Okay, so have you made any? ...You know, New Year’s resolutions, or set new goals (however you wanna label it), did you?
Did they include anything to deepen your walk with the Lord? Maybe even more importantly, did they consist of anything that may help in deepening your family’s walk with the Lord?
We have implemented a few new things this year as we kicked off 2016 that I hope will strengthen our family’s prayer life. The Lord put prayer on my heart for 2016 as a focus. I have small children and though they may not fully comprehend every component, the point is to make it a part of their daily life, a fabric of their being, from the early days so it will be second nature as they grow. (But if your children are already grown or you don’t have any, don’t be deterred, start now!) I would love to share what we are starting up in our household this new year, but first, let me tell you why. You can check back HERE to see what what’s in store for my family in 2016.
As a Christian, we have been given the Great Commission. “Go therefore and make disciples...teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19-20) This here is our job in a nutshell as a child of God, tasked to us by Jesus himself. It’s quite simple really; learn about what God’s word says and asks of you, do it, and then go tell other people about him and His goodness and love for them. Yeah, easy peasy, but super hard all at the same time!! But guess what, as a parent you get the amazing opportunity to disciple someone for 18 years potentially! That’s your calling but also your privilege both as a Christian and a parent. And we can’t take this lightly, nor can we procrastinate.
Psalm 78:4 says “We will not hide them [the teachings of the Lord] from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might and the wonders that he has done.”
We must be diligent at this task. Will it be easy? NO! But is anything that’s of great value really that easy? Nope. But God is telling us, do not hide this stuff from the children. Do not count other things more important. Do not allow your time with your children to pass you by, tell them about ME!
Recently my husband and I were blessed by seeing some of the fruit come from what we had sown in the last year. Each night as part of our bedtime routine, we read a bible story from a children’s Rhyme Bible and another book that gives a verse to memorize for the week and another bible story with specific Q & A. We read the same stories and same verse nightly for one week. Our oldest daughter (age 4.5) memorizes the verse by the end of the week. On top of what we do, she also learns a verse at church and a verse at school so she kind of has a lot going on. Sometimes we don’t really know what will fully stick, but as we do know, God is faithful.
So my husband was going to share the “verse of the day” from his Bible app one morning and he said “it’s Genesis 1:1. Does anyone know that verse?” And without hesitation, our daughter recited the verse exactly. The amazing thing was that we hadn’t gone over that verse in months!! We were so blessed to see God’s word written on her little heart and the fruits of our nightly labors had taken root and flourished. This blessing was very encouraging to us because keeping the attention span of a 4yr old, 3yr old, and 1.5yr old on a nightly basis can be a bit tricky and a little crazy at times (okay, maybe a lot crazy at times). But the blessings far outweigh the labors put forth.
As parents, we get to help channel the interests of our children. When they have fun experiences with things, they develop a love for it. We see one child loving dance and we allow them to dabble and try it out or swim or soccer or art, whatever. We encourage them and position them to develop and learn and grow in a talent or passion. Likewise, this is how we can develop in our children a love for the Lord. We provide them with different experiences that are fun and enjoyable, allowing us ways we can encourage them and see where they may be strong or passionate and help them determine their giftings. No matter what we allow our children to be involved in, it will take time. I can’t think of anything more worth yours or their time, than learning about the Lord.
Will you take the opportunity that the beginning of a new year brings, to start something new, different, or simply refocus your family’s priorities? I hope you will. Don’t miss this blessing for you and your family in 2016. Happy New Year!
Click here to see what we will be starting in 2016 to encourage prayer as a family.