SHOW Your Kids You Love Them!

June 30, 2020

How well do you love your kids? 


It’s a question that’s been simmering in my mind and heart this past year.


“I love you” falls from my mouth so easily and so often, but we all know that being loved and feeling loved can be two very different things. There's a saying "They don't care what you know, until they know that you care". The more our kids know that we love them, the more open they will be to what we say to them, which includes sharing our faith with them.


Though we love our kids deeply, how can we convey the feeling of love? 


Love is more than a feeling and more than words. Love is a choice. It is an action. Love does something.


Saying “I love you” is easy, but showing it is a different story.


Here’s a simple place to start :: If I want to communicate love to my children, I need to be speaking their language! 


Most people have heard of Gary Chapman’s best-selling book, The Five Love Languages, which introduced us to the idea that we all give and receive love in different ways. In case you need a reminder or a quick introduction, the five love languages are ::


physical touch,

words of affirmation,

quality time,

acts of service, and

gifts.


While identifying your child’s love language might be relatively easy, actually speaking that language might be a little more challenging because though we might be familiar with each language, many of us don’t know how to speak those languages.


We may have grown up speaking “quality time” and need a crash course in how to speak love through “acts of service.” Others of us might be well-versed in “words of affirmation” but struggle with how to demonstrate love through giving “gifts.”


Like you, I often struggle to speak a second (third, fourth, or fifth) language! The language of love that comes naturally to me, isn’t necessarily the way other family members or kids feel most loved. So this is a quick cache of love language ideas, a translation guide, if you will, giving you some basic phrases to help you speak another love language.


Practical ways to love your child using their love language ::


Physical Touch::


All kids need hugs. In fact, research shows that hugging makes you healthier! I’ve heard anywhere from 8 – 17 hugs a day is necessary. While this might seem easy with a baby or toddler, the number of hugs we give our older kids decreases greatly. Start with 8. How can you hug your child eight times per day?


It is important to remember, however, that kids whose love language is physical touch need more than just hugs! Use some of the suggestions below to communicate love to your child through appropriate physical touch.


-Hugs! (Shoot for at least eight a day — i.e.: when your child leaves, returns home, bedtime, etc.)

-Spend time rough housing

-Give back scratches

-Initiate high fives and fist bumps

-Give a foot or hand rub

-Tickle wars (but remember to watch for signs that the tickling is too much for your child)

-Hold your child while reading a book

-Pat your child on the head or play with her hair

-Twirl (imagine twirling your daughter while dancing with her)

-Rock together in a rocking chair

-Have piggyback or wheelbarrow races

-Play contact sports (basketball, football, soccer)

-Play tag, Twister, Duck, Duck Goose

-Snuggle up for a cartoon or movie

-Hold your child’s hand (natural opportunities for this are while praying, going for a walk, or sitting on the couch together)

-Create a special handshake, play hand clapping games, or have a thumb war

-Play airplane, flying your child around on your feet

-Put your hand on your child’s arm, shoulder, or around his neck when talking or walking


It is important to recognize that though a child’s love language might be physical touch at home, that same child might not be comfortable with physical affection or gentle touches from other family members, friends, or others. Respect your child’s boundaries!


Words of Affirmation::


It might be easy to think that words of affirmation simply refer to praising a child, but when we “praise” a child, we are focusing on what a child does. Words of affirmation focus on who a child is and include encouraging words, words of affection, and words that give positive guidance.


-Write lunchbox notes

-Start a journal between the two of you

-Use encouraging words throughout the day

-Leave hidden notes around the house where your child might find them (on the bathroom mirror, as a bookmark in the book she’s reading, under his pillow, etc.)

-Say “I love you” a lot

-Compliment your child

-Have a special “Kid Night” (read all about it here)

-Speak positively about your child

-Create a special nickname or name of affection that only you (or you and your spouse) use with the child

-Speak positively about your child in front of other people

-Speak a blessing over your child



Quality Time ::


The years-old debate has been quality time versus quantity time but whichever the answer, in today’s smartphone addicted, multi-tasking families, the importance of quality time is evident. Quality time means giving your child focused, undivided attention; it is being present with your child.


-Run errands together.

-Plan a date night (here are some unique Daddy/daughter date nights).

-Give focused attention to each child. I’ve found that starting with 10 minutes of near-daily focused time with each child has been powerful in our family!

-Cook dinner or bake a treat one on one with that child.

-Look your child in the eye when you talk (not just when you’re disciplining or teaching).

-Tell stories. Share with your child about when you were his age or when you experienced something similar to your child.

-Plan a special outing or activity.

-Establish a daily family meal time.

-Sort through photo albums or your iPhoto library — share memories and stories together.

-Play a game together. (In our family, one of my kids loves playing Mario Kart with Mommy; for another, it’s Yahtzee!)

