Day 5: Does Parenting Ever Really End?

Read: Ruth 1Ruth 2Ruth 3Ruth 4

  • Are your children grown and out of the house?
  • Married with their own families?
  • Are you an empty nester and wondering what’s next?

Whatever our stage in life, our ministry is never over, and there is no better example than the life of Naomi.

Naomi lost everything, even her husband (Ruth 1:3) and both of her sons (Ruth 1:5). A devout Jewish woman, Naomi was left with two Moabite women in her charge. Heading back home she encouraged them to also go back home. She had nothing for them. One left and returned to her people. The other, Ruth, “clung” to her, pleaded with her to let her stay, and at that moment, accepted her God.

A mother’s work is never done, and even when your kids are grown and gone […] God still has a plan for the wisdom and care He’s built in you.

What a witness Naomi’s life must have been. Ruth refused the opportunity to return home. She turned from her religion and accepted the God of Israel. This must have brought joy to Naomi, through her grief, as she made a bold move and continued to disciple this young woman.

Neither knew their future as they set out to Judah. But, Naomi knew it was her calling to shepherd Ruth toward three keys of wisdom:

  1. Wisdom for protection by instructing her how to work the field (Ruth 2:22).
  2. Wisdom about how to secure her future by “flirting” with Boaz (Ruth 3:1-4).
  3. Wisdom to have patience and wait for Boaz to do the right thing (Ruth 3:18).

A mother’s work is never done, and even when your kids are grown and gone, or perhaps you’ve outlived one or more of them, God still has a plan for the wisdom and care He’s built in you. Naomi received Ruth as her own daughter and eventually became the great-grandmother to King David.

Naomi pushed through the pain and the emptiness that often accompanies outliving loved ones to continue what God called her to do, and He blessed her beyond what could be imagined. Ruth and Boaz married and had a son named Obed. Naomi’s role wasn’t over. She took the baby and became his nanny (Ruth 4:16). The wisdom from her life with the Lord could now be shared with her grandchild.

Because Naomi remained a witness in her home …
… an unlikely woman, whose country represented temptation and trouble for Israel, believed and followed God.
… this unlikely woman, Ruth, married again and birthed a son.
… she became the great-grandmother to King David whose lineage eventually birthed Jesus.

Reflect:

  • How can Naomi’s story encourage you in your season of life?
  • Have you ever considered that there are other “children” that may need your wisdom to navigate a life lived in Christ?
  • What is one thing you can do today to start a journey to share wisdom with a new believer?

Article courtesy of NewSpring Church

Day 1: Do You See What I See?

Wouldn’t it have been great if Eve had been the ideal role model for the modern woman? She was the first woman, first wife, and first mom, and yet she struggled with contentment. She lived in paradise with her husband, had direct access to God, and Satan still tricked her into believing that she needed more. God gives us everything we need and tells us not to worry (Matthew 6:25-26), yet we spend most of our lives fighting for contentment.

Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). He doesn’t always come as the obvious deceptor, but often as the snake in the grass that slithers into our circumstances planning to destroy our perspective. He wants us to see the way we fall short in comparison to those around us, stealing our joy, killing our contentment, and destroying our view of ourselves.

Eve knew what God told her about the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but Satan convinced her that God was holding out on her. When Eve “saw that the fruit of the tree was good … she took some and ate it” (Genesis 3:6).

Remember who God says you are. 

Satan wants us to “see” our world differently than the way God designed it. He wants to attack our families as he did Eve’s. He wants us to compare ourselves to others and forget we are wonderfully made. He wants us to snap at our children instead of being slow to speak. He wants us distant from godly women that can hold us accountable as mothers and wives. Satan wants us to forget God’s truth. He wants us so focused on other things that we forget we are gifted, beloved, and adored children of the living God. It is the last thing he wants us to “see.”

Reflect:

  • Is there any part of your life you need help “seeing” God’s way?
  • Take a few minutes to encourage a mom today by reminding her of her true identity in Christ.

Article courtesy of NewSpring Church

Day 2: Playing Favorites

As mothers, none of us would likely admit to having a favorite child, but many of us can look at our childhood and pinpoint the sibling we believed our parents loved most. A recent study released findings that the baby of the family is usually the favored child. While we can debate the validity of these findings, the Bible shows us the ramifications of parenting with favoritism.

