning special parties and events and all that is good. We should be doing that, BUT, are we failing to instill in them a higher calling?

Why are we here? Why does God leave us on this earth after we get saved? Why not just take us to heaven then and there? What are we trying to equip them for? To get a good job? To be happy in life?

Continue reading Teaching Your Kids to Care: Part 1

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Things I’m Glad I Did While Raising My Kids- Part 3

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I grew up without being exposed to Scripture, so as a young mom (age 20) it was all still very new to me. I was under great teaching that helped me to realize that all the answers for life are contained in God’s Word, so as I began searching and learning it myself, I sought to find ways to teach it to my little son.

We began by hanging verses around the house and Rick and I started memorizing portions of Scripture together. By the time we had 3 little boys (all 18 months apart), Rick began recording Scripture for the boys to listen to when he was at work. It seemed he was gone for most of their waking hours, so it was his idea to record and explain Proverbs for them to listen to at nap time and bed time.

He gave example stories to explain the what it was talking about so the kids could understand. The results were far-reaching and amazing!! He recorded other portions of Scripture as time went on, and as the boys and then girls grew up, they spent MANY hours listening to Dad read and explain the Scriptures to them.

We often read the Proverb of the day- there are 31 days to the month and 31 Proverbs. Rick always told the kids to raise their hands if they had any questions when he read.  One day he began reading the Proverb of the day and the kids finished the verse before he had a chance to. It happened again and again. When Dad asked them how they knew so many verses, they said, “Well, you have us listen to Bible tapes every night and we just know them.” It was true!! It was incredible!!

Not only did they memorize it, it began to affect the way they thought. God’s Word does that! When they were faced with temptations, verses they didn’t consciously realize they even knew, would pop into their heads giving guidance in everyday decisions. Isaiah 55:11 says, “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” It is so true.

Continue reading Things I’m Glad I Did While Raising My Kids- Part 3

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Things I’m Glad I Did While Raising My Kids- Part 2

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I’m sure I didn’t do everything right when raising my kids. No one does. There is no perfect parent, but it sure is sweet when you realize you did something right, even if you didn’t realize all the implications it would have when you did it. (Be sure to read Part 1 of this series, too!)

As a really young mom, my kids were born pretty close together, and I didn’t have much time for anything but my kids. But as some of the kids got a little older, God impressed upon me that I needed to teach my kids to serve others. Sometimes that’s best learned through doing.

There was an elderly couple who used to come to our church. They had been missionaries to Germany during the time just before World War II . We invited them to our home for dinner one day and began to get to know them. Soon after that, the man, who had diabetes, had to have his leg amputated and their visits to church become less frequent. We would watch for them to arrive each week, though, and we’d help to wheel Mr. Hutchinson in to church as it was a bit hard for his wife to do that.

Then we began to visit them. I would always take Laura with me. She was about 10 years old. I’d talk with her on the way out to their house (they lived about an hour from us) about how to listen for hints of things they liked or things they needed to have done that we might be able to do. Aunt Lillie, as we called her, would often ask Laura to play her a song on the piano when we visited.

Continue reading Things I’m Glad I Did While Raising My Kids- Part 2

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Teach Your Children God’s Word

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Psalm 119:97 says, “ O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day”.

Kids need to be involved with God’s Word during the day.

Memorizing is the first step in meditating. Meditating has been compared to a cow chewing her cud. First she swallows it, then brings it back up, and chews it all over again.

In order to meditate you have to first commit the Scripture to memory by getting it into your mind and then contemplate it, think about it, and finally decide how to apply it to your life. That’s when it makes it’s way from your head into your heart and works out in your life.

Our kids need us to help them with this.

Do you want your kids to be wiser than their enemies? Then teach them God’s Word.

Psalm 119: 98 “Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies, for they are ever with me.”

Do you want your kids to accomplish greater things than you do? Then teach them God’s Word.

Psalm 119: 99 “I have more understanding than all my teachers, for thy testimonies are my meditation.”

Continue reading Teach Your Children God’s Word

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