Want a fun family devotional that will also give your kids some tools to stand up to negative peer pressure? Grab some large sheets of white paper, some paper lunch bags and markers. Gather your family and tell the story of Joseph and his brothers found in Genesis 37:12-36 or the story of Samson found in Judges. Discuss the times in the story when someone wanted to do something, but was pressured into making a different decision by someone else.
Ask your children if they know the term for when you are pressured by others to say or do something you don’t want to do. See if they can give you examples of positive and negative peer pressure. The story of Joseph, for example, would have ended in his death instead of being sold into slavery if Reuben had not pressured them into changing their minds.
Continue reading Fun Activity to Teach Your Kids About Peer Pressure and God
The old adage “Children should be seen and not heard” makes me think of the movie Mary Poppins. Those adorable children spent every day with their nanny, because their parents were just too busy to be bothered with them. Thankfully, Mary Poppins was able to help the parents realize the most important thing they could do was to spend time together as a family.
Parent/child relationships are important in any family, but they are crucial in the Christian family. You want to be able to help point your kids and eventually their kids towards God as long as you possibly can. If you have a poor relationship with your kids though, it is highly unlikely they will listen to anything you have to say – especially advice about obeying God.
Which is why it is vitally important you really listen to your kids when they are young. As much as some adults refuse to admit it, children will listen best to those they feel listen best to them. (Which is why predators tend to prey on children who have bad or virtually non-existent relationships with their parents.)
So what do you need to do to listen to your kids so they will feel heard (and hopefully listen to you in the same way)?
Continue reading How to Listen So Your Kids Feel Heard
Are you looking for a service project your extended family can do together? One that will celebrate your family, while helping children who are being sent to foster care? This project can be done on any scale and can make a huge difference to a scared child and his/her new foster family.
Often children are removed from their home quickly when their parents have been deemed unfit. Even clothes may not be grabbed as children are quickly whisked to safety. They can arrive at a new foster home with little more than the clothes on their back. These children are frightened and confused.
Having a “welcome care package” to greet them can help ease the transition just a little. Check with a local agency serving foster children. Often private agencies are more open to help than governmental ones, but call before assembling your care package. Ask what items they would suggest and if there are any items they will not accept (some places frown on stuffed animals for example).
Continue reading Fun Family Service Project Serving Foster Children
For some teens, the most exciting things they learn in the Bible are that Jesus turned water into wine and the Bible calls drunkenness a sin – not drinking. What your teen may not realize is that just because something is permitted, doesn’t mean it is wise to do it. (I Corinthians 10:23 and 6:12) In fact, many Christians have decided to avoid all alcohol for a variety of vary valid reasons.
The problem is parents rarely share those reasons with their kids. In fact, some parents are still experiencing “Iwannabepopular” syndrome and may have not resolved their own issues with alcohol. It’s difficult to help someone navigate an issue with which you are still struggling.
For topics like alcohol, most teens need real, honest discussion beyond the “It’s a sin. You could go to Hell. End of discussion.” lecture common when I was younger (FYI – not from my parents.). It’s not that drunkenness isn’t a sin. Or that your kids shouldn’t make obeying God their top priority. It’s just that they are still spiritually immature and may need additional information and/or motivation before making a wise spiritual choice.
So what bits of information does your child need to know about drinking, drunkenness and God? There are a lot of things you can share, but here are a few that seem to resonate with teens.
Continue reading Teens, Alcohol and God
Christian parenting is interesting. You know you are parenting differently than most of the other parents in the world. You know it isn’t easy. You want your kids to grow up to be Christians. You don’t mind them having different values from other kids, but part of you still wants them to be popular, successful and happy.
Unfortunately, what we want and what God wants often collide. Satan is slick. He knows how to turn a phrase or work our emotions so we take our eye off the prize. He knows how to distract us and make worldly goals seem a lot more important than God’s goals for us. He knows how to make sinning look like more fun than obeying God. He knows exactly how to make Christian parenting look like more trouble than its worth. He knows how to make us think taking our kids to church and praying before meals will be enough to guarantee they will be active, productive Christians as adults.
Continue reading Two Questions Every Christian Parent Must Ask