If you have been following our one year plan for Teaching Your Children to Live More Like Jesus, you know I am posting this at the end of the month instead of the beginning. Our family left town for three weeks, school started and we have several older family members in ill health. I felt guilty at first, but realized this gave me an opportunity to encourage you.
Often, we start programs or ideas or Bible studies with the best of intentions. We do really well for awhile and then life sort of explodes on us. Maybe you have one of those weeks when the car and two major appliances break down at once. Perhaps you had to go out of town or sit in the hospital with a loved one. Maybe you were just too tired to move.
If you are like me, I will often throw my hands up and say, “Well, I’m too behind now. I will never catch up at this point. Maybe next time.” Then I drop whatever good thing I was trying to accomplish.
If you have “dropped the ball” somewhere along the way in this plan. Don’t despair. Each idea can last one day, one week or one month. They don’t have to be introduced in any kind of order. You may choose to work on one or two with your children and leave the others for later. The important thing is that you are doing something to bring your children closer to God.
In August, the concept was to work with your children on standing up for God no matter what the consequences may be. The Bible is full of stories of people like David, Moses and Joshua who risked everything to obey God. They were willing to step up and honor God no matter what those around them said, thought or did.
How can you help your children develop those same qualities? Surround your children with stories from the Bible when people stepped out and honored and obeyed God in spite of the ridicule and scorn of those around them. The Bible is full of them. You may want to also share the stories of those who didn’t obey God and the consequences they suffered for their disobedience.
Find biographies of early Christian martyrs. Even in the U.S. there were areas of the country and time periods when some Christians were persecuted for their beliefs. It still happens regularly today in many countries around the world, where churches are burned and Christians are tortured or killed.
Have discussions with your children. How would they react in certain situations? Remember, for some children, admitting they went to Church instead of a ball game can require a lot of courage. Standing up for another child’s right to be treated with respect could put your own child in the path of the school bully. What would God want you and your family to do in the various situations you may encounter when you can stand up for God?
As we know all too well, our children copy what they see us do. Are you standing up for God in your actions? Are you willing to admit you were at Church and not watching the popular television show? Are you willing to not get drunk at the neighborhood party? Are you brave enough to ask your neighbors to Church? Your children will watch and be as courageous for God as they see you being. What are you doing to encourage your children to be the next David or Esther for God?