Kids get a lot of exposure when they are young to God’s seasons of summer, spring, fall and winter. Yet, we rarely teach kids about the other seasons God sometimes gives us and always guides us through. Now if you are like me, the first time I heard about these other seasons, I was a bit puzzled.
I was in a Bible study and a friend shared about the season she was in and how she would be thankful when the next season arrived. She went on to explain that just like the stages children go through as they grow, God either provides and/or guides us through the various seasons of our lives.
Continue reading Teaching Kids About God’s Seasons
There are a lot of things about being a mom, especially a first time mom, that can cause even the bravest woman to be fearful. Most of us spend a lot of time in prayer and get advice from more experienced godly mothers to help us on our journey. For some moms though, the fear and anxiety can become too powerful. They can become a mother who is constantly anxious and hovers over her children in constant fear and panic.
If you had previous traumatic experiences in your life, an extra amount of fear and anxiety is to be expected. That’s what happened to Susie Davis. When she was in middle school in the late 1970’s a classmate walked into her classroom and shot and killed the teacher right in front of her. To make matters even worse, he lived a few doors away from her house and never served time for the crime because he was ruled mentally ill.
Unafraid: Trusting God in an Unsafe World, is the story of how this traumatic event turned a godly teen into a woman whose fear became debilitating. More than that though, it is the story of how God worked in her life to turn her fear into the godly confidence she has now. Davis weaves her personal story throughout the book as she shares the lessons she learned on her journey.
Continue reading When Fear Mothers Your Children
Recently, I was conducting a workshop for an urban ministry. As I looked around the space, I noticed a white board with the heading “Watch Out For Opportunists”. Under the heading, someone had listed people like drug dealers, shady employers, and several more. I asked someone about the list and they said the list was part of a discussion from Proverbs with older kids.
As I thought about it later, I realized all of our children are exposed to opportunists. The list of opportunists our children may encounter could be slightly different or exactly the same. Jesus told the Apostles as he sent them out to teach, “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” (Matthew 10:16 NIV) In today’s world, I think this verse applies to all Christians as much as it did to the Apostles.
We desperately need to train our children how to recognize and avoid those opportunistic wolves in life. How do we do that though, without making them anxious and untrusting of everyone they meet? What if they become so cautious, they are afraid to serve others and share their faith?
The good news is you can train your kids to be cautious without making them anxious around everyone. The trick is to teach them to observe carefully everyone they meet. If they see these warning signs of an opportunist, they need to be very careful about what they say and do around them. Caution them to check anything someone says against what the Bible says. If the two conclusions are different, teach your kids to not follow the advice of the opportunist.
So what are the qualities of an opportunist? There are probably plenty, but here are some that would be easy for your children to notice:
Continue reading Teaching Kids About Opportunists
I love little girls when they are in that three to five year old range. They will put together the most creative outfits you have ever seen. I remember I left our sleeping daughter with my husband when she was that age. He was going to help her get dressed and then they were meeting me somewhere a little later. She showed up in let’s just say a very innovative outfit.
Now to the average person, this particular outfit looked as if it had been pieced together by someone who was slightly color blind. When I asked her about it, she proudly replied “It’s all pink!” And she was right. In all of it’s mismatched, clashing glory, it was all pink. She was beautiful because she was confident in her beauty and fashion choices. She didn’t care what anyone else thought in that moment, because she was “pink”!
How great is that? What if we could somehow teach our children to be that confident about their Christianity? About making godly choices even when no one else does? About loving and serving those viewed as unloveable? About sharing their faith confidently with anyone and everyone?
Continue reading Raising a Child To Be Different (For Christians)
My daughter just started her freshman year at a Christian college on the West Coast. The minister at her church on campus is a wonderful Australian surfer dude preacher (not his real name). The last time we worshipped there, he shared something I thought was profound.
“The sun is always shining.” Think about it. Even on the cloudiest, rainiest days we have enough light to see (even barely). Those are rays of sun breaking through the clouds. At night, the sun hasn’t left, we have just turned around from it. When we come back around the next morning, the sun is there waiting for us. Some nights the sun even sends us a reminder it is still there by reflecting its rays off of the moon, making it light up our night sky.
When we say I wish the sun were shining, it is our perspective that is off a bit. You see the sun is shining, we just aren’t able to see it because of our somewhat depressed perspective. Think about the expressions people use to “help” someone through a rough time. “It’s always darkest before the dawn.” “The sun will come out tomorrow.” All ignore the fact that the sun has been there all the time, we just couldn’t see it.
Continue reading Teaching Kids the Sun Always Shines (And God Is Always Here)