Day 7: Is Teaching My Kids about Jesus Really Worth It?

Read: 2 Timothy 1:52 Timothy 3:15

Let’s be honest, teaching our kids about Jesus may feel more awkward or scary than it feels natural. Questions like, “What if they ask me something I don’t know the answer to?” or “Who am I to teach them about Jesus?” can creep in and create fear in our hearts. But God wants us to know that we have more influence in shaping the hearts of our children than we realize, and it’s worth it!

In Acts 16:1, we first hear about a mom named Eunice and a son named Timothy. Despite her circumstances, Eunice taught Timothy about God and His Word. 2 Timothy 3:15 tells us that Timothy knew the scripture from infancy, which means that Eunice shared what she knew of the Old Testament with him as he grew from a baby to a young man.

Our job is not to save our children, but to share with them the truth about Jesus, the only One who can save.

As she raised her little boy, Eunice had no idea that Timothy would become an evangelist with the Apostle Paul, or if he would even share the beliefs she held dear. She knew that God was good, and she shared her love for Him because she knew that God loved her son and had a special plan for him.

Like Eunice, we don’t need to have a perfect past in order to tell our kids about Jesus. All we need is a heart that loves Him, loves His Word, and loves our kids. Our job is not to save our children, but to share with them the truth about Jesus, the only One who can save. God loves our kids even more than we do, and He has a special plan for them. The way we share and teach our kids about Jesus will help shape their hearts for all that God has in store for them.

Mamas, it’s worth it. It’s worth figuring out how we can spend intentional time with Jesus to develop our relationship with Him. It’s worth pausing in the moment to pray with your child or turning up the worship music in the car to sing praises as you drive. Teaching our kids about Jesus doesn’t have to be formal or scary, but instead, daily conversations and teachable moments as life happens. Eunice is proof that being intentional about teaching our kids about Jesus at home makes a difference!

Reflect:

  • How is your relationship with Jesus? Is there time in your schedule where you can carve out ten minutes a day to spend intentional time with Him?
  • What is one thing you can do this week to be intentional about teaching your kids about Jesus? (Examples could be: talking about what they learned in Kids Ministry, singing and dancing to kids’ worship and praise music, memorizing a verse together, praying together, etc.)

Article courtesy of NewSpring Church

Day 12: Are You Forgetting Your First Love?

For many married couples, adding kids to the family is the next “natural” progression in life. The joy you feel when you look into that sweet baby face is met with equal amounts of insecurity, fear, and doubt as they grow and change.

If we’re not intentional, our focus drifts toward our children, and our marriage takes the back seat. Pretty soon, we only share a room and a busy schedule with our spouses. We start to feel less like lovers and more like ships passing in the night.

Marriage is meant for more. We were designed to experience intimacy with God first and our spouses second, then to invest in our children together.

In Genesis 2, God forms the first family. God created Adam, and Adam’s first relationship was with God alone. When God found no helper suitable for Adam, He put Adam to sleep and created Eve. Eve’s first relationship was also with God alone. After Adam and Eve are united with each other, they go forth and multiply.

Love each other first, then the kids. 

Even in the early church, as men and women grappled with how to follow Jesus, the apostles’ instructions to Christian parents are to love each other first, then the kids.

While wives and husbands are to love and submit to one another, the relationship between parents and kids is different (Colossians 3:18-21). Our spouses are our lifetime partners, our kids are our legacy.

One day, our kids will start families of their own. The best gift we can give our children is an example of two adults pursuing a personal relationship with Jesus and a deeper love for each other. Seeing this creates a safe environment for our children. It also serves as an example of what their relationship with Jesus and their future marriage can look like.

No family is perfect, but every family can make the choice to be different. We can check our priorities and arrange them to honor God first, our spouse second, and our kids third. When we make this shift, everyone wins.

Question for him:

  • What would it look like for you to “go all out in love” for your wife this week? (Colossians 3:19, MSG)

Question for her:

  • What would it look like for you to “understand and support your husband” by submitting to him? (Colossians 3:18, MSG)

Question to talk about together:

  • Open your calendars and examine where you’re spending your time. What needs to change in order to make God your first priority and your spouse your second priority?

Article courtesy of NewSpring Church

How Can We Help Kids See Answers to Prayer?

As we pray with our kids and they’re getting older, we transition from mere thankfulness to the concept of being cooperative with God.

