Devotional Thoughts: Raising our Children

I remember my dad being asked once how he raised us so well and he answered that he kept us in church. I was contacted yesterday by a previous multi-housing ministry student saying she wants her daughter to grow up knowing Jesus loves her no matter what. She asked if she can come to church.

The children I’ve raised and am raising weren’t in church in their younger years. They lived lives of survival and suffering. I’ve had foster kids who only ate with their hands. Most of them would stab a piece of meat and hold it up in the air and take bites like it’s on a stick. I had to throw out a dresser that was ravaged from only 8 months of use it was scratched and damaged so bad! I don’t even know how you do that! These children weren’t taught table manners. They weren’t taught how to take care of what we had because they never stayed in one place for very long. They weren’t trying to be rude.

When you’re not taught certain things as a young child it’s much harder to change those things later in life after habits are developed. Teaching our children they have a spiritual life is essential for their mental and emotional health. I used to tell my kids they have to go to church but they don’t have to believe a word that’s being said. It’s what we do as a family. I do not push my faith on my kids but each one I’ve adopted had chosen a life of faith and I’m grateful.

Most children will gain most of their faith by watching their parents. Can my kids see God by the way I live my life? Am I pointing my kids to Jesus? It really does matter. I believe a parent has much greater influence than the church in the life of a child.

We’ve all heard the saying, “do as I say, not as I do.” Our kids are very likely to do as we do.

I had a conversation with a dear friend last Sunday about how it’s so easy to not show up at church, especially if I’m feeling sad that day. We talked about how on those days if we just show up we feel like we get a blessing. We’re around people of faith who encourage us. God can speak to us powerfully through Christian community. Christian community is essential. If I don’t have a church community I don’t even understand what I’m missing. I’ve heard people tell me they had no idea how different and amazing life can be until they plugged into a group.

It’s worth a fight even later in life to get your kids in church regularly. I’d say it takes consistent attendance for a few months before you’ll feel like you belong in a church. Relationships take time.

Let’s raise our children in God’s ways in our homes and in our churches. This is our superpower that has the ability to change the world!

Devotional Thoughts: Mother’s Day, Remembrance and Gratitude

It’s Mother’s Day. This is an interesting verse for this day. The apostle Paul is called an apostle because of the encounter with God he had being blinded. He expresses gratitude to believers in Philippi as he writes to them. Thoughts of them brings up feelings of gratitude.

My husband is with his father today because two years ago his mother passed away On Mother’s Day. For the past two years I’ve heard his stories of gratitude for his mother. Today is a painful day for him.

I’ve adopted three teens who are reminded each Mother’s Day that I wasn’t their birth mom. Each of them referring to me as mom has been a process. Mother’s Day can be a painful day because we remember. we remember good and bad. All mothers hurt their children at one time or another. We are all human. Some have hurt us more than others. Some I’ve mothered have rejected my offering to be their mother. Mother’s Day I remember those too who came through my home. All were offered a chance to stay but many moved on. Biological children stray away too. This can be painful. Some have children in prison. Some have children who are overcome with addiction. Mother’s Day can be painful.

Who doesn’t want to receive a letter saying someone is thinking about them and that thoughts of them brings thanksgiving?

I’m a believer, so I belong to this great family all over the globe. I’ve traveled afar and met with believers of other countries and I know this feeling of gratitude because others have affected my faith. Believers in Phillippi affected Paul. Paul had a hand in bringing them to Christ. If you’ve ever led someone to Christ you know this feeling well.

I’m most proud of those I’ve led in ministry who are now involved in ministry and are living out their faith. I’m greatly encouraged by what God is doing in their lives! I’m encouraged anytime my kids express their faith. I have holy gratitude when I hear from those I led to Christ and how they still follow and even share their faith with others.

It’s Mother’s Day and I am blessed with a great mother. She encouraged me, guided me and pushed me to be all I could be. My husband too was blessed with a good mother. Not everyone feels gratitude today, but gratitude surely can be found somewhere no matter what our circumstances.

Look around. There’s someone needing a mother. There’s someone we need to express our gratitude for. Paul mothered the churches he wrote letters to. He encouraged them but he also disciplined them.

I’ve learned that where our lives are lacking God places others in those empty spaces. We only have to be willing to receive. If I’m lacking a mother God provides a mother like figure. This is one of the blessings of having a church family.

Devotional Thoughts: Faith & Future Generations

What if we say our faith is a personal, private thing as I’ve heard many say? Those who choose this road choose for their faith to die with them. I’m not sure that’s even faith at all. True faith sparks a fire inside that is shared naturally because of what God is doing in one’s life. Those who have come before us lived their lives in such a way that it inspires generations today and those to come. We need to feed our own faith and not be afraid to grow so faith will live on.

The greatest gift I can give my children is my faith. The greatest gift my children can give to me is choosing to live in God’s ways. This brings peace to my heart and soul. Walking God’s path is hard but leads to the greatest rewards, the kind you cannot even find here on earth.

Living our lives in such a way that future generations will know God is important. The ESV uses the word unborn instead of saying future generations. What share with someone today can help someone who isn’t even born yet come to faith. It’s exciting to ponder. Our lives matter. What we choose to do or not to do today has the ability to affect someone tomorrow, even someone who isn’t here yet.

I’ve been at First Baptist Asheboro long enough to see this happening in our ministry. Those who respond to the Gospel are teaching their children the Gospel. Some of our Multi-Housing Ministry students are now married with children and are attending churches. What we do matters and even can make a mark on eternity: making a difference whether someone becomes a follower of Jesus or not. Everyone deserves the opportunity to hear the Gospel. Not everyone will follow. Many will choose the wide road but we still share. Sharing isn’t coercing or manipulating, It’s a loving sharing of what God has done. Maybe manipulation is what created this idea of a private faith?

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: