Hopefully throughout these Parenting pages you will see that Faith is everywhere. Faith is the first thing in my life when it comes to parenting. Everything I do starts with God. It's like what I teach the boys- J.O.Y. Jesus, Others, then Yourself. Living your life by the word of God should be the most important thing in your life. And it's very important to teach your children. My hope is that you will read this section seriously and live by these truths. Sit down as a family and discuss your family's moral and values. Talk about them, write them down, print them out and post in your home for everyone to see often.
See my Faith and Discipline page for practical parenting tips.~ Coming Soon!
"Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great."
Ways to Teach them Faith:
"These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads."
Make sure you build your life on the foundation of God. Be a godly example for your children to see. Live out a Godly life before them. When they look at you, do they see Jesus? I am very serious about my role as a mom. I am not "just a mom." I am their MOM, the one whose job it is to teach them diligently the word of God every day, all day. I am not to be selfish and waste what little time I have with them. I see all too many times, how parents have a hard time with their children. And it all comes down to the parent's selfishness. We only have a very short period of time of our own lives that we will have with them. Are you using your time wisely or selfishly? I love tv, it is my relaxation time. But, I record the shows I like to watch for when I have time alone. I make sure I dedicate my time to boys and raising them to be Godly young men. Here are a few ways I have found to do that throughout the day that is also in my "Children" section:
Leading your Children Spiritually
"These commandments I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them upon your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up."
1. Have family devotion at breakfast.
2. Memorize a Bible verse a week with the kids. Write Bible verses on index cards, put them on the kitchen table, study every day.
3. At dinner study weekly verse, read a family devotional book, talk about what God taught you today.
4. Have a "Family Bible Time" every day. Read a chapter of the Bible a day. A good place to start is Proverbs.
5. Teach the kids the Fruit Of the Spirit, and how to incorporate it in their lives daily.
6. Give each child their own Bible. You could even purchase a cover, notepad, pencil, and highlighter. Encourage them to follow the pastor on Sunday and take notes.
7. Make a spot on their bedroom shelving for their Bible, devotional, and prayer journal. Encourage them to take 30 minutes every night to read the bible and write in their prayer journal.
8. Give them a devotional book to read every night.
9. When filling their Easter baskets, only fill with Christian books, toys, Bibles, devotionals,etc...
10. At Christmas time, put up a "Jesus Tree". Every day put on a new ornament that represents Christ.
For a list click: jesus-tree-list
12. Model Christian behavior in your home daily. Display the fruit of the Spirit in yourself, do something kind for someone in need, volunteer at your church, donate to Christian charities,etc...
12. On car trips listen to "Adventures In Odyssey" radio series on CD. They even have videos. Watch other Christian videos.
13. At home watch Christian educational and entertainment videos. Steve Greene's "Hide'm in Your Heart", Veggie Tales, BibleMan, Kids Ten Commandments form Tyndale Entertainment, Praise baby videos,etc... for the older kids get the lastest Christian artist CD
14. While kids are playing in their rooms play Christian Music. Praise Baby, Kids Praise, Cedarmont Worship for Kids, Shout Praises! Kids,"My First Bible" on CD.
15. Check out Christian books, CD's, and DVD's from your local library or church to save money.
16. Subscribe to devotional magazines, Christian magazines,etc.. or go to your local Church library to read them. There are many good ones for children, teens, and adults. They also have magazines about movie, book, and CD reviews.
17. Watch faith-based movies as a family night.
18. Teach character qualities. Click on this link to print out a copy of all. I suggest to laminate, put a magnet on the back and keep on your fridge. Go over one quality each week/month. Help them incorporate it in their lives by modeling and example. Use the worksheet with it. Click on the links below:
~ For Instruction in Righteousness by Pam Forster ( Uses the disobedience, gives a curse and a blessing with scripture. It also has stories from the Bible and examples you can talk to your kids about)
~ Don't Make Me Count To Three by Ginger Plowman (* don't forget the "Wise Words for Moms", too! Well, worth it!!)
20. Pray for your children. Print this out, laminate and put in your prayer binder.
Moral and Values:
Living a moral life is the first priority in teaching moral and values. Your children will learn by what they see you do. They will also learn by your consistency. Make sure you have a written and printed set of rules about how your family will live their life, morals and values. Be consistent with the rules. We do not allow immoral images of any kind. We do not allow inappropriate books, magazines, tv shows, or movies. There will come a time when your child will want to resist you, question you and want to defy you, but stand your ground! As your child grows older, they will see that your love for them is why you kept those images away from them. I do not believe in "Sheltering," but I do believe there are just some things in this world today that are unnecessary. Our children do not need to see most of these things. We monitor their tv viewing. The tv shows marketed toward children these days show immoral acts, sexual sins, defiance toward adults, disrespect towards each other and adults. Even younger children's shows show this kind of behavior. It is up to you as the parent to decide what you think is appropriate behavior for your kids to see. Then, there is the music. Now, I love music and I don't believe you only have to listen to hymns. Your children should know them, though! We have choir for our little ones at our church that teaches hymns. I have bought all the little cd's of hymns that I play in their rooms while they play. But I do allow other kinds of music. I do not shelter them, but I do monitor what they listen to on the radio.