Rebekah and her husband, Isaac, had favorites when it came to their twin sons. Esau, the elder, was Isaac’s favorite, and Jacob, the younger, was Rebekah’s favorite. Before Isaac died, he wanted to give his blessing to his eldest son. Rebekah, remembering that God had previously promised that the younger son would rule over the older son, schemed to help Jacob deceive his father and steal his brother’s blessing. Jacob then fled, fearing for his life, and was gone for years before the two brothers reunited (Genesis 27). Knowing her family so well, Rebekah knew exactly how to coach Jacob in the deception of Isaac in order to assure that her favorite son would indeed rule over his brother.

Favoritism, Redeemed Mistakes, and God’s Plan

1. God doesn’t have favorites.

Romans 2:11 says that God shows no favoritism. As hard as it may be for us to understand, God loves each of us the same. We are all His children, and He has good gifts in store for each one of us (James 1:17). When we model our parenting after the love God shows us, we love our children equally, showing no favoritism.

2. God can use our mistakes to accomplish His plan.

Rebekah used her role as a mother to “help” make sure God’s plan happened, and her “help” ended up causing years of separation between her sons. It’s tempting to want to help God with His plans for our lives, but God doesn’t need our help. He can use our mistakes to teach us great lessons and bring us closer to Him. Even if we stumble, God will pick us back up and guide us on the specific path that He has for each of us (Psalm 37:23-24).

Being a perfect mom is something we can never attain, but we can learn from stories of the mothers in the Bible and from other moms in our lives. We can be confident that God will love us with an unchanging love, show mercy by picking us up when we stumble and give us the strength to be the best mom to our children.

Reflect:

  • Take a few minutes to thank God for your kids and how He’s carefully crafted them.
  • Does favoritism keep you from loving each of your children just as God loves you?
  • Is there an area of parenting you need help surrendering to the Lord? Take some time to talk it through and ask God for help.

Article courtesy of NewSpring Church

Day 8: A Mother of Faith

Have you ever wanted something so bad that it was all you thought about, talked about, and prayed for? Hannah knew that feeling, and she chose to respond with an attitude of humility and a heart full of faith. Hannah was a homemaker, wife, and believer in the Lord. But most of all, Hannah wanted to be a mother.

For years Hannah was not able to have children while her husband’s second wife, Peninnah, was able to have many. To make matters worse, Peninnah knew how badly Hannah wanted to have a child. She would taunt Hannah cruelly, rubbing it in, and never letting her forget that God had not given her what she wanted. Instead of lashing out or giving up, Hannah would pray fervently for the Lord to give her a son. She continued to worship God and pour out her heart to Him year after year as her family visited the house of the Lord at Shiloh.

One day, as Hannah was weeping and praying, she told God that if He would allow her to conceive a son, she would give him fully back to the Lord (1 Samuel 1:11). As she prayed and wept, Eli, the priest at the temple, noticed how distraught she was. After speaking with Hannah, Eli asked the Lord to grant her the desire of her heart.

This encouragement fueled Hannah’s faith, and soon after she and her husband returned home, she conceived and gave birth to a baby boy named Samuel. Hannah knew that this child was a gift from the Lord, and in faith, she kept her promise to Him. She took Samuel to the house of the Lord at Shiloh and gave him to Eli so that he could serve the Lord for the rest of his days. There, he grew up in the temple, learning to serve God, hear His voice, and eventually become Israel’s greatest judge. Samuel was the very one that God had prepared from the beginning to lead His people at this time in history.

What can we learn from Hannah as a mother?

God cares about your feelings, too.

Hannah knew that while she was infertile, her lack of self-worth could get the best of her, so she always made sure to confess her feelings to God. No matter what you’re waiting for, you can do the same. God loves you and wants you to know that you can come to Him with any need or desire. Like Hannah, we can pour our hearts out to God and have faith that He will give us His best at just the right time.

Your kids are on “loan.”

Hannah knew from the very beginning, even before Samuel was conceived, that he belonged to God. She understood that her bearing a son meant that she was being “loaned” a child from God to love. This is a game changer as a mom. If we could look at our children through the lens of this truth, it would help us see them for who they truly are: God’s child first, on loan for us to love and train to serve the Lord.

