Building Loving Relationships in Your Family – Part 2

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Did you miss part 1? Read it here

Appreciate each other’s differences

One thing that promotes close relationships within families is to teach your children to appreciate each other’s differences.

In a family, there should be a spirit of cooperation fostered rather than a spirit of competition. God has uniquely shaped each individual within your family as a special part of his creation. We’re not all supposed to be alike or do things at the same time or the same way.

Point out each other’s strengths and tell your children how God created each one of them to fulfill purposes that only they can accomplish. God took precise care in all the specific details of personality, talents, desires, that uniquely make up who each of your children is, and God makes no mistakes. Even in homeschooling, you will find one child learns certain subjects more easily and struggles with something else. This is normal.

Continue reading Building Loving Relationships in Your Family – Part 2

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Building Loving Relationships Within Your Family- Part 1

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Laying a Strong Foundation

Everyone desires a home that is filled with healthy, loving relationships. Indeed, one of the biggest advantages I’ve seen from homeschooling my family has been the lasting relationships that have been built over the years. My kids are each other’s best friends. But getting to this point is easier said than done, right?

What can we, as parents, do to nurture good and loving relationships in our homes? Well, that’s what this series is about. So, let’s start at the beginning.

You may wonder what some of these first points have to do with building loving relationships within your family, but notice I titled this section “Laying a Strong Foundation”  That’s because there is some groundwork to be laid- foundational principles and concepts that will help grow godly relationships. A good verse to remember is Psalm 127: 1, “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it:”

Continue reading Building Loving Relationships Within Your Family- Part 1

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The Cow (or dog) Paths

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Springtime is here! And, oh, how I love spring!

Time to get out and work in the yard and garden and just to be in the warm sunshine after the long winter.

I was trying to evaluate what I need to work on outside when I encountered a valuable object lesson. I have a yellow lab named Mosby.

I couldn’t ask for a better dog. He would NEVER hurt one of my many grand kids (unless he whacked them with his giant tail by mistake). He’s a great dog- protects the family, absolutely loves , quiet in temperament, obedient (usually), but there’s just one thing I don’t suppose I’ll ever break him of…..

Continue reading The Cow (or dog) Paths

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Part 1- How to Use God’s Word to Address Character Issues in Your Home

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Do you grow weary of hearing your kids complain or argue with you or their brothers and sisters? How can you control their outbursts of anger? Did you know that God’s Word has a LOT to say about those issues and so many more? In fact, the heart of every problem you encounter with your kids is addressed in the Word, and He gives us the wisdom for knowing how to deal with it.

Consider Ephesians 4:

So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind…..  But you did not learn Christ in this way, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.”

We learn here 3 commands :

  • We are to lay aside or PUT OFF the old self. Romans 6 tells us that our old life has been buried with Christ and we are now dead to sin. However, we must present our bodies to God as instruments of righteousness. “But now you also, put them all asideanger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices” \
  • We are to be RENEWED IN OUR MINDS – We renew our minds by memorizing and meditating on Scripture, by learning what God’s Word says and acting upon it daily. Joshua 1:8 tells us “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.”  We are promised success if we meditate on God’s Word.
  • We are to PUT ON our new self. Colossians 3 tells us “So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity”  We are to actively strive to cultivate these qualities in our life. The Holy Spirit is there to guide and help us.

Continue reading Part 1- How to Use God’s Word to Address Character Issues in Your Home

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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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12 Ways to Communicate Love to Your Kids

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How can we show love to our children?

First, let’s look at what God says love will look like:

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provokeddoes not take into account a wrong suffereddoes not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truthbears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails;

What might that look like on a daily basis?

Here are 12 practical ways we can communicate love to our children- whether they be toddlers or teens:

Continue reading 12 Ways to Communicate Love to Your Kids

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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)

Continue reading More Ideas for Easy Family Devotions

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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:

Continue reading Ideas for Easy Family Devotions

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The Irritation List (or Keeping Your Sanity)

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Here’s a little project that really helped me focus years ago.

I remember Rick coming home one evening. I had several kids at the time- probably 5 or 6. He asked how my day had been and I told him not so good.  It seemed like a thousand things went wrong. When he asked me what they were, I couldn’t really focus on what they had actually been– there were just a lot of them.

So he told me the following day, whenever I was irritated by something, to write it down in a notebook. I thought, “ok, but I’ll be writing all day long!”  What I actually discovered the next day was that it was only a few things that were frustrating me, but they kept happening again and again.

These were some of my irritations:

1-One of my sons, not intending to cause problems at all, would fling the door open and holler, “MOM” so he could discern where I was. It was not only irritating to be hollered at, but sometimes it woke the baby who had been difficult to get to sleep in the first place.

2- Also, when putting the laundry away, I reached up to put jeans on the stack on the closet shelf and the whole tippy stack came falling down on my face.

3- After school I told the kids to put their books away. Everyone seemed to need help because the bookcase was crammed with books and they wouldn’t just go in easily. The pages were getting bent, too.

4- Another of my sons seemed to think it was his place in life to irritate the others, and he was good at it. I’d hear his name whined out loudly by the toddler multiple times during the day.

Continue reading The Irritation List (or Keeping Your Sanity)

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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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