Currently, we are reading and studying The Love Dare for Parents. We’ve already completed our fifth week of our study, day 25 of our 40 day challenge. And today, Amanda Farris, one of our lovely team writers, is sharing how God is faithfully working in her own heart through this study. If you’re interested in joining us for our online study, it’s never too late.
In His Service,
WOW! Are you guys enjoying the study of The Love Dare for Parents or what?!
I have read several “parenting” type books and this one is by far one of my most favorites! Why? I love how it is absolutely SCRIPTURE LACED. There are tons of references and extra study points. I also love how in this particular book everything is not based on how the author parents their children or their particular lifestyle but it is based on what the WORD says.
It is objective and bible based. You can take all the points and scriptures and apply them to your particular “flavor” or “style” of life. Even though each chapter is only about 3 little pages, if you wrote down every scripture reference and really studied and pondered those it would be a whole study in itself. (You can just look at my notebook!)
Out of our five little chapters for this week Love is God’s Word and Love Listens are the two that got most of my attention.
Sometimes as parents we fight the “perfect syndrome”. We want to do everything right and because maybe we aren’t quite ready or feel prepared we just wait and don’t do anything.
We wait….. until they are older.
We wait….. until we are more organized.
We wait…… until things slow down.
We wait…. for the right season.
But with God’s word and our children, we don’t have time to wait. It is our most important commission as parents to point our children to Christ and teach His ways.
God chose you to be the parent to your kid. He entrusted you! You are more equipped and prepared than anyone else. You are handpicked to shepherd your child. So don’t wait “until the right time” to teach truth.
When we first started doing family devotionals I was very idealistic. I now feel so silly and embarrassed of what I expected of my family and little toddlers. What I had pictured is NOT what actually happened. It did not look like everyone sitting in a circle paying attention, smiling, and devouring everything we were saying. Instead- it is 2 wiggly toddlers who are distracted easily and a baby who sometimes cries or is fussy during family devotion time. I love it when my husband or I ask our toddlers a question about what we are reading and they answer something like this: “Can we have popcorn now?” or “I saw the dog poop today.” I’m sure some of you can identify with me. Thankfully, the Lord is gracious, has a sense of humor, and is teaching me along the way.
I’ll share a few tips that work for us in teaching God’s word to our children.
- Be Intentional But Not Rigid
My husband and I are intentional about our family devotion time and reading God’s word. Sometimes it is fitting to address certain character traits, or educate them on God’s faithfulness or show His awesome power. Sometimes is better for us to just read the bible with our children leisurely. But what does NOT work for us is trying to follow a strict reading plan. We have 3 little wiggly toddlers so it’s important to be realistic of our expectations of them. Let them be little. Model for them to ENJOY God’s word and delight in it rather than making devotional time a rigid, stiff, quiet time. Show joy to them and make God’s word come to life.
- Have Devo’s Throughout The Day
Let the Word be on our lips all the time (Psalm 19:4). Talk naturally and easily about the Lord all day long. Use everyday situations to stop right then and teach and talk about things with your children. Show your kids a natural real relationship with God as opposed to one that only exists at quiet time or Sunday mornings.
- Have Resources
Have resources to pull from but switch them up. Don’t feel pressured to finish one series or topic before you start another one. We have several different family devotional resources that we use. Like I said in the first tip- We can’t be strict on our plan. Sometimes we tell animated stories using Children’s bibles with pictures (What little boy doesn’t love David or Gideon?). But the next day we may do something else depending on our family culture. These resources will differ depending on the age of your kiddos.
- Don’t Freak Out if You Miss a Day
Just keep calm and carry on. Life happens and routines get bucked, but just re-adjust and start again. Don’t let missing a few days make you feel like a failure. YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE. Ask Jesus to help you. Ask Him for guidance and wisdom (James 1:5).
- You Can’t Make Your Kids Holy
Don’t rely so much on yourself. no matter how “good” of a parent you are you can’t make your kids Holy. You can not get them into heaven. Salvation is from the Lord (Jonah 2:9, Psalm 37:39) . Trust in Him. Pray. Pray. Pray. Ask the Lord go guide you in raising your children. Trust in Him and not in yourself. (Proverbs 3:5-7)
Kids of any age soak up and hear much more than we give them credit for. Start today teaching them God’s word. Be Intentional but not rigid. Enjoy it. Just chip away at the Word one nugget of Truth at a time.
Well…… my post is getting quite long. Can you just come over for coffee so we can chat? If you want to hear my feedback on Love Listens click HERE.
What are some of your favorite resources for family devotional time?
When do you typically do family devotional time?
Amanda @ Embracing Grace