Think of it this way: the first half of things we ask of God can be answered by gifts He’s already given us – a body, a mind, the earth, the capacity to work, etc. The second half is God doing things for us that we cannot do for ourselves. We cooperate with God to answer prayers; we both do our part.

How Can Kids See Answers to Prayer if They Don’t Get Their Way?

As we pray with our kids and they’re getting older, we transition from mere thankfulness to the concept of being cooperative with God.

Think of it this way: the first half of things we ask of God can be answered by gifts He’s already given us – a body, a mind, the earth, the capacity to work, etc. The second half is God doing things for us that we cannot do for ourselves. We cooperate with God to answer prayers; we both do our part.

At What Point Do You Practice Tough Love to Your Kids at Home?

The earlier you win the battle of wills, the clearer it becomes for children that they are meant to be in submission to their parents. For some personalities, this gets easier with age. With others, it can be a constant battle. But remember, parenting wasn’t meant to be easy. Draw strength from the Lord, and focus on the end goal: independent, self-led adults.

Should Younger Children Read Every Detail Of The Bible?

Did you know the Bible is NOT rated PG?

That’s right, the Good Book contains a lot of passages that are best described as “for mature audiences only.” Whether it’s Judah and Tamar, Deborah and Sisera, or Abraham and Isaac, there are some passages in the Bible that aren’t appropriate for kids.

So how do you handle those passages as a parent? How do you talk to your kids about some of the more challenging parts of the Bible?

Let’s be honest: the best people to guide your child through the Scriptures is you. You know your child’s level of comprehension and maturity, and you know best how to communicate difficult concepts to him or her. If anyone has the ability to sit down with your son or daughter and discuss what’s in the Bible, it’s you.

Of course, that means you need to be reading the Bible yourself, studying the Word of God so you can correctly handle it when it comes to your children. Don’t shy away from this responsibility; embrace it, because it will only serve to deepen your relationship with your child.

But while your baby girl is still in her Moana jammies and your son still believes he’s Batman, there’s a simple approach to walking your kids through the Bible that PK recommends.

In fact, it’s the approach he took with his children.

First, don’t tell your kids everything you know—teach them what they need to know. As the parent, you are in charge, so leverage that to nurture your child’s faith. Teach them about God’s power, or His faithfulness, or His compassion, or His grace. Help them understand His desire to be in relationship with each one of His children. Show them places where God’s glory was made known to people and it changed their lives for the better.

In fact, until your kids can read, skip the parts of the Bible that kids are emotionally incapable of understanding. You don’t have to read Abraham and Isaac as a bedtime story, nor do you have to bring up Samson and Delilah right off the bat. There are plenty of stories, psalms, and teachings you can read that will help your child begin to understand God’s character.

This isn’t cherry picking – it’s approaching God’s Word as God Himself approaches us: with the progressive revelation of Him in all His goodness.

As your kids get older, you can begin to add in more challenging stories. Bring them along at their own pace, and never be ashamed to rely on your wisdom as a parent. You’ll eventually get tough questions, but never bring up what you can’t answer unless your kids bring it up first, and never answer them above their heads. Answer your child according to his or her comprehension.

Once they are old enough to ask the hard questions, you’ll have built a relationship that encourages them to ask those hard questions to you. And that’s something that every Christian parent should want.

So tonight, as you settle down at bedtime and prepare to read your lovely little one a story from God’s Word, don’t feel bad for skipping over the entire book of The Revelation.

After all, you have your pastor’s permission.

Do Babies And Children Go To Heaven?

At 12Stone we have a saying: “When the Bible is clear, we will be direct. When the Bible gives guidance, then we will guide. When the Bible is silent, then we’ll give an opinion.”

Because Scripture is not specific on the question of what happens to babies and young children when they die, what we’re about to discuss is based on Christian tradition more than the Bible.

As PK said during the Q&A, we believe that everyone is born in sin. This concept is often called Adamic sin, or original sin, or inherited depravity, and it means that every person comes into the world with a sin nature. We are going to do things that separate us from God.

Now, that’s easy to accept when it comes to adults. But when it comes to children?

Kids are innocent. There’s an old saying that no one has to teach a kid how to lie, and that’s true; it’s the sin nature all human beings possess. But what little kids don’t do is make a habit of lying or leverage falsehoods to defraud others. Those are skills acquired over time, as we get older and our hearts grow hardened.