-Have a special bedtime routine. I know this is controversial for some, but I’ve always spent some time each night snuggling with the kids after our book & Bible time. It’s amazing the conversations we have when they are quieting down – and maybe avoiding sleep! I wouldn’t trade this time of any amount of productivity!

-Listen. With your eyes and your ears and your attention and your heart — listen when your child talks.

-DO your child’s favorite activity WITH him. If it’s playing make believe, watching a cartoon, playing at the park – don’t pick up your phone or read your book, engage with your child. Become a character, watch the show, or slide down the slide. Engagewith your child.

-Create special traditions like Saturday morning pancakes, afternoon tea times, or once a month ice cream runs.

-Take selfies together — and laugh!


Gifts :: 


“The grace of giving has little to do with the size and cost of the gift. It has everything to do with love” (Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell).


-Keep on hand a small stash of gifts your child might like ($5 iTunes gift card for a show or new app, his favorite candy, her favorite stickers, etc.).

-Make a special meal or your child’s favorite treat.

-Prepare or send small gifts when you are away.

-Sneak a surprise gift into your child’s lunchbox or under her pillow.

-Keep unique boxes or eye-catching wrapping paper on hand to wrap up the gifts – big or small.

-Choose gifts that are in line with your child’s interests. For example, if your child loves art, a gift could be as simple as new watercolors or more elaborate like an art class or a trip to the art museum.

-Give a gift that lasts (i.e.: a piece of jewelry, a game you can play over and over, a flower or bush that grows every year).

-Give them a meaningful gift of nature – flowers from the yard, sea glass you find on the beach, or a special item you find on your walk together. -Rather than just handing it to the child, wrap it up and present it to the child the next day or on another occasion.

-Make something. What are your gifts? Use your drawing, writing, sewing, woodworking, craftiness, or musical ability to make or create something to give your child!


Acts of Service :: 


-Practice sports or music or one of your child’s activities with them.

-Do the “thing” they’ve been asking – whether it’s fixing a bicycle or getting the toy from the top shelf, for a child whose primary love language is “acts of service,” responding in a timely manner is very important.

-Surprise your child with a clean room when they come in to clean it up!

-Instead of insisting your child “hurry,” bend down and help your child.

-Work together on a project.

-If your child is sick or tired, set up a special movie, game or book on the couch with extra pillows and blankets.

-Offer to drive your child to their outing, rather than seeking out a car pool friend.

-Respond quickly. Consider the need, of course, but for children whose love language is acts of service, respond in a timely manner instead of with multiple “in a minutes” and frequent “hang ons.”

-Do his chores occasionally!

-Pick the kids up on time.

-Make a special breakfast or treat.

-Help your child with her homework.

-Serve others together!

-Set up a foot soak for a tired child or after a sports practice.

-Serve your child breakfast (or snack) in bed.


Question for you ::


Do you know your child’s love language? How do your kids feel most loved? Which love language do you have the hardest time “speaking”?


Resources for you ::


The 5 Love Languages of Children

The 5 Love Languages of Teenagers

A Perfect Pet for Peyton:(A book for kids all about love languages)

The Love Dare for Parents

Hands-Free Life: 9 Habits for Overcoming Distraction, Living Better, & Loving More



Encouragement Video from Lisa!

June 29, 2020

A video, for parents, from Lisa, to encourage you to be Faith Leaders for your kids.


We'd love to hear your thoughts, your struggles, your victories, and how we can help. Please click "Send Comments" below:


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Shaping the Faith & Character of Your Children

June 26, 2020

Let's take a look at a few of the many ways you can shape the faith and character of your children. Choose a method that best fits your child's stage of development and family situation.


Family Time

  • WHEN: From about age four to ten

  • WHAT: Create teachable moments using fun object lesson activities. Watch a short video to decide if this option would fit your family situation.

    Click here to watch a short video about what Family Night is and is NOT supposed to be.


    Click here for 10 family time ideas.


    You'll find more great ideas in the Family Night Tool Chest Series


    Mealtime Moments

  • WHEN: All ages

  • WHAT: Use mealtimes to give your kids a strong sense of identity and Christian faith. An intentional mealtime routine can dramatically increase the likelihood your children will embrace your beliefs and values.

    - Join hands at the table and give thanks to God for the meal.

    - Strengthens bonds

    - Discuss what is going on in everyone's lives.

    - What was good about the day and what was bad about the day.

    - Pray together

    - If you have few family meals together (1-2/week), it increases the odds that children will engage in risky behaviours

    - Averaging 4 family meals per week increase a child's receptivity to parents' beliefs and values.

    Click here for 6 mealtime chat ideas.


