Art should be a major part of every person’s childhood. You don’t have to be artistic yourself though, in order to use watercolors, crayons, markers, clay or any other art supply to help your kids grow spiritually.
Young children are awesome artists. Their art is pure and true. They aren’t worried about what other people think of it. They produce art for the sheer joy of being creative. Older children and teens are often scarred by art experiences in school, but given art supplies and a supportive environment, most will soon remember the joy of creating.
Summer and popsicles seem to just go together. They probably don’t exactly qualify as a health food, but made with real fruit juice, they feel healthy. Popsicles can also improve your relationship with your kids.
Have you ever tried to find a book on Christian parenting? There are dozens of great ones on the market. Have you asked a parent – who raised children who are faithful, productive Christians as adults – what they did? Or did you attend one of our Christian parenting seminars filled with ideas and tips?
Many of those sources may have listed a few characteristics of a successful Christin parent. Maybe they emphasized love, patience or godliness. There are three qualities though that are often implied in Christian parenting advice, but rarely stated plainly enough for most people to understand their true importance.
You may have seen something recently about a new Barna study on spiritually vibrant homes. These are homes were they seem to be the most successful in raising children to be active, productive Christian adults.
One of the most interesting findings was that spiritually vibrant homes regularly were hospitable to others – invited others into their homes. Although, another category of parents did a lot of the right things like Bible study, prayer and conversations about God – the missing hospitality element seemed to make them less effective in the end.
According to the Barna study, spiritually vibrant homes include family and individual Bible study and prayer. They have lots of conversations about God and what He wants from us and for us. They also consistently invited others into their home. Barna isn’t sure whether hospitality creates a spiritually vibrant home or if spiritually vibrant homes are just more hospitable, but the correlation is strong. Hospitality makes a huge difference.
One of my favorite spring trees is the tulip tree. It’s one of the earlier bloomers and the flowers are just beautiful. Because it is one of the first trees to bloom though, the blooms are often destroyed by the cold before they have faded. In years where the timing of the weather and the blooming is better, the same flowers can last for many days.
Parenting, especially Christian parenting, has some timing aspects to it also. Often choosing the wrong timing for teaching your kids about something can have a negative impact on their spiritual and emotional health. If the timing is too early, they may not be prepared to handle the emotional and spiritual aspects that often come with that knowledge. Wait too late and they can be left vulnerable to the tricks Satan plays in those areas.
So, what are some of the areas in which Christian parents most often miss the timing and cause their children and themselves unnecessary problems? (“Too Early” or “Too Late” indicates the timing mistake most often made by parents.)