Teach them to LOVE:
Matthew 22:37-40 (New International Version)
"Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
In another section I speak about teaching children to love one another. Most sibling rivalry begins because they do not show love towards one another. When a child has love in their hearts for one another, it is easier for them to obey you and obey God. You teach them by Godly example, by what the bible says about love, showing them love, and helping them show love towards others. Please see the Positive Family Relationships section for more information.
The 10 Commandments:
Teach your children the 10 commandment from the time they are able to hear your voice! Yes, read it to them even as babies. With repetition, they will learn and remember it. Teach them that all is sin to God. When your child had broken a commandment, remind them what they have broken. Have them ask for God's forgiveness, as well as yours.
The 10 Commandments - God's Revelation in the Old Testament
7. 'You shall not commit adultery.'
CLick HERE for a site with printable posters.
You can teach children as young as 2 years old to memorize scripture. You can start with playing scripture memory CD's while they play in their rooms, or while they fall asleep at night. My favorites are by Steve Green- "Hidem' in Your Heart", and Hermie.
Our church encourages our children to memorize a verse a month for the preschooler and a verse a week for the older ones. I have index cards with a napkin holder on our kitchen (and only) table. I have written their verses on these cards. Every evening at dinner we go over the verses. If we are riding in the van, I tape a card to the back of the seat in front of them. I put up a card on their corkboard/bulletin board. I purchased their own boards for this reason. I also tack up their spelling list and important papers. It is also a good idea to give them their own calendar. Every night before they go to sleep I require them to have at least 30 minutes of reading time. 1st-study bible verse, 2nd-read daily devotional, 3rd- read a chapter of the Bible, then 4th-read a chapter of their school book.
Reading is encouraged in our family throughout the day as well. It is required that they do their homework/schoolwork,have reading time, have outside playtime before they watch tv or play games on the computer. Please see the Responsibility section also.
Teach about Biblical Heroes:
Use your bible to read the stories to your children. Have them highlight special verses in their Bibles that speak to them. Purchase books about them and read them often. Print out coloring pages for younger children. My favorite book about Jesus for young children is the Jesus Storybook Bible.
Here are some heroes and links to other websites:
Jesus- The Story of Jesus
Moses- The Story of Moses
Deborah- The Story of Deborah
Esther-The Story of Esther
David- The Story of David
Daniel- The Story of Daniel
Joshua- The Story of Joshua
Peter- The Story of Peter
Paul- The Story of Paul
Teach Godly Character:
Start teaching Godly character at a very young age. The younger the better. When they learn about great character qualities, they will use them for the rest of their lives. This is so important to me, I suggest making a binder with print out sheets on Character qualities. Go to these sites to print them out. Go over them each month with your children. The best way to teach is to live by Godly example!
Books that teach Character:
Swiss Family Robinson
Hans Christian Anderson
Frog and Toad
Wind and the Willows
Chronicles of Narnia
Little House on the Prairie series
Lord of the Rings
Red Badge of Courage
20,000 Leagues under the Sea
CD's that Teach Character:
Adventures in Odyssey is a great Christian radio series that I have always loved to listen to with our boys. We listen to them on long car trips or even trips into town. (We live 30 minutes from the nearest Walmart) the stories are about 30 minutes long.
Instead of family movie night, have a family story night. Pop popcorn, lay blankets on the floor, snuggle on the couch, and put the cd in the dvd player. Listen to it as a family night event. Talk about the story when it's over.
Sometimes, when the kids go to sleep we will let them listen to a story while falling asleep.
Here is a website for the series:
Every evening as a family we read a chapter of Proverbs. We have chosen this time because it is best for us. After dinner, after chores, and before bath time. We all gather in the living room/family room with our Bibles. There are 31 chapters. If it's March 1st, we read Proverbs 1, and so on. Even our young children sit on the floor and color as I read to them. The boys who are able to read, follow along with their own Bibles. They highlight and write notes as we go along. We talk about what we learned after I have read. No matter how many times you read it, they will learn something new. They will also come to memorize verses without realizing it! We have also started reading in different versions each time. It's amazing the new things they learn from hearing it differently.