We can see that Samuel’s faith grew to reflect Hannah’s when we read his words in 1 Samuel 12:24, “Be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.” (1 Samuel 12:24)

Reflect:

  • What great things has God done for you that you can thank Him for while you wait?
  • Part of God’s plan for Hannah was waiting for child-bearing years. It is easy to look at our outward circumstances, not realizing God needs it to happen this way.
  • What are you struggling to wait for? Pour your heart out to God and tell Him.
  • When Hannah faced opposition in her waiting, she chose a humble response. How will you respond as you wait?

Article courtesy of NewSpring Church

Day 11: You Are a New Family Who Can Make New Traditions

One love story, one ceremony, one brand-new life starting from two totally different families.

When you marry, you are gaining a spouse and a new family. One that has its own routines, habits, and traditions that will be undeniably different from your own. Much of the pressure we face in marriage comes from the task of merging two separate lives into one.

That’s why it’s important to remember that when we marry, we form a new family with new traditions (Genesis 2:24). We don’t have to do everything the way either of our parents did. Our love for our parents is not measured by how much of our childhoods we replicate in our own families.

You don’t have to do everything the way either of your parents did.

In marriage and in parenting, God entrusts you with a responsibility — to love Him and love others. In Deuteronomy 6:5-7, God calls us to love Him with all our heart, soul, and strength, and to pass His commandments on to our kids. God’s Word is to be the focus of our hearts, not where we spend the holidays or how we celebrate with our kids.

If we’ll seek to please God, rather than trying to appease our in-laws, we’ll set up our marriages and our families for success. This might mean building a life that looks totally different than the families you came from — one where you study the Bible and pray together, where church is a priority and your closest relationships are with your spiritual family rather than your biological family.

Through our everyday life, we are to build our family values on loving God with everything we have. When we do, we give our kids a greater gift than the traditions we grew up with. We show them a God who loves them and we pass our faith to the next generation (Proverbs 13:22).

If we set our sights on something more important than the pressures of extended families and focus on Jesus, our marriage will be fertile soil and our faith will grow into a strong tree. Our children will play in that tree, and our grandchildren will be able to swing from the branches.

Questions for him:

  • What do you want to keep or change from your upbringing?

Questions for her:

  • What do you want to keep or change from your upbringing?

Questions to talk about together:

  • What are your dreams for your family?
  • What is the legacy you want to leave your kids?

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

Day 13: Disappointments Don’t Have to Break Your Marriage

Read: Psalm 91

We all encounter loss or disappointment at some point in our life. Where do you go when you don’t get the job, when your kids decide they no longer believe, or the diagnosis isn’t what you thought it would be?

We all react to disappointments differently. Some withdraw, become emotional, or get depressed. Others make themselves busy. And some obsess about trying to fix everything.

Psalm 91 reminds us that when disappointments come our way, we are not alone. God is right there with us. God can heal our loss, our hurt, and our anxiety.

We need to communicate with our spouses about the turmoil in our lives. But our spouses are our partners, not our saviors. Husbands and wives cannot heal our hurts the way God can. Only God can rescue us, protect us, deliver us, and satisfy us (Psalm 91:14-16).

Our spouses are our partners, not our saviors.

Maybe your disappointment is your spouse. There might be deep pain and regret in your marriage. You might think your relationship is beyond repair, but nothing is too far gone for God to repair.

When disappointment comes, Satan would love nothing more than to isolate you or convince you no one cares. So as hard as it may be, open up to your spouse and to your heavenly Father about how you feel. You can share your worries with God, knowing that He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7)

Maybe you need to go a step further. Ask another couple to come alongside you and your spouse in this season, to pray for you and encourage you. Marriage counseling can also be helpful when recovering from disappointments and losses.

Do not be afraid to ask for help from God and from others. God is our ultimate healer, and He often works through His people. When we share our pain with each other, we’ll find ourselves growing closer to Jesus and closer together.

Questions for him:

  • How do you respond to disappointment in your own life? In your wife’s life?

Questions for her:

  • How do you respond to disappointment in your own life? In your husband’s life?

Questions to talk about together:

  • What’s the biggest disappointment you’ve faced since getting married?
  • What’s the best way I can comfort or support you during tough times?