    Faith-Filled Holidays

    WHEN: All ages

    WHAT: Most holidays are rooted in a Christian faith tradition, making them ideal opportunities to spawn faith conversations. Click here for 6 holiday activity cards.


    Bedtime Blessings

    WHEN: From about age 2-8

    WHAT: During bedtime, spend a few minutes talking and praying with your child as a way of giving them the all-important "blessing" before they fall asleep. 

    Click here to watch an eleven-minute clip in which Dr. John Trent, author of The Blessing, describes the five elements of a meaningful blessing.

    Click here for Starter Bedtime Blessings

    Dive deeper into the power and process of giving your child the Blessing at StrongFamilies.com.


    Movie Night Chats

    WHEN: Pre-teen adolescent and older

    WHAT: Most teens list watching movies among their favorite activities. Learn how you can turn an otherwise passive activity into an opportunity to discuss your faith and values.


    Films shape our imaginations and beliefs in powerful ways. Movie Night Chats help families drive faith discussions and sharpen critical thinking skills. Each post describes a film you can rent and provides a few starter questions. Some titles include offensive content so please pre-screen before watching together or stream using a service like VidAngel whenever possible. Then scroll through to find a film to discuss.  You can also download a free guide to use with any film HERE.


    Click here to learn more.

    Click here for a list of movies with discussion and think through it questions.



    Find additional methods based upon your child's age and stage of development using the Faith Path.  Select the link below to get started. 


    Click here to learn more about Your Child's Faith Path


  • Bible Story for June 28 Lesson - Acts 17:16-34

    June 25, 2020

    Lisa tells us the story in Acts 17:16-34 as we prepare for Sunday's lesson.


    If you have any questions or comments, please click "Send Comments" below:


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    The Phases of Faith Training

    June 24, 2020

    As the graph to the left shows, a child's receptivity to faith training changes during different ages and stages of development.

     

    Keep reading to understand the opportunity and approach in each phase.

     

    IMPRINT PERIOD

    AGES:  Toddler to about seven years

    PHASE:  Small children are all ears. They will believe it because mom or dad said it, much like a baby gosling that imprints itself onto its mother and follows it wherever she leads. Young children soak in what we tell them – so this is an ideal season for teaching them basic Bible stories, memorization, and other building block truths of Christianity.


    IMPRESSION PERIOD

    AGES: About eight to pre-teen adolescent

    PHASE: During this season, children no longer accept what we say at face value. They may question us, push back, or even argue. During this season, children do need to know what we believe. But they also need help understanding the rationale behind those beliefs. While more work, this is a positive part of their faith development because it means they have grown past blind acceptance and are ready for deeper understanding.


    COACHING PERIOD

    AGES: Early teen to young adult

    PHASE: Our job changes when the kids enter the coaching period. We can motivate, encourage, challenge, and advise. We can’t force feed. We can help them clearly articulate what they believe, challenge their thinking, remind them of the “basics” learned during the “practices” of the imprint and impression years. We can provide a safe environment to wrestle with, even question, the values they’ve learned. Maintaining strong relationship and frequent dialogue are the key to your influence now.


    The younger you begin focusing on your child's faith formation the greater the impact.  Upcoming, we'll look at simple practices for every phase.


    We welcome your comments and thoughts.

    Click here:  

    Send Comments

    Summer Kids Club and Kids Church

    June 23, 2020

    We're planning Kids Church and an Outdoor Summer Kids' Club for this summer but I need your help. 

    Please watch today's video to find out 2 ways that you can help me. Thanks Everyone.


    If you have any comments, please let us know by clicking "Send Comments" below:

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    The Opportunity

    June 22, 2020

    The COVID-19 virus has created a unique opportunity for Christian parents. Every believer hopes his or her child will embrace the faith and grow deep spiritual roots. But many of us unintentionally "outsource" the spiritual formation of our children to the church. But God designed the home as the primary place where faith is nurtured. While "stuck at home" why not invest a few minutes trying one or two easy "faith at home" strategies? Before diving in let's quickly cover a few guiding principles.


    The scriptures tell us that what we do today directly influences the multi-generational cycle of family traits, beliefs, and actions – for good or bad (Exodus 20:5-6, Psalm 78:5-8). Passing a strong faith to our children begins by having a strong faith ourselves – and modeling the gospel in our marriages and in how we relate to those closest to us. Some of us need to break negative cycles that may have started with our own upbringing in order to launch a new, improved legacy for the next generation.


    The good news is this: in the context of healthy relationships, children tend to embrace the values of their parents. Proverbs 22:6 tells us that when children learn right from wrong at home under the nurturing, loving training of parents, they tend to adopt mom and dad’s beliefs. While there are no guarantees because every child has a free will, kids are far more likely to embrace their parent’s faith if they enjoy their parent’s company! That’s a big part of the reason the Bible warns parents not to “provoke your children to wrath” but rather “bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). Bottom line – a strong relationship with mom and dad is key to a strong Christian faith.


