Wednesday, October 19, 2011

31 Days of Good News - Resources

...Bring them up in the training
and admonition of the Lord.
Ephesians 6:4b

I have a strong desire to train our children to love, honor and respect God and also to realize their own heart condition. I earnestly pray for their salvation and to break the cycles of sin and heartache that seems to plague my family. Yes, there are a few that love the Lord, but there is also a lot of sorrow, pain, and self-indulgence (it makes my heart hurt). I pray that our girls (and any future children) can see the folly in choosing to life for self instead of the Lord. I pray they would want to serve the King of Kings with their whole heart, mind, soul and strength.

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!
You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart,
with all your soul, and with all your strength. 
And these words which I command you today
shall be in your heart.
You shall teach them diligently to your children,
and shall talk of them when you sit in your house,
when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and
when you rise up.
You shall bind them as a sign on your hand,
and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.
You shall write them on the
doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9

I have learned in Deuteronomy 6, that we are to teach our children when we sit in our house, walk by the way, lie down and rise up - ok, nearly all the time.

But I also need to pay attention to what comes just before verse 7. First, I am commanded to love the Lord our God with all MY OWN heart, soul and strength. This is a great reminder that my children will learn from my actions. I can teach them all the correct Christian answers, but they will actually learn by watching how I live my own life. They will see what faith looks like as I live it out.

Do I pray? Do I call upon the Lord for strength? Do I read my Bible? What shows am I watching on TV? Do I grumble and complain? Do I gossip about people? Do I think of myself more highly than I ought?

So seeing is believing. What do your children see?

I also wanted to share some of my
favorite resources for teaching our children about God.

The first is a daily, online devotional that has scripture, a life lesson and application that kids can easily understand. It is CBH Ministries' Keys for Kids. My daughter LOVES this! She chooses sometimes to read it on her own, but other times, she likes "Uncle Charlie" to read it to her.

The Picture Bible is a great learning tool. This takes the stories from the Bible and puts it into a comic book type illustration and story. My daughter LOVES to read each character and change her "voice" as she is playacting out the scenes. We have read through our Picture Bible many times. This was also a favorite of mine when I was a little girl.

The Jesus Storybook Bible is also fantastic. This is a book with beautiful illustrations and also comes with a CD Audio recording of the stories. Each of these stories are wonderful because at the end, they point out how the story is a foreshadowing of Jesus Christ. The subtitle is "Every story whispers His Name". This is a must have for any family with children 10 and under.

I Heard Good News Today was a book that came with our Sonlight curriculum last year and it was wonderful! It contains many different stories about missionaries all over the world. It tells how God used these people spread His Kingdom to other nations. This book sparked my 5 year old to begin thinking about being a missionary. When she told me she wanted to be a missionary, I started weeping out of joy. What better way to serve our Lord than by telling others about His Good News.

Shepherding a Child's Heart is a book for parents. This helps train parents to look at the heart issues when it comes to bad behavior that our kids display and to use these as teachable moments. Our job is not to focus on behavior modification, but rather on the underlying sins. If we only focus on the behavior, we run into the danger of creating small Pharisees that are "clean" on the outside but ugly and dirty on the inside.

Everyday Talk, Talking Freely and Naturally about God with your Children is another resource for parents. This book contains wonderful ways that we can include God in our everyday talk. God is not supposed to be compartmentalized to church and Sunday mornings. He desires to be included in our entire lives and in the lives of our children.

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