Article courtesy of NewSpring Church

Day 14: Commit to More Than Not Getting Divorced

When it comes to setting goals, we tend to focus on performance rather than purpose. As a result, we frame goals negatively. We vow, “I’m going to stop eating so much junk food.” Instead of, “I’m going to eat healthier foods to fuel my body.”

In the same way, when we commit to staying together, we can, intentionally or unintentionally, put all of our focus on surviving instead of thriving.

Success in marriage is more than “sticking it out for the kids.” Living with someone who doesn’t speak to you — sharing your house but not your heart — is not what Solomon had in mind when he wrote, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord” (Proverbs 18:22).

Marriage is a gift from God, and like all of God’s gifts, it’s meant for His glory and our joy. God made marriage. We are His in body and Spirit, and our unions are designed to draw people to His extraordinary love for the world (Malachi 2:15).

Our unions are designed to draw people to God’s extraordinary love for the world.

Seeing two people pursue one another, forgive one another, sacrifice for one another, and bring the best out of one another — what better picture is there of the way God loves us? God’s love keeps loving. It’s a love we learn to express by experiencing it ourselves (1 John 4:19).

Through loving each other, we become less like the person we were and more of the person God made us to be. Marriage is meant to change us, and this, too, is a good gift. Our best selves and our best lives are revealed as we allow God, through marriage, to make us more like Him.

God wants us to stay together, but He also wants us to be in this together. Not divorcing should not be our only goal. Loving each other as Jesus loved us, that’s the goal. And if we pursue that goal, we’ll find that we not only stay together, we’ll become more like Jesus in the process.

Questions for him:

  • What part of your marriage most glorifies God?
  • What is the biggest challenge in your marriage? What part do you play?

Questions for her:

  • What part of your marriage most glorifies God?
  • What is the biggest challenge in your marriage? What part do you play?

Questions to talk about together:

  • Would watching your marriage encourage or discourage someone else thinking about getting married?
  • Do you both have a relationship with Jesus? How are you pursuing Him individually and together?

Article courtesy of NewSpring Church

Day 3: Accepting God’s Will for Your Child

Most parents think we know what our children should be when they grow up, but our plans are not always the same as God’s plan for them. We’re not the first parents to have to let our children become what God created them to be. Even Mary, the mother of Jesus, had to let her Son follow God’s purpose for His life, whether she liked it or not.

Mary was an ordinary girl who said yes to God’s call on her life (Luke 1:38). She knew Jesus was destined to be great and reign over Israel (Luke 1:32-33), but aside from Simeon’s warning in the temple (Luke 2:35), she probably didn’t expect her beloved firstborn son to die a criminal’s death at the age of 33.

Ground your children in God’s Word so when God speaks, they’ll recognize His voice.

God may be calling your child to a job in a far-off city, or maybe it’s to a mission field in a dangerous country. As parents, we want our children to be happy and fulfilled, and if they can do that while living less than a mile away, all the better. We often want to protect them from all harm and encourage them to do what is going to keep them safe. But God loves our children even more than we do, and He has a purpose for them that is better than anything we could dream up (Jeremiah 29:11).

We all love to give our children gifts, but there are two things we can give them that will help them receive one of the best gifts of all, knowing God and following His will for their lives.

Two of the Best Gifts Money Can’t Buy

1. Roots

Ground your children in God’s Word so when God speaks, they’ll recognize His voice. Mary knew scripture and taught it to her Son. We can also take our children to church so they can learn more about Jesus on their level, just as Mary made sure that Jesus participated in Jewish religious traditions (Luke 2:41-42).

2. Wings

Love your children selflessly enough to let them go wherever God guides them. Mary wanted to see Jesus, but His world was expanding to include everyone willing to listen to Him (Luke 8:19-21). She had to allow Him to fulfill the purpose God had sent Him for.

Parenthood is a lifelong journey of bittersweet moments and putting aside what we want for our children in order to pick up what God wants for them. When we trust God enough to say “yes” to His call, as a mom who gives her children roots and wings, we’ll be able to, like Mary, be blessed among women (Luke 1:42).

Reflect:

  • How are you “rooting” your children in the Word of God?
  • Are you willing to give up your dreams to let God use them in the way He wants to?

Article courtesy of NewSpring Church

Day 4: Hope for Single Moms

Why am I walking this journey? All the other moms seem to have it all together, and I am struggling to put food on the table. Why did God even choose me to be a mother?