    Jesus taught that our enemy’s primary weapon is deception – getting us to believe and live according to lies rather than truth (John 8:44). And when someone is deceived, he or she doesn’t know it! Our children are growing up in a culture that bombards them with lies. An hour or two per week at church is no match for the hundreds of hours spent with media, school, and friends. Nor can it compete with a child’s fallen nature that often wants to rebel against what is good, true, and beautiful. It is the job of parents to equip children with the corrective “lenses” of truth so they can better navigate the deceptive roads of life.


    Our children can only learn what we teach them in a manner that will reach them. In other words, we need to vary our approach based upon their unique personality, learning style, and most importantly, stage of development. Children fall into one of three stages that should guide the methods we choose for discussing our faith and values at home. Let's look at those tomorrow.



    Send Comments

    A Prayer of Blessing for Fathers

    June 21, 2020

    Dear Lord,


    Bless every father and every grandfather with the best of your spiritual blessings today. Let him know he is not alone in the tasks you have given him to provide for and support those under his care. Show him how much you delight in his work, and affirm the value of whatever You have given him to do—both as a father or grandfather and as a child of Yours. Confirm his worth daily so he has no reason to doubt whether he is loved in the eyes of his Heavenly Father.


    Create in him a deep sense of trust in You, knowing that He can count on You to help him lead and protect those dependent on him. Let him know that every unselfish act of love and encouragement he has offered has been a gift that You receive gladly. Show him how effective the prayers of a godly man really are, and what a difference he has and can make to those around him, no matter how big or small the assignment.


    When challenging times push him beyond his limits, assure him that You can take Him further into the realm of possible impossibility. Speak deep into his spirit the powerful words he longs to hear from You—that nothing can ever separate him from Your love. Help him to grasp firmly the promises of Your Word, standing with faith on the things You declare are true. Reward him for his faithfulness past, present, and future, assuring him that true success and satisfaction don’t lie in his accomplishments or accolades, but in the steadfast, Christ-like character You are forming in him.


    Demonstrate to him Your amazing grace and forgiveness as he seeks to love and to know you with all of his heart, soul, and mind. Release him from unwanted burdens of false guilt, and bless him for his willingness to keep short accounts with You, forgiving both himself and others. Help him to see his children or grandchildren through Your eyes, realizing that in Your hands is the safest place they can ever be. Strengthen his confidence in the Only One who can bring good out of any situation.


    Teach him how to meet the needs of his childs life that are within his ability to do so, but help Him to trust You for the rest. Push out any needless fears, and grant to him godly wisdom and spiritual guidance to lead and direct those precious children in Your path, knowing he must also release them into Your hands with prayerful love.


    Complete any healing of past hurts or regrets that may interfere with parenting or grand parenting his children. Build in him a sense of joy, humility, and playfulness that draw his family close. When plans don’t develop as he hopes, or dreams are not yet realized, open his eyes to see beyond this world to a greater joy that never disappoints, and to a Father who will never leave or abandon him or his loved ones.


    Give him a passionate faith, a persevering spirit, and a powerful testimony that overcomes any weakness or doubt, as he wears the armor of God daily You have provided for him as a spiritual leader and child of God.


    Today, on special days, and for all the days of his life, fill him with the best of Your blessings, so that one day he will stand before you and hear Your ultimate words of praise, “Well done, my son, well done!” In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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    How to Draw a Funny Father's Day Folding Surprise

    June 19, 2020

    Father's Day is coming up! To celebrate fathers and father-figures everywhere we are learning how to draw a funny Father's Day folding surprise.


    Let us know what you think, or other card ideas or send us a picture of you and your card by clicking "Send Comments" below.


    Send Comments


    Bible Story for Lesson June 21

    Acts 16:11-34 - Paul

    June 18, 2020

    How is it possible to serve the Lord, tell people about Jesus and praise His name, no matter what?


    Please take a couple minutes to watch and listen to the Bible Story to learn how and prepare for the Kids Church lesson this Sunday.


    If you have any questions, or comments, we'd love to hear from you! 

    Please click "Send Comments" below.


    Send Comments


    4 Super Simple Tips to Make Family Devotions a Reality in Your Home

    June 17, 2020

    As a Christian, you know that teaching your kids about the God of the Bible is the most important thing that you can do as a parent. There’s no question about this.


    Yet, if you are like me, you struggle with making consistent family Bible study or devotions a reality in your home.


    Between crazy busy schedules, resistant family members, active kids, and the never ending search for a good devotional that will appeal to all members of our families, we can feel defeated before we even begin.


    But, you don’t have to feel this way!


    You CAN succeed in family devotions. You CAN teach your children from God’s Word.


