Devotional Resource for Christian Step Families

Devotional Resource for Christian Step Families - Parenting Like HannahNavigating life in a stepfamily can be difficult. Obviously, it wasn’t in God’s perfect plan, but it may be your reality. In addition to what you would normally need to do to help your kids build strong spiritual foundations, you now have to heal any brokenness and build a strong new family.

I was interested when offered the opportunity to review the new book, Daily Encouragement for the Smart Stepfamily by Ron Deal. The book is organized like a daily devotional book. Each entry is dated and is less than one page in length. Deal covers everything from having kids living in two homes to family pictures.

Some of the advice has a spiritual slant to it while other entries are more practical without any mention of anything that could be called spiritual. The advice itself seems to be practical and helpful. It’s easy to read and understand.

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Teaching Your Kids How to Use the Bible

Teaching Your Kids How to Use the Bible - Parenting Like HannahWe spend a lot of time in Christian education and parenting circles talking about the importance of exposing your kids to the Bible. We give you all sorts of tips on helping your kids transition to independent Bible reading. Your kids may be hearing a lot of Bible stories at Church or perhaps at a Christian school. Some of you may have children that could easily beat the average adult in a Bible trivia contest.

All of those things are wonderful. Except for one thing. Do your kids only know Bible facts or do they know how to take those stories and use the principles and commands in them to live a Christian life? Sadly, for the majority of kids and teens, the answer is “No”. Not because they don’t know what is in the Bible. It’s because they haven’t been taught what to do with all of that information floating around in their heads.

Without understanding what they need to be learning from Bible stories and the skills to put it into practice, it’s little wonder so few Christian young people are living a godly life. Some of it is indeed rebellion, but much of it is because they don’t even know what living a Christian life means or how to do it. To them, Christianity is that pretty church building where they worship and not much more.

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Your Kids and Christian Community

Your Kids and Christian Community - Parenting Like HannahOne of the many reasons young people are leaving the Church is that they don’t see the benefit in community. It’s no wonder that a generation left to basically raise themselves doesn’t understand the benefits of being in relationships that can help them grow and mature – most haven’t experienced one. Instead, the world we have created where children are left to figure out life by themselves is making them notice only the negative aspects of community – in our case being part of a Church family.

I was interested when offered the chance to review Better Together by Rusty George. The book is advertised as a way to discover the power of community and in this case, the advertising fits. The book is divided into four major sections – dealing with the negatives of others, using community to help you connect to God in deeper ways, using community to help overcome your weaknesses, and using community to help you leave a legacy.

Each section contains several chapters with discussion questions at the end. The book is easily read and contains lots of references to stories in the Bible and scripture. It also has plenty of personal stories and real life examples to show what the concepts may look like in the life of the reader.

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Let’s Build a Boat! – Fun, Flexible Family Devotional

Let's Build a Boat! - Fun, Flexible Family Devotional - Parenting Like Hannah

Have you ever noticed how many boats there are in the Bible? Using boats to help your kids understand the Bible can be a lot of fun – especially as the weather gets warmer! As always, our devotionals are flexible – you pick the Bible story and application principle you believe your kids need the most.

So let’s get started!

Materials: Bible, various materials that could be used to make model boats – aluminum foil, paper, etc., large container of water, pennies

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Teachable Moments in Christian Parenting

Teachable Moments in Christian Parenting - Parenting Like HannahIt’s easy to get overwhelmed in parenting. The demands on our time and energy seem never ending. Christian parenting can begin to feel like an unnecessary added burden. As a Christian parent, you don’t just feel responsible for keeping your kids alive and making sure they are somewhat decent people, capable of eventually facing the adult world. You now feel this additional responsibility to do everything anyone suggests, so you can be relatively confident your kids go to Heaven for eternity!

No wonder many parents just shut down! Denial seems a lot easier than all of the extra work it appears to take to raise your kids to become strong, faithful, productive Christians. After all, you can barely get them to brush their teeth on most days.

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Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. (Deuteronomy 11:18-19 NIV)