If you are having similar thoughts, rest assured that you are not alone. Grab a Kleenex, a comfy reading spot, and let’s dive into Hagar’s story.

Abraham and Sarah grew weary and impatient waiting on God’s promise of children to come true. Taking matters into her own hands, Sarah ordered Hagar, an Egyptian slave in their household, to sleep with her husband in an attempt to build a family.

Hagar became pregnant and began to despise her master, and Sarah likely grew jealous of Hagar’s ability to bear her husband a child. Sarah tells Abraham that it is his fault she is miserable, and he basically gives Sarah permission to do whatever she wants to Hagar. Sarah begins to mistreat Hagar, and Hagar runs away.

God always comes through on his promises; He feels our hurts and hears our cries for help.

Have you found yourself in a difficult predicament, with children, and wonder just where God is leading you? Has your heart cried out for hope, wholeness, and healing?

An angel of the Lord visits Hagar in the wilderness and orders her to return and submit to her mistress, promising her she will give birth to a son named Ishmael and countless more descendants. Hagar was running away from a difficult situation, but God stayed with her and gave her the courage to face the brokenness. Hagar gave birth to a son named Ishmael, translating to “God hears”.

Even when we have doubts and fears, God always comes through on His promises; He feels our hurts and hears our cries for help. Hagar’s story is one of hope. God listened to her cries and felt her brokenness; He stayed with her, pursued her, and delivered her.

God sees your struggle and will guide you through it.

Parenting is hard work in the best of situations. Single mom, God’s grace and mercy fills in all the gaps and crevices in motherhood that you possibly could not. His grace is sufficient for you (2 Corinthians 12:9). God sees your struggle and will guide you through it. Hagar thought she could escape her misery but God not only returned her to it, He blessed her through it. Let Hagar’s story provide the hope you need when you feel the most alone.

Reflect:

  • Are you in a less-than-ideal parenting situation? Meditate on 1 Peter 5:10. Don’t give up hope! God will restore you if you just trust Him!
  • Have you ever tried to escape your problems only to learn that escape is a temporary solution? God wants to help you. Read Philippians 4:13 and 1 Peter 5:7 and stand renewed in your faith that God is a promise maker and a promise keeper.

Article courtesy of NewSpring Church

Lie: Forgiveness Has to be Earned

The Bible is very clear about forgiveness. We didn’t earn our forgiveness (and salvation) on our own — we never could. Forgiveness came only through the sacrifice of God’s only son, Jesus Christ, and it was freely given. In the same way, our spouse, our coworker, our family, or our friend do not need to earn our forgiveness.

We are called to freely forgive others. And in doing so, we free up ourselves from carrying bitterness and anger that only causes strife in our lives. Trust can be earned (or re-earned), but not forgiveness.

10 Core Questions of Life

Our personal world view shapes everything in our lives — and in our kids’ lives. Our actions and reactions are determined by what we believe to be the answers to what Pastor Kevin calls the “10 Core Questions of Life.”

Using the Bible as a reference, we can teach our kids God’s answers to these questions. We’ll have to adapt our answers according to their age so their understanding will grow as their minds and bodies do. Eventually, when they’re adults, they’ll have adult-sized answers and be deeply grounded in their faith.

Slow Down to the Speed of Love

We were created to slow down and “walk” in our relationships, and being intentional takes time and focus. This quality time is an investment that will pay off for years to come.

We should slow down enough to emotionally engage our kids on their level and get interested in what’s going on in their lives. Focus on what matters to them: their friends, hobbies, favorite games, etc.

Remember, kids are smart and will know when you’re faking it. If you need to, carve out time in your calendar specifically for the slow, steady “Speed of Love.”

Three Speeds of Life for a Healthy Family

It’s important for us to understand what Pastor Kevin calls the “Speed of Life,” the “Speed of Love,” and the “Speed of Learn.” Depending on what we’re trying to accomplish with our kids at the time, we’ll need to know when to run, when to walk, and when to sit. No family can operate at the same speed all the time.

Dad’s Day 2018

Scripture:

Challenge: Win the 3 speeds of life.