When it comes to children, we believe there is an age of accountability – a point at which every person’s heart becomes aware of their sinfulness and the choice to disobey God. That age is different for every individual; some people reach it as early as kindergarten, while others reach it later.

We believe that until a child hits the age of accountability, the grace and covering of Jesus’ work on the cross covers over them, because the child can’t make a conscious choice about faith.

Always remember that God is more compassionate than we are. He created human beings and designed them to grow up, so He knows where the point of transition is for each one of us and how to mark that. That’s why 12Stone™ as a church is committed to kid’s ministry. We are passionate about helping children at an early age learn the Word of God, the Way of God, and how to walk with God.

But this isn’t just the church’s responsibility. In fact, the burden falls on parents to teach this, because God calls kids early and often to know Him. The more a child resists that calling, the more that child is responsible for how they respond to God.

When parents walk daily with their children, modeling a life lived for Jesus, the greater the chance those children will choose Jesus for themselves. And when that happens, no one should wonder about what will happen in Eternity.

Jesus answered that question once and for all.

Parents: Pray Over Your Kids

We need the power of God to strengthen our families, our kids, their lives, and their future!

Challenge to Parents: As our kids go to school, pray over them each morning before they run out the door, or on the drive that day. All it needs to be is a short and simple 1-minute prayer of blessing over them.

Bonus Week: “The Zax” – Parenting Through Prodigals

Scripture: Proverbs 1:7, 14:8, 14:3, 16:18, 19:3

Develop short-term pain tolerance for long-term purpose.

God understands parental Pain. There’s no one who understands better what it’s like to hurt as a parent than God.

3 Myths:

  1. Perfect parenting makes perfect children.
  2. It’s all my fault.
  3. I can rescue them.

3 Common Warning Signs of a Prodigal:

  1. Become Increasingly Self-Centered
  2. Think They Know all the Answers
  3. Demand Immediate Gratification

How to reach Prodigals:

  1. Unending Patience
  2. Unwavering Prayer
  3. Unconditional Love

Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

Scripture: Proverbs 3; Proverbs 22:6

The Principle: Success is not a goal; it’s a by-product.

The Priority: Focus on the people they can be, not the places they’ll go.

3 Parenting Focuses:

  1. Focused Time: What we do with our kids is far more important what we do for our kids.
  2. Focused Prayer: You’ll never be a perfect parent, but you can be a praying parent.
  3. Focused Fear: Our children’s future is connected to our faith. The future you get is in the God you fear.

Lead Your Kids

Scripture: Romans 8

The Truth: As a parent, you have the greatest potential to influence your child.

The Dare: We dare you to lead your kids (maximize your potential).

  • Love Unconditionally
  • Engage Fully
  • Affirm Frequently
  • Discipline & Dream

Action:

Dare: (Grow Your Relationship)

  • Pray Daily
  • Meet One-on-One Weekly

Double Dog Dare: (Grow Your Leadership)

Home Run Kids – Week 5

Courageous Parenting Decisions

1) Guide your kid’s heart. (Proverbs 4:23) “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

2) Don’t carry your kid’s load. (Galatians 6:2-5)

3) Release your kids from your fear. (Proverbs 28:1) “The wicked flee though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.”

Reflect: 

  • What is one thing I need to keep doing with my kids?
  • What is one thing I need to start doing with my kids?

Home Run Kids – Week 4

Scripture: Exodus 31:1-6

Self-Worth vs. Work-Worth

  • Self-Worth: Something God gives you and you protect
  • Work-Worth: Something Gods gives you and you pioneer

Raising Competent Kids – Love what you do:

  • Discover what I’m good at (gifting)
  • Advance in my skills (training)
  • Celebrate my achievements with God (honoring)

Reflect:

  • What is one thing I need to keep doing with my kids?
  • What is one thing I need to start doing with my kids?

Home Run Kids – Week 3

Scripture: Matthew 7:7-12
2nd Base: Relationally Capable Kids (Love Others)

  1. Have Respect (value people)
  2. Show Compassion (value people without embracing their values)
  3. Make Friends (big circle & little circle friends)

Three qualities for little circles:

  • Do what you say
  • Give & Take
  • Forgive & Get Better

Reflect: Where are you being casual with relationally critical things?