    Here are four super-simple ways to make consistent family Bible study a reality in YOUR home:


    1. Keep family devotions short.

    Far too often, we seem to feel that 30 minute family devotions are more spiritual then 10 minute family devotions. Then, when we cannot find 30 minutes in our schedule or when our toddler won’t sit still for 3 minutes (let alone 30!), we become discouraged and stop having family devotions altogether.


    Family devotions doesn’t have to be super long. Match the length of your family devotions to the attention spans of your children.


    If that means that you only get through a couple of verses each day, that’s fine! Read a couple of verses, talk briefly about them, and pray. It doesn’t have to take a long time.


    Don’t underestimate the cumulative effect of 5 or 10 minutes of Bible study a day. These little bits of time really add up!


    For example, if you only manage to have 10 minutes of family devotions four times a week, you will have spent over 34 hours in God’s Word with your kids by the end of one year.


    Pause for a moment and let that sink in. 34 hours in the Bible with your kids.


    If you consistently spend 10 minutes a day, four days a week, for 15 years, you will have spent 520 hours reading and discussing the Bible with your kids by the time they enter young adulthood. Now, that’s a Biblical foundation to strive for!


    2. Keep family devotions engaging.

    Reading God’s Word to your kids is excellent! But, reading and discussing God’s Word with your kids is even better.


    How can you do this? The easiest way is to ask questions after you read each passage. 


    Pick out super-simple questions for preschoolers, making sure to reread the verse the answer is found in.


    Ask elementary aged kids how they think the characters in the Bible story felt or how they think they themselves might have responded in those circumstances.


    Ask your tweens and teens how they think this Bible passage should be applied to their own lives.


    Teach your kids to interact with God’s Word.


    3. Keep family devotions relevant.

    Regardless of how old we are, our culture, our race, and the time in which we live, the Bible is written for us!


    Show your kids how the Bible is relevant to their lives. Ask them what each Bible passage that you read means to their lives. What is God teaching you in this passage? How does God want you to change based on what you have read?


    As you read a Bible passage, think about how that passage has affected your life personally. Our kids love to hear true stories about our lives! Use examples from real life as you discuss what the Bible is telling your children.


    4. Keep family devotions Fun.

    Jesus Christ was anything but a dull preacher. He used stories to engage His audience. He pulled them in with parables that they needed to solve. He even used humor to get His points across.


    As you discuss Bible passages with your family, look for ways to make it fun. Can you act out a portion of the Bible story? Can you incorporate an object lesson? How about a word game or a sword drill? Look for ways to make family devotions interactive and fun for everyone involved.


    You can have consistent family devotions!

    Regardless of a busy schedule, resistant family members, and active kids, with God’s help you CAN faithfully and intentionally teach your kids the Bible. Keeping your family Bible time short, engaging, relevant, and fun will help you do just this!


    How about you? Do you have any suggestions, thoughts, or questions about family devotions? We would love to hear from you. Please click below to send a comment.

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    Family Devotional Experiences

    June 16, 2020

    Parents, here are 3 Family Devotional Experiences (click here) to try with your kids to get you started with the habit of spending time together in God's word. There are :

    -a couple of Worship Song Videos, 

    - a Bible Story Video, 

    - a Life Application Video, 

    - Prayer Time and

    - a Bonus Activity. 

    Each video is about 3 minutes in length. I can't wait to do these with my nieces. Please let me know if you enjoy doing them with your kids.  Click "Send Comments: below:


    Send Comments

    10 Simple Ways to Bless Your Children and Grandchildren

    June 15, 2020

    1. Spend time with Jesus

    It’s amazing the difference in my mood and patience level when I spend time in the word and in prayer. The simple fact is we need God to fill us up first so we can then turn and pour ourselves out in service to others. Plus, what a blessing it is to our children to see their parent or grandparent in the word and in prayer on a daily basis!

     

    2. Get a Good Night Sleep

    This may sound simple, but sleep is vitally important for parents and grandparents and the whole family. I know when I’m short on sleep I tend to snap at my kids and be grumpy. So make sure that you and your loved ones are getting 8-10 hours of sleep per night to feel refreshed and energized during the day.

     

    3. Don’t Over Commit

    Our society seems to think that busy = important, but that isn’t always the case. The truth is parents and grandparents are busy enough without adding outside commitments. I’m not saying outside commitments are wrong, but we need to make sure that our family comes first. Simply being present in our child’s lives is a huge blessing to them!

     

    4. Get Rid of Clutter

    I don’t know about you, but I feel so much more relaxed and peaceful when my house is clean and clutter free. Think about how your kids or grandkids are feeling if they have toys scattered all over the house. Like adults, children tend to be happier and calmer in an organized space so let’s bless them by keeping the house as clutter free as possible.