  • Speed of Life (Run)
  • Speed of Love (Walk)
  • Speed of Learn (Sit)

Your world view shapes everything – your actions and reactions – so teach your kids the 10 core questions of life:

  1. Is life an accident, or am I here on purpose?
  2. Why do bad things happen to good people?
  3. Can I really trust God?
  4. Why can’t I make my own rules?
  5. Why can’t God just accept me the way I am?
  6. Isn’t only one way to God narrow-minded?
  7. What does it mean to be forgiven?
  8. Why don’t Christians look different from everybody else?
  9. Who needs the church?
  10. Are Heaven and Hell real?

What you feed grows and what you starve dies.

Love Doesn’t Enable

There are times in life when we come alongside others to help them. We do this in love because we see they are sinking, and we want to help them carry the weight of their struggles.

There are also times in which we are tempted to carry people who are perfectly capable of carrying themselves. A prime example of this can be found in parenting.

Pastor Miles recounts a story of his daughter and her homework. Instead of helping her, he empowered her to help herself.

Say No to Shirking

There are areas in our lives that we tend to avoid because they’re difficult or require extra effort. These areas we tend to neglect could be in our marriage, family, career, finances – even our faith.

It’s important to relax and enjoy time off when we can get it, but we shouldn’t allow that to move into shirking our responsibilities when the break or vacation is over.

Like John Maxwell says, “If you do the things you need to do when you need to do them, then someday you can do the things you want to do when you want to do them.”

Heather’s Prayer for Her Daughter

Pastor Heather Semple, from Red Cedar Community Church in Wisconsin and a friend of Pastor Kevin, shares her story of a very personal affirmation from God through an unexpected prayer request for her daughter. In the midst of what she believed to be a big spiritual risk for her congregation, her obedience and this “surprise” prayer moment left Pastor Heather feeling closer to God than ever.

Today, she believes the more she lives like God’s daughter, the more she experiences His power in her parenting and in her pastoring.

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 Single Moms Develop an Atmosphere of Prayer?

The first thing a single mom should do to develop an atmosphere of prayer is to grow her own intimate relationship with her Heavenly Father. This opens the door to her children believing in the possibility for themselves. The next thing she should do is to let her children know she’s praying for them and offer to pray with them together. Engage the mystery of prayer and watch God work.

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.

How Do I Make Prayer Practical for Young Children?

Children crave routine, and prayer can easily become part of your family’s daily rhythm. Begin with prayers of thanks for food, toys, friends, etc. Progress over time to prayers for God’s help in situations at school or with difficult relationships. Prayer should grow in complexity as children get older. Model for them, through all stages of life, how to pray to their Heavenly Father.

What’s Better Than Forgiveness From Sin?

In The Lord’s Prayer, Jesus says, “Lead us not into temptation.” Temptation, in this instance, means trials that would lead us to fall prey to Satan’s schemes and cause us to sin.

We should pray daily so that God would help us not to become so undone by our challenges that we would believe the lies of the enemy.

How Pastor Kevin Forgave His Dad

Pastor Kevin shares how he managed to forgive his father, from whom he’s been estranged since age 17. He discusses the three words that helped him process the loss: bitterness, forgiveness, and sadness. The forgiveness removed the bitterness, but it did not remove the sadness of what could have been.

Guiding a Family to Solve Conflict

We can resolve conflict in family by following the guidelines God models for us:

  • There is righteousness: Discuss and determine what is right, not who is right.
  • There is unrighteousness: Acknowledge what is wrong.
  • Someone has to repent: Apologize and return to what is righteous.
  • Someone has to forgive: Absorb the loss and restore the relationship.

When we let the peace of God reign, there will still be conflict, but now we have way to solve it.

Solving Conflict Within Marriage

In Ephesians 5:21-28, Paul gives a framework for marriage to work. This structure helps two people cooperate because Christ is ruling their life!

First they must let God’s peace rule in our hearts, then they are able to have a mutual respect and love for each other. Through this a married couple gains a better way of resolving conflict in marriage.

Solving Conflict Within Ourselves

Often, we over react to problems in life because we already have pressure within ourselves.

In this illustration, PK uses beachballs floating in water to show that a full beachball is much more difficult to keep down than a deflated beachball.

Here’s the point. In Colossians 3:8, Paul advises that we rid ourselves of anger, rage, etc.. (pressure) and surrender ourselves completely to Jesus. If Jesus rules us from the inside out, he removes the pressure within and any pressure we may bring into our marriages and families.