Sunday, April 7, 2013

Parenting with a Purpose: Kids will DO as they SEE

Well this week I am joining up with 15 other blogs, a group of incredible women who are spending 5 days writing to inspire others to live intentionally.  Thank you for including me Nikki & Leigh Ann @ Intentional By Grace!!  I prayed about what to write and God gave me the topic : Parenting with a Purpose.  I have to admit I wrestled with God on this, because I am not really that qualified to write on this topic.  I don't have it all together, my kids are young and I have MUCH to learn.  God reminded me that HE was qualified, so I agreed to do this topic as long as He told me what to write!  So join me here all week as I share practical ideas, tips for a fun & stress free home, family activities and parenting encouragement.

I wanted to start off My Living Intentional week with a post on a topic that is very dear to me,: Leading our kids to make a relationship with God their own.  My hope is that God is real to my kids, not only mommy's God, but their God.  Not just Daddy's Jesus, but their Jesus.  My friend Holly just shared a message about preparing our kids to be used of God and teaching them to hear His voice, it was so inspiring.  As parents one of our first purposes is to lead our kids to the ultimate parent: Our Father in Heaven.

Kids will do as they see.
If we want our children to have a deep relationship with the creator of the world, then we need to have one.  The bottom line is kids learn by example.  Now, I know we all have busy lives, but our time with God and our fellowship with Him is one area we as moms must make a priority.  It can be hard to really develop and encourage a consistent connection with the Lord, especially in the busyness of life, kids, housework, but if we don't fill up, how can we pour out?  Here are a few ideas to inspire you to make your walk with God a continual, natural part of your day and life.

1) The Bible. So commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these words of mine. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.  Deut 3:18-19  Teach your kids what God's word says and let your children see you reading the word, do it at the breakfast table, on the couch as they play on the floor, in the bathroom as you get ready.  I have a special memory of coming in to my mom before going to sleep and seeing her reading the bible in bed every night, I still do that.  I know it is handy to read the bible on our phones or a tablet, but the kids don't know that is what you are doing, to them you could be texting or playing a video game, so when you are able, pick up the Good Book.  Be sure to get your little ones bibles of their own.  Here are a few children's ones I recommend, but even a regular no picture bible seems special to them too.  My 5 year old on Drew loves his little brown hand bible that has the Psalms, Proverbs and New Testament.  He opens it up and "reads stories" out of it regularly, so cute!

2) Prayer. Never stop praying. 1 Thess 5:17 Pray in font of your kids, pray with your kids, teach them how to pray.  I have tried not to force the kids to pray, but we do have a little rule if you eat before we pray, then you are the one who prays.  Emma,  2 1/2, has always loved praying, Drew has been more reserved.  I would always ask him, but he would say no and just listen.  We pray when we get hurt or sick, if a friend or family member is having a hard day, before bed & meals and just whenever he Holy Spirit prompts us.  A few weeks ago I had given the kids a snack and I walked out of the room, I came back in the room to Drew with his head bowed and audibly praying a blessing over the food, it was the first time he initiated it in His own!!! So special to me!  So keep praying with your family, even if they don't want to, don't like it, seeds are getting in.  As we teach our children the importance of communicating with God, that we don't have all the answers, but there is One who does, we are instilling in our children tools for a successful life of walking with The Lord.  The more you can pray with them, the better.

3) Praise. "Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples!" Ps 105:1 Give God the glory, even for the little things, because all good gifts do come from Him.  Last summer we were looking for a 16 inch bicycle for Drew and a tag-a-long tandem bike.  I had been looking on Craigslist and making regular stops at Salvation Army, no deals!!  One morning we were garage-saling and I prayed for God to provide.  A few houses in, I stopped and the sale had both items, to a "t" of what I was looking for at a fabulous deal.  I could not conceal my joy and I praised God for everyone to hear, the woman selling it, my kids, onlookers.  I used to be more reserved in shouting praise to Jesus, for fear of others thoughts, but God changed me, and it has freed me to give glory to where it is due no matter who we are around.  I now frequently hear Drew when something great happens "Yes!! Thank you Jesus!!"  Oh well if people think it sounds weird or over-zealous our kids are learning to have excitement and have no fear in praising God.  I also recommend playing praise music in the car and at home, they become their favorite songs and such a powerful message is entering their little minds.

These are just a few ways we can purposefully point our kids to their own relationship with the living God.  I hope this has given you a few ideas to be intentional in guiding your children to develop their personal walk with Jesus.  I hope you will join me tomorrow as I share some tips and fresh ideas for entertaining and inspiring our children,  A Change Refreshes.

I would love to hear from you!  What are some ways that you encourage your kids to make it a personal relationship between them and the God of the universe?

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