     

    5. Be Resourceful

    Resourcefulness seems to be a lost art these days, but it’s an extremely important skill to have in life. Knowing how to stretch what you have and going without when you don’t have the money are great life lessons that our children and grandchildren need to learn. They are watching us so we need to teach them by example. If they learn to be resourceful while they are young, then hopefully they will carry it throughout their lives and be blessed.

     

    6. Pray for Them

    Prayer is such an important part of parenthood and grandparenthood. Just think about it, we have the chance to go before our God daily on behalf of our children and grandchildren and pray for their salvation, safety, health, character, future, etc. and that is a powerful thing that should never be taken lightly. What a blessing it is to a child when their parent or grandparent is a prayer warrior for them throughout their lives!

    “The LORD is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayer of the righteous.” -Proverbs 15:29

     

    7. Quality Time

    It’s easy to get so caught up in the busyness of life that we forget to sit down and enjoy our children or our grandchildren. A lot of times when a child is acting out it’s simply because they want our attention and don’t know how to ask for it. As parents and grandparents, we need to be intentional about setting aside time each day (20 minutes is a good starting point) to just sit down and play or talk one on one with our children or grandchildren.

     

    8. Live the Fruits of the Spirit

    One of the biggest ways that we can bless our children and grandchildren is to set a Christ-like example on a daily basis. Character development is so important in children and the way that they learn the best is through the actions of their parents and grandparents. Read Galatians 5:22-23 and take the ones that you struggle with the most to the Lord in prayer. If we are going to raise Godly children and grandchildren, then we need to first be Godly parents and grandparents.

    “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” -Galatians 5:22:23

     

    9. Show Affection

    This is probably the easiest one for most of us, but it is no less important. Tell your children and grandchildren that you love them on a daily basis. Hug them. Kiss them. Hold them. Tell them how special they are to you. This may seem simple, but these acts speak volumes to our children’s precious hearts. What a blessing it is to a child to know and feel love on a daily basis from their parent and grandparent.

     

    10. Love Unconditionally

    We need to love our children and grandchildren as Christ loves us. If our children and grandchildren are going to come to know Him then we need to be an example of His love to them. We can do this by loving our children and grandchildren without condition. Always. Just as Christ loves us without condition. What a blessing and relief it is to a child to know that their parent and grandparent will love them no matter what they do or say!

     

    I hope that you have been encouraged by these words and will strive to be a blessing to your children and grandchildren today and always.


    Do you have any ideas to add to the list? We’d love to hear them!

    Click Send Comments to let us know.


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    The Velveteen Rabbit

    June 15, 2020

    This is a reading of The Velveteen Rabbit that George Stone was a part of. 

    George has been actively involved in helping me with the Kids Musicals for the past few years. 


    God has given George a love and a passion for drama and he is super talented in his acting abilities. 

    He's been such a blessing to me and the kids and super fun to work with. 

    I'm thankful he's been so willing to use his God given talents to worship and honour the Lord in so many ways. Lisa


    If you have any comments or questions, please let us know by clicking on "Send Comments"

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    Blessing Your Children/Grandchildren

    June 12, 2020

    It's never too early or too late to start blessing your child. 


    Click here for a short video to tell you how to give your child a meaningful blessing.

    Click here for some starter Bedtime Blessing Chats.

    Click here for a Blessing Card.


    Please let us know your thoughts, questions or comments by clicking "Send Comments" below:

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    Faith at Home - Blessing Your Kids

    June 12, 2020

    Parents and grandparents, Pastor Lisa has a great message to encourage and help you learn how to bless your kids and/or grandkids.


    If you have any questions or comments, please let us know! We'd love to hear from you. Please click "Send Comments" below:


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    Bible Story  for June 14 Lesson

    Acts 15:1-35    Paul and Barnabas

    June 11, 2020

    We love and miss you and can't wait to be together again! 

    We hope you watch and listen to this Bible story, on Paul and Barnabas, to prepare for Kids Church this Sunday!


    If you have any questions or comments, please let us know by clicking "Send Comments" below.


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    Faith at Home - Part 4

    June 10, 2020

    It takes a team to build faith in your kids.

    Who are you going to invite to join you? And how are some ways they can join you?

    Please watch the video below to find out more.


    If you have any questions, comments or thoughts, please let us know by clicking "Send Comments" below. 

    We'd love to hear from you.


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    Faith at Home - Part 3

    June 9, 2020

    Science proves if your kids have more assets from a certain list, they are more likely to succeed and not get involved in bad choices. 

    A faith relationship with Christ gives them many of these needed assets, which will in turn lead them away from choosing drugs, alcohol and sexual immorality.


    What is the critical step to impress faith upon your kids?

    Watch the video below to find out!


