Monday, April 16, 2012

How Resources Can Help Christian Parents Disciple Their Children

If you are a reader of my blog, you've probably noticed that I use a lot of resources.  Many of my ideas come from books, websites, or other blogs.  I love these resources!

Instilling God's truth, His character, and His love, in our children is no small task.  As parents and grandparents, God has given us a mission that will continually challenge us.  Yet it is a mission of utmost importance.

Many of us (myself included) struggle with how to effectively lead our children and grandchildren spiritually.  Whether we grew up in a Christian home or not, most likely we have never seen family discipleship modeled .  How do we go about impressing a child's heart with a love for God?  

Photo: Camilla Hoel
When we are in unfamiliar terrain--grappling with a perplexing new developmental stage our child is entering, making God central in our daily lives, finding a systematic approach to Biblical instruction, leading our children into a close relationship with God--resources have much to teach us.

Resources give me new ideas.  They inspire me.  They can provide step-by-step instruction.  Just seeing the book sitting on my desk reminds me to make the spiritual training of my children a priority.  The bottom line is that it's more likely to get done if I use a resource of some kind.

As parents, we all have strengths and limitations.  Resources enable me to compensate for those areas that don't come naturally to me.  For a quick example, one of my parenting strengths is providing structure.  You want me to be spontaneous?  Give me detailed instructions of exactly how to do that, and I’ll be as spontaneous as anyone. :)   I find resources that help me fill in for this weakness.  I find lists of questions, openings for spiritual discussions, “spontaneous” object lessons, and so on.  If you want to be more structured in your parenting, there are plenty of resources that can help with that also.

You are God's most important resource for your children's spiritual development.  It is not a chance occurrence that your child is in your family.  Perfect divine thought and intention is the reason you are together.  You have exactly what they need to prepare them for the Kingdom of God.  Let's trust God's amazing plans for our own lives and the lives of our children.  Let's equip ourselves so we can fulfill the wonderful purpose He has in mind for our families.

Interested in finding some quality resources and not sure where to start?  Be sure to check out my Resources page to see some of my favorites!  Looking for even more resources?  Click on the Resources and Reviews categories on the righthand sidebar.

Photo: D6 Family

Monday, April 2, 2012

9 Lessons Of Redemption: A Round-Up Of Links For Family Activities

Image:  Microsoft Images
Whether you observe the Passover or celebrate Easter, the themes of sin, sacrifice, grace, and redemption remain consistent during this season.  This week let's take a look at some of the wonderful resources for teaching our children about God's plan of salvation which shows His incredible love for mankind.  I've collected links to some of my favorite object lessons for this season and want to share them with you.

Knock Sin Out Of Our Lives by Family Time Training - Here is a visual representation of the basic gospel message that is sure to get your kids' attention!  If you've seen my workshop about Family Time Training, then you have seen this object lesson before.  I can attest that it keeps a roomful of people on the edges of their chairs!

Repentance Box by A Holy Experience - Are you wanting your children to really personalize what Christ's sacrifice means in their own lives?  This repentance box is a perfect way to teach how the confession of sins results in receiving God's grace.  Try this in your home, and give your children the experience of seeing their transgressions being blotted out (Isaiah 43:25). 

The Meaning of the Cross by "Uncle Maurice" - Using a penny, a candle, and colored water, Maurice creates a visual message of Christ taking on our sins and dying so that we may be saved.  Fire is always sure to get the attention of your children!

Repentance Object Lesson by MeckMom - With a $20 bill and 5 minutes, you can create a lasting impression in your child's mind about the effects of sin and our worth in God's eyes. 

Easter Week Family Night Activities by Kurt and Olivia Bruner - The video below explains two fantastic lessons for this week.  Though "Easter" is in the title, these lessons--which explain why we need the sacrifice of Jesus Christ--are also very applicable if you observe the Biblical Passover. 

One Sin by Mad About Jesus (Lesson 1) - Another wonderfully captivating object lesson that explains salvation through Jesus Christ using balloons and a candle.

Nothing Gold Can Stay by Mad About Jesus (Lesson 11) - This object lesson will take a little more preparation, but it's sure to leave an impression.  A narrated story accompanies this visual representation of the basic gospel message--sin and redemption through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  Be sure to take a look at the video so you can see this object lesson being performed. 

Choosing Good Friends by Your Life Uncommon - At the end of a lesson about friendship, this family took their object lesson one step further in order to illustrate atonement for our sins through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Your kids will love watching their sins becoming "white as snow" (Isaiah 1:18).  All it takes is some pasta, red food coloring, bleach, and a few minutes of time. 

May God bless your family and your efforts to lead them to Him during this holy season!

Photo:  Microsoft Images
If you try any of these, please share your experience in the Comments.  We would love to hear how it worked for your family!

What are some of your favorite lessons to teach during this season?  (Please be sure to credit the sources if your ideas are not original.)