Thoughts on Helping Our Kids Grow Spiritually-Part 2
24/10/11 09:57 Filed in: Family
Credit: Free images from acobox.com
Credit: Free images from acobox.com
Developing the character of Christ and looking for ways to develop spiritual habits that connect our boys to Christ are challenging things to do with so many competing things in our boys lives. They are involved in church as well as school but we need to be the disciplers of our kids. To make this happen in our boys lives we have two things we do in this area.
First we want to have a time where our family engages in discussing what God is doing in our lives so they see that our faith is not merely a meeting we attend a couple of times a week but something we live out and integrate into our lives. So we make sure we eat lunch together after church on Sunday and we review what they learned in the children’s program that day and we share what we learned in big church. We are fortunate that our church puts the videos they use with our kids online along with a study guide for families to use to discuss the things they learned (http://saddleback.com/mediacenter/saddlebackkids/). I use my iPhone to view the video and the discussion guide and we have a great time sharing and looking for ways to apply the things we have learned.
Second we want the boys to see the power of scripture in their lives and to begin to develop the habit of spending a regular time with God in his word. So each boy has an iPod with the bible reading app on it. They have a daily reading plan and we have them read or listen through that plan. The great thing about the YouVersion Bible App (http://www.youversion.com/mobile/iphone) is that they can track along with it and it will read it to you. So they boys have an instant plan and can choose how they want to engage the text. I also created an internal blog on my Mac using Lion Server (you can use any kind of word program) where they journal what they have learned at least a couple times a week. Those journals are then available for everyone to see so we also learn from one another.
These two things have helped us to develop habits in our kids lives and to have spiritual conversations to help them to grow.
One of the things every kid needs to know is that they are unique and good at something. They also need to understand that the things that God has given them are not for the purpose of using them for themselves but to use for the good of others. 1 Corinthians 12:7 says, “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” So our gifts are not for ourselves but for others. One of the things our boys need in their lives are the following:
They need to know they are loved unconditionally
They need to know we are proud of them.
They need to know they are good at something.
What we on regular basis is express our love verbally and let them know how proud we are of them, not just for their achievements, but because of who they are. If our boys are going to ever minister to others they need to be filled up with love and sense of who they are in Christ and we can model that through our love and expression of how special they are to us. We also point out the gifts that God has put in their hearts and has given them and help them to see ways they can develop and use those things to serve others.
Helping our boys have a global worldview and a heart for people and the gospel is something that is important to us. In our boys Kids Small Group experience they were able to share their testimonies with a younger group of kids and really got to process what it meant for them that Christ was their savior. Part of helping them to be open to sharing this with their friends is to help them to remember the things God is doing and has done in their lives and to also help them develop a biblical worldview so they know how to respond to the challenges they will face on a daily basis. To help with this we use the things they may view on television through commercials or their cartoons to talk about whether those things are presenting a biblical perspective or not. One thing I learned from our Pastor was to have the boys be able to point out which of the aspects of lust (lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, pride of life) does each commercial appeal to. It actually makes commercial bearable and a teachable moment at the same time! In addition to having these world view discussions, we try to remember all of the times we have seen God show up in our lives. Remembering those things is a theme expressed throughout the scriptures and is something that parents are commanded to do with their kids in the Old Testament. Deuteronomy 6:6-7 says “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” One of the things we are going to start doing is recording the ways we have seen God show up in our lives and write them on stones that we will put in a pot that we will pull out and review often. Helping our boys to reflect and remember is a crucial part to helping them have a biblical worldview.
As you can see nothing here is rocket science. These are just some basic things we are trying to do with our kids to help them always remember God’s presence in their lives and to help to grow to have a love for God that is greater than their love for anything else. We are not perfect at this and have times where we are not as consistent as we want to be. But having a plan has helped us to stay focused on what is important! What are some ways you help your kids grow spiritually?