    If you have any comments, questions or thoughts on this,  please let us know by clicking on "Send Comments" below:

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    Faith at Home - Part 2

    June 8, 2020

    What are the #1 & #2 influences that lead kids to faith in Christ? 

    And what is a great question to ask your kids?

    Watch part 2 of our 4 part video series to find out!


    We'd love to hear your thoughts, comments or questions. Click "Send Comments" below:

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    Faith at Home - Part 1

    June 5, 2020

    60-90% of kids, active in church programs today, will walk away from their Christian faith as young adults!

    We don't want that to happen to your kids!

    Join us for a 4 part "Extreme Faith Makeover” to help us live out our faith 24/7 which in turn helps our kids.


    Parents, your children need you to step up and to be the faith leader in their lives. Research shows us that kids are much more likely to continue to love, serve and follow Jesus if their parent(s) is/are their prime example. I love helping you in any way I can, but kids only come for an hour a week and living for Jesus is a 24 hour/7 days a week lifestyle.


    As a mother, whose daughters are now 26 years old, there is nothing more precious and wonderful than watching them love, serve and follow Jesus with all their heart. Nothing else in life really matters.  


    These days of raising kids are long, but the years are short. They will be out of the house before you know it and you won't have any regrets if you make your and their faith a priority.


    It’s hard work, but I promise you, it’s worth giving it all you’ve got.


    I’m here to equip and support you so don’t hesitate to reach out and let me know how can possibly help.


    The next 4 Kids Ministries Blog entrees (June 5th, June 8th, June 9th and June 10th) will be short videos on Faith at Home. I encourage you take the time (the longest video is 7 minutes and 50 seconds) to listen to them and learn how to have an amazing home makeover.


    Please share any comments or questions by clicking on "Send Comments".  We'd love to hear from you.


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    Bible Story for Sunday, June 7

    Acts 13:1-3 & 14:8-20

    June 4, 2020

    God loves everybody so much that He wants us to share the Good News about Jesus with others.

    He doesn't want anyone to miss out on the free gift of salvation!

    Hope you take a moment to watch this video as Pastor Lisa reads the Bible Story for the lesson this Sunday.


    Please share any comments, questions or thoughts by clicking "Send Comments" below:


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    Parenting is About Treasure

    Four Ways to Nurture Joy in God

    June 3, 2020

    Everyone is looking for joy. Parents, this includes our children.


    The search for joy lies behind all of our kids’ desires. It informs and directs all of their hopes, feelings, and actions. It is the proverbial carrot hanging in front of our kids’ hearts. It’s why they make that face when you remind them that dessert belongs only to those who eat their vegetables, and why their world seems to hinge on having five more minutes of video-game time.


    Once we recognize joy’s formative power over our kids’ hearts, we are well on our way to knowing our children better and our role as parents better too.


    Stewarding Joy


    When God calls us to be fathers and mothers, he calls us to be stewards of our children’s joy. Which means that a lot of what we do centers on helping our joy-obsessed children find their greatest joy.


    Now, this might sound strange to many of us. Most parenting books and podcasts don’t spend a lot of time accentuating the influential power of joy in our kids’ lives. Yet, whether you see it or not, you are more than likely already stewarding your children’s joy toward some end.

    Just think about this week. What did you say to your daughter about her run-in with the school bully? What did you do when your middle child didn’t make the high school team? More than likely, you sought ways to replace their hurt with joy. And it doesn’t just have to be hurt that we exchange — we seek all the time to replace good with better, and better with best, such as when we tell our kids to power down their screens and pick up a book.


    These instincts show us that much of what we do as parents is driven by our innate commitment to help our kids find joy. This is a good thing, but it’s also where we can get into problems.


    Settling for LessThe pursuit of joy itself is good. God created all of us to seek true and lasting joy because he knows that this search ultimately leads us to him. This is why Jesus uses parables to liken God and his kingdom to buried treasure and a beautiful pearl (; cf.). He knows we would sell everything to makes these priceless riches our own because of the happiness they promise us. Jesus then helps us see that the real treasure, and the real pearl of great price, is God and his kingdom. This is where joy ultimately resides, and making this joy our own is worth giving up everything.


    The pursuit of joy itself is good. God created all of us to seek true and lasting joy because he knows that this search ultimately leads us to him. This is why Jesus uses parables to liken God and his kingdom to buried treasure and a beautiful pearl (Matthew 13:44–46; cf. Philippians 3:7–8). He knows we would sell everything to makes these priceless riches our own because of the happiness they promise us. Jesus then helps us see that the real treasure, and the real pearl of great price, is God and his kingdom. This is where joy ultimately resides, and making this joy our own is worth giving up everything.


