Gift giving to kids always fascinates me. There are the families who encourage their kids to ask for donations to charity instead of gifts for themselves. There are families who have a three or four gift limit. There are grandparents who shower kids in presents. There are uncles, aunts and friends who purposely seek out the most annoying gifts possible for your kids in order to amuse themselves.
My theory is that if you want your kids to reach their godly potential and become mighty men and women of God, there are special gifts you should give them. Don’t worry. Many of them are actually more fun than those plastic toys with a million pieces (although some of these are probably also plastic with a million pieces…). Yet these gifts have a secondary purpose. They are gifts that make your kids think or help them discover some of the gifts God may (or may not) have given them. Hopefully, they will point your kids towards who God created them to be.
So what are these gifts? In the list below, I have given you categories, but also a link to an example in that category to start your thinking. (I am not endorsing any particular company, brand or product including the website to which the link takes you. I merely want to give you a visual of the types of things I am suggesting.)
Continue reading Gifts to Help Kids Reach Their Godly Potential
When our daughter was younger, we played lots of board games. Over the years, the games changed as we moved from CandyLand (one of the happiest days of my life!) to Monopoly to the challenging family and friend games my husband now invents. I also began to realize these days and nights of game playing helped us teach and reinforce many lessons on godly behavior.
The great thing about board games is that you can often find them at yard sales for a couple of dollars. Many families may be willing to give or loan you some of their old board games. In fact, some older versions of games are an interesting look back at how popular culture has changed over the decades. You can also create your own games with some poster board or your computer.
Once you have your board games, what lessons can your kids learn from them about how God wants them to live their lives?
Continue reading Christian Kids and Board Games
Every summer, the lemonade stands start popping up in our neighborhood. Youngsters set up their wares on the side of our streets. They enthusiastically wave to cars passing by and talk with those out for walks and runs. Most of them usually hang in there for a couple of hours before something else seems more fun.
Did you realize the humble lemonade stand can teach your child about God and His commands and principles? Adding a few twists to the experience can teach your child more than just how to make lemonade and count change.
Here are a few ideas you might want to try the next time your kids want a lemonade stand.
Continue reading What a Lemonade Stand Can Teach Your Kids About God
Years ago when I lived in New York City, there was a well known “preacher” who promised people if they gave him $500, God would give them a new Cadillac. Most of the members of his congregation were some of the poorest people in New York City. I always wondered what happened when the promised car failed to appear.
God never promised us everything we want in life, no matter what we give Him. A quick look at the lives of the Apostles and how they ended, will reinforce this concept. As far as we know, none of them gathered great wealth and power. In fact, they all experienced periods of imprisonment, beatings, exile and rather horrid deaths (except for the Apostle John who apparently died of old age). Yet, through it all, their faith remained strong and they stayed focused on God’s mission for their lives – no matter the cost.
Continue reading Teaching Kids About Needs and Wants
If you have ever homeschooled your child, I am sure you have had this conversation many times. You mention you homeschool and the other parent very quickly says “I could never do that. It’s too hard. (Fill in excuse.).” Now most parents aren’t quite that brave about admitting 100% Christian parenting is too hard, but you can tell they are thinking it. Or that’s it really not that necessary to “try so hard” or “do so much”.
After having ministered to kids and their families for several decades now, I can see a lot of patterns. I watch as parents parent young children in certain ways and then I see how the children grow (or don’t grow) in their faith as they become teens and then adults. It may not be 100% accurate, but it is pretty close. The parents who do certain things and avoid others almost always raise children who become faithful, productive Christians. Those who don’t, may get lucky once in a blue moon or may have adult children who attend church for family, social or business reasons, but there is a definite difference.
Continue reading Is Christian Parenting Too Hard?