Wednesday, January 24, 2007

WFMW- Parenting Tip for Any-Age Child

God has given us an incredible responsibility as a parent to “train up” our childern spiritually. Unfortunately, I believe we all often face the same problem…life gets in the way. We all share a similar daily routine of getting children up in the morning, getting them to school on time, picking them up from school, taking them to piano lessons and basketball practices, feeding them dinner, and preparing them for bedtime. Some of us even have the additional task of working outside the home. Let’s face it, we are all busy and life really gets in the way.

How can we have time to do what God has commanded us to do and still maintain some sense of reality? Let me encourage you with a few simple strategies from Deuteronomy 6:6-9…Let's term them Diligent Intentional Parenting:

And these words which I command you today shall be in your
heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall
talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie
down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your
hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall
write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

“When you sit in the house” – what better time to communicate the truths of God’s word than when you are eating breakfast or dinner together. Eating dinner together has to be planned and intentional. Spiritual instruction and worldview perceptions should be the subject matter of conversation.

“When you walk by the way” – there is no better time to find application to spiritual training than when you are out of the house. As a parent we should always keep a look out for “teachable moments” that we can use to teach our children about important Bible truths.

“When you lie down” and “When you rise up” – the first and last words of every day our children should be hearing is that God loves them and has an incredible plan for their life.

“You shall write them on the doorposts of your house” – we should have God’s word plastered all over the inside of our houses. Our refrigerators and mirrors should have scripture taped to them for the family to memorize together. Start out with simple verses…make it a game with prizes…have fun with it! Scripture memory should not be a chore.

My tip is really the last one. I have scriptures in my some of my kitchen cabinet doors so that I can see that scripture when I get the salt. I have one on my refrigerator so that I can be reminded when I'm preparing meals. I have one in my bathroom so that when I brush my teeth, more than just my mouth can be cleansed. I want my kids to see scriptures in an active, useful position in our lives.

As I'm rereading the Bible, I talk to Mr. Right and the kids about what is new to me or what verses I am growing to love. I read in front of my children so that they can see that it is a part of my routine.

My mother-in-awe has a game she plays with the kids when they visit her. She makes up business card-sized scriptures and gives them to the kids. When they can say the verse to her, she offers them a treat from the treasure box - a piece of candy, a new small toy, bubbles, etc. She wants them to connect scriptures with treasures, which hopefully they will translate to greater rewards as they mature in Christ.

Remember, you are your child’s first Children’s Minister, and God has ordained you as a parent to be the spiritual leader of your children. Let me encourage you today to become a Diligent Intentional Parent and begin to make an impact spiritually in the life of your child. We can do it but we will have to be diligent (never give up attitude) and intentional (planned and structured) in the way we parent our children spiritually.

Head on over to Shannon's for some other great ideas.

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