    Pursuing joy, then, isn’t the problem. The problem is with where and how we find that joy, when we look outside of God for our delight. To be specific, the problem is with how sin twists our pursuit. Sin is, in many ways, simply misplaced or shortsighted joy. Sin works because it peddles counterfeit joys off as the real thing. Sin sets out to confuse and corrupt joy, and to make our hearts settle on anything other than God.


    This is exactly what the serpent did to our first parents in Genesis 3. He promised that the forbidden fruit was better than God and his promises. So, in taking the bite, Adam and Eve settled for a lesser, broken joy — a fruit that was good and delightful, but paled in comparison to the utmost good and perfect delight of knowing God as they once did (Genesis 3:5–6).


    So what does this have to do with parenting? Well, it redefines it. It means that God calls parents to more than just helping our kids discover any type of joy, anywhere. It means that God calls us to help show our children where and how they can find him, the very source and reason for every joy ever known (John 15:11; Psalm 36; Psalm 37:4).


    Parenting Redefined


    Now, if we let it, this can change everything about the way we raise our kids. For example, if we see ourselves as stewards of our kids’ joy, then our parenting finally has a destination. Everything we do — teaching, talking, commanding, loving, correcting, comforting — can be a step toward helping our children find their greatest joy in our great God (Psalm 16:11).


    This doesn’t change just our parenting strategies, however; it changes us as parents too. When God becomes the target of our children’s greatest joy, we no longer have to be. When we see every interaction with our kids through the lens of helping them find delight in God, our work as parents is bigger than just having well-behaved kids with perfect test scores.


    Which means we don’t have to be perfect moms and dads. Our calling is a better one. What we are called to do is lead our kids to joy in their perfect heavenly Father. And with that as our goal, we find freedom, and so do they. We are free to make mistakes, and so are they. We are free to live in God’s grace, and we want our children to live with us there too.


    Getting to the Heart


    How do we do this? How do we help our kids find their ultimate joy in God? Here are a few tangible ways to be good stewards of our children’s hearts.


    1. Start with your own joy.


    Remember, everyone is looking for joy. Parents, this includes us. So before we can guide our kids’ hearts, we must first know the way ourselves. We as parents have the privilege to hold our kids’ hands on the way to our greatest joy. So before diagnosing your kids’ idols, make sure to face your own. Ask yourself, What have I put all my hope in today? What am I worshiping? What stands between God and my real joy?


    2. Reshape the do’s and don’ts.


    If you are like me, it’s easy to get lost in the weeds as a parent. Sometimes we don’t have a good reason why we say no to our kids, and sometimes we say yes out of sheer pragmatism or exhaustion. But setting our sights on joy helps us recalibrate. Our do’s and don’ts should have distinct and eternal reasons behind them. We’re after more than behavior modification; we’re after our kids’ long-term happiness. Our commands and instructions don’t have to be speed bumps to our kids’ happiness; they can be signposts that point them to their ultimate joy. So take a moment before your yes or no and consider how your response will affect your kids’ search for joy.


    3. Ask why.


    As your kids grow, teach them how to spot joy’s formative power in their lives. One of the best ways to do this is with the question why. “Why did you hit your sister?” “Why didn’t you study for that exam?” Now, of course, you’ll have to wade through their “I don’t knows” and “just becauses.” But when you do, you’ve helped them to drill down into their motives, where they can finally see how their joys affect their feelings and actions and begin to evaluate them rather than just be enslaved to them.


    4. Make connections.


    One of the most important things we can do as parents is ask our kids what makes them happy, and then just listen. Getting a bead on your kids’ joy is like having an all-access pass to their hearts, and when you know what your kids love, you can help them put their loves in the right place. God isn’t in the business of simply removing our kids’ earthly joys, which means that shouldn’t be our business as parents either. Instead, God calls us to help connect our kids’ earthly and temporal joys to him, the divine and eternal one.


    So play basketball with your kids and, when you can, help them see how this earthly gift points to greater joys. Sure, Legos and American Girl dolls can become idols, but they can also pave the way to conversations that can help our kids hope in their heavenly Father. And when (not if) our kids seek joy through sin, we have the divinely given privilege to help them see they’ve actually sold joy short by seeking it outside of God and his ways.


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    Community Bag Challenge

    June 2, 2020

    Hey Kids!  We need your help! 

    Pastor Lisa is challenging us to love our neighbors, just as Jesus tells us!  We have paper bags and cards available at WRBC to pick up and put a couple items in to share with your neighbors!

    You can color on the bag, or include a drawing or colouring sheet  in the bag, too.

    If you have any questions or comments, please click "Send Comments" below.


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    Rabbi Steve Leder on Finding a Silver Lining in Hardship

    June 1, 2020

    This video interview has some great suggestions and reminders about what is truly important and what we don’t want to forget as we work our way into our new normal.

    Please let us know your thoughts or share your questions by clicking on "Send Comments".

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