Being a Good Example

I cannot stress how important it is to be a good example for your kids.  You know the saying “Do as I say, not as I do”?   Well, that may sound good, but our kids hear what we say so much louder when we live it out.  

The best way to share your faith in Christ with your kids, and with others is through living an abundant life.  A life filled with the peace that comes from trusting in God and turning everything over to Him. 

Our biggest responsibility as Christian parents is to lead our kids to a relationship with God.  And one of the best ways to do that is show our love and commitment for God.  Here are some ways you can be a good example to your kids:

  1. Daily Bible Reading.  Let your kids see you reading the Bible and enjoying quiet time.  Also, maybe read a verse to them every morning and also when they go to bed.  Teach them that it is the best way to start and end your day.  Also, have a daily or weekly devotional with your kids to dive a little deeper into the Bible together.
  2. Memorize and Recall Bible Verses.  Currently I am trying to memorize a new Bible verse everyday.  I told my daughter the verse I was learning last week and she was memorizing it too.  I am going to start telling both of the kids the verse I’m memorizing and they can join in if they would like to.  One of the best reasons for memorizing scripture is so that during tough times you can recall the verse and repeat it back to yourself or out loud.  It is the best way to end any negative (and unneccessary) thinking.
  3. Work Hard.  Showing your kids how important it is to work hard will help them grow up with a healthy work ethic and they will understand that you cannot get by without hard work in life.  The Bible even tells us we must not be lazy and that we must work hard.  Living this out for your kids is a great example.
  4. Love Others Unconditionally.  It can be tempting to talk about other people at times, but this teaches your children it is okay to talk about and judge others.   Instead suggest that you pray for others, give money to the poor folks on the corner, and remind your kids that God loves ALL of us and we never know what someone else is going through.  Always show respect to others.  God commands us to “love others as we love ourselves”.  Show your kids what that looks like, it’s a very important lesson for all of us!
  5. Serve Others.  Get involved with some volunteer work and let your kids come along.  Showing them what serving others is like and letting them participate is a great example!  Make serving others a part of your routine and your kids will follow your example.  Afterwards talk about how it felt and why God commands us to serve others. 
  6. Tithe.  Tithing is a very important act of worship, it shows God where your treasure is, which in turn shows Him where your heart is.  Encourage your kids to tithe 10% of their Christmas money, Birthday money, or allowance and let them see you doing the same.
  7. Enjoy Fellowship.  Being involved with a Bible study or some other form of fellowship is essential to living a Christian life.  We all need the help and accountability of our Christian friends.  Encourage your kids to get involved in their own Bible study or youth group as it becomes available to them.  Host a life group in your own and involve your children.  Also encourage them to participate in Vacation Bible School at your church or any other youth activities.
  8. Share Your Faith With Others.  Whenever possible let your kids see you sharing your faith with others in any way you can.  Just a casual conversation with the store clerk or with a friend or neighbor.  I know these conversations are hard to come by for many of us, but whenever possible and appropriate let your children see you gently and lovingly sharing your faith.  You will only be teaching them to do what Christ calls each of us to do.
  9. Stand Up For What You Believe In.  Do not be afraid to stand up for what you believe in and not just go along with the crowd.  This helps your kids learn how to deal with peer pressure and turn from those things they know are wrong.
  10. Forgive.  Learning to forgive those that have hurt us is a very hard lesson to learn.  If you can show your kids how you forgive others without condoning what they have done you will be teaching them an invaluable lesson on letting go.

This list is not all-inclusive, but I think it is a good start.  I personally need to work harder in a lot of these areas, and I will commit to doing so because I know I have an audience that is paying attention to how I live my life, not just how I tell them to live theirs.

I’m Thankful for Our Kids

Today is once again Thankful Thursday.  I think it’s so important to remember to be thankful.  I know we shouldn’t have to remind ourselves to be thankful.  But I think it’s necessary.  I believe we should wake up every single day and start the day by telling God all the things we are thankful for.  I, myself, do not always remember to do that.  But that is my goal. 

I’m going to try my best to remember to say thanks to God for everything I’m thankful for, the minute I open my eyes in the morning.  Another idea is to start a Journal of Thanks.  And just fill it each day with all the things you are thankful for.

Today (and really everyday) I’m thankful for our kids.  My daughter is about to turn 7 and is in first grade, and my step son is 12 and is in 6th grade this year.  It is his first year in middle school.  Which of course brings a lot of changes.

They are great kids.  They have good hearts and are learning a lot about the Bible ,and how to have a relationship with God.  We try to teach them about God as much as we can, and how to apply it to their day-to-day life. 

Being a parent is one of the greatest and hardest roles all wrapped into one.  Raising children can be extremely challenging at times.  Sometimes more than others.  And you just hope you are doing the right thing.  But it can also be such a joy when you see them make the right decisions.  When they tell you they read something in the Bible, or that they helped out a friend, or they want to join a Bible study, or they helped out at school, or they want to give their allowance money to people who need it more…….you just feel so proud of these human beings you are responsible for.  As they get older I know we will have many more challenging times, but just as many, if not more,  joyous and proud times.

It’s the hard things in life that bring so much joy.  The relationships we put the most investment in ,and work at the hardest, are the most rewarding. 

So, today I am thankful that God gave me the opportunity to have two children in this lifetime.   Those two kids are a gift that I will forever cherish.   I take my role as a mother very seriously, yet I want to have a lot of fun in the process.  I want my kids to know the truth about God, to have a loving relationship with God, and to know they have parents that love them and want the best for them.  I also want them to remember how much we laughed together.

Thank you Lord for trusting me with these kids.  I won’t let you down.