I don’t know about you, but I’ve entered my holiday “bubble” – beginning preparations for the next couple of months of modified family fun. It’s a lot more fun and rewarding than watching the news! Here are the social media challenges for this week.
Monday: Athens, Greece is where Paul preached his sermon to the Greeks about a god they did not know, who is the only true God. How well do your kids know God? Do they know any more of His character, power, expectations than those Greeks did before Paul taught them? Just like the parents of Israel in the Bible, it is your responsibility to help your kids to really know and understand God. It is your top priority. The church is there to help you, but it is impossible for them to take your place. Studies show your kids need you talking and teaching them about God multiple hours a week – not all formally…but praying, encouraging independent Bible reading and prayer, family Bible study, church attendance, conversations, serving others, sharing your faith and more. Is it hard? Yes, for many of you it may feel like the most difficult thing you’ve ever done. Will you do it perfectly? No, some days will definitely be better than others. But it will have been the most rewarding experience of your life on earth, when not just your kids, but all of your descendants are spending eternity with you in Heaven.
Tuesday: If things are well built, they can withstand all sorts of stressors for hundreds of years. If you can help your kids build a strong spiritual foundation, it will be easier for them to stay faithful to God for the rest of their lives. Better yet, they will have the tools to help their own children build strong faith foundations. What better legacy to leave your descendants than a spiritual one?
Wednesday: One of the unexpected benefits of COVID more experienced parents and researchers noticed was that it was giving kids and teens more crucial, meaningful time with their parents. As routines start to return to normal and the holidays approach, your kids still need a lot of quality time with you. Make needed adjustments in all of your schedules to make that happen. Your kids need the same amount of time of spiritual life coaching from you that an Olympic athlete needs in a sport from his or her coach. Making that time to coach your kids to be who God wants them to be can make an eternal difference in their lives.
Thursday: “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11. Discipline isn’t fun for parents or kids. We all want to avoid it, but our world today reflects generations of children who weren’t corrected and create anything but the peaceful fruit of righteousness around them. Your kids and the world need you to do the hard stuff. Doing the hard stuff of disciplining when they are little usually makes the teen and adult years so much better for everyone. Help your kids learn how to yield the peaceful fruit of righteousness the world so desperately needs.
Friday: Mr Rogers once said that one of the universal fears of children is not having value in the eyes of their parents. Do you tell your kids you love them multiple times each day? That’s great, but children measure their value in your eyes in other ways, too. Do your eyes light up when you see them? Do you obviously enjoy spending time with them…especially doing things that are important to them? Do they overhear you talking about them in positive ways? Do you still hug them with the same enthusiasm you did when they were little? Whether you realize it or not, your love for your kids models what they will assume God’s love for them is like. If you are distant, they may assume God’s love is distant, too. Make sure you reflect God’s love for us accurately by loving your kids the way He does.