Tag Archives: Family Devotions

3 Ways to Treasure Your Kids

Recently, I read an article about a dad that spends $440 on his cable bill to make sure he spends quality time with his kids.  He had good intentions, but I’m pretty sure that poor guy missed the mark.  It was like a hunter with a clear shot of a deer and shot his own foot.  Good try.

Sadly, there are times when my intentions may be good to spend time with my kids, but I miss the mark.  My kids are all preschool age and under, and I constantly hear from parents of older kids, “They grow up so fast”.  I don’t want to let time just fly by, and not try my very best to build memories, impact my kids with my time, and allow my kids to feel like they are treasured by their dad.

This list is not exhaustive by any means, but here are 3 ways I want to do, to treasure my kids:

The B-I-B-L-E.   Each night, we gather in one of their rooms and we read the Bible together.  We are currently reading through The Jesus Storybook Bible.  This book is fantastic.  It points each story back to Jesus, something I always want to do with my kids, is point them to the Savior.  Sure, there are times when giggles overcome the story (like one time when I read the name Nebuchadnezzar, and my kids couldn’t stop laughing for a solid 10 minutes), and there will be times when you have to encourage them to pay attention, but it is all worth it.  I love getting them involved, asking questions, doing motions to the story…I have the opportunity to make their daily Bible reading fun, and I try to take full advantage.

Out of Cell Phone Range.  One of the biggest daggers that I have received thus far in my parenting career is when my oldest daughter said “I wish Daddy would put his cell phone down and watch what I am doing”.  I didn’t hear her, but my wife did and pointed it out to me.  Ouch!  That one stung for a while.  So, when I come home from work, or if I am playing with the kids, I try (notice I said try) to not have my cell phone in my pocket.  Dinner table, playing outside, vacation…these are times when the cell phone needs to be “out of range”.  This all may sound silly to some of you, but whatever may cause you distraction, remove it, and give your attention to your kids.  Whether it is a phone, the TV, computer, or work-related papers/items…push them to the side for your kids.

Daddy (Mommy) Dates.  My oldest calls just going to pick up something at the store a “Daddy date”.  And I love that.  I love spending one-on-one time with my kids, and I hope I can sustain this special time as they grow older.  I know it will get harder and will take a larger commitment, but it is something that shows each child they are treasured and valued.  This is opportunity for purposeful and important conversations to happen, and it also just time to get to know each other and show them love.  I’m looking forward to many dates in the years ahead…with me, not with boys.  Yeah, I’m fine with them being preschool age forever =)

These are just a few ways that I treasure my kids.  What do you do with your kids to treasure them?  I’d love to hear and learn from you!

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How to Build a Spiritual Home

This past Saturday, I had the privilege to host a Parent/Grandparent Seminar.  One of the session topics was “Building a Home”.  For a guy who once lost all power to the first floor of his house after trying to fix an outlet…building a house is pretty overwhelming…and the thought of building a spiritual home, well that can be just as overwhelming.

So the next few weeks, I’d like to share the basics of building a home….not a house (because I can barely build a play house, and I wouldn’t know where to start).  But a home, well a good place to start is God’s Word, more specifically Psalm 127:1 – Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.  This verse has less to do with the hammer and nails, and more to do with wisdom & parenting.  So in each of these steps, you will notice God’s Word supporting each idea and steps toward building a spiritual home.

Build a Home

Step #1 – Foundation – A Foundation of Faith

How is this Accomplished?

1st, Bring them to church – Hebrews 10:25

Kids Who Become Active Christ-followers as Adults (from Lifechurch.tv)

If mom and dad went to church:       72% of kids will as adults.

If mom only went to church:            15% of kids will as adults.

If dad only went to church:              55% of kids will as adults.

If neither mom nor dad:                   06% of kids will as adults.

Your church attendance makes a difference.  Teens are leaving the church at a rapid rate, and the biggest reason is not they are mad at church, but they just don’t see it as important.  The famed theologian Justin Bieber was recently quoted as saying for me, I focus more on praying and talking to Him. I don’t have to go to church.” You as a parent need to show them it is…for spiritual growth, encouragement, place to serve, for community, and most of all to give glory & honor to our great God.

But it’s doesn’t stop there – the practical benefits are numerous.  Academically, Sociologists from BYU and Rice University found religiously affiliated youth are 40 percent more likely to graduate high school than their unaffiliated peers and 70 percent more likely to enroll in college.  Behaviorally, other studies have shown that religious involvement can also reduce drug & alcohol use and promiscuous behavior.

 

2nd, Don’t be afraid of the “G” word  – Joshua 24:15b “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

The Barna Group published an incredible statistic. It found that less than 10% of families who regularly attend church have spiritual conversations in the home.  WHY is that?

Is the TV too loud?  – The average American spends more than 34 hours a week watching live TV, plus another 3 to 6 hours watching taped programs.

Communication Breakdown – According to NPD Group Research – Devices now outnumber people in America 425 million to 315.  Somebody call Orson Welles!  Is your cell phone a distraction?  Do you have a “no cell phone rule” at the dinner table?  The “distracted parent” has received wide-notoriety, as an article in the Wall Street Journal stated “Injuries due to playground equipment in kids under five are up 17 percent; swimming-pool injuries have climbed 36 percent in the same age group…a tweeting mom’s two-year-old drowned while she was posting pictures of a tortoise that was in their backyard.”

Not a Priority – God and His Word need to the foundation.  Not education, not comfortable living, not even an iPad…it has to be God, and He needs to be brought up in conversation.  40 hours of TV…at least mute the commercials!  Barna says:  Parents that regularly discuss spiritual matters, actively serve in the church, and pray together with their kids are almost twice as likely their child will remain faithful!  Deuteronomy 6:7 explains God should be discussed all the time.  Use teaching moments whenever they present themselves.  May have to sacrifice sleep with this b/c teens open up the most at 11pm…but do what you can to use these teaching opportunities ALL DAY LONG.

 

3rd, Address Doubts & Encourage Independent Faith

Most spiritual doubts occur in jr. high and high school – help them through it.  Don’t dismiss their doubts, but help them to make their faith their own.  Don’t force it on them.  Work through it with them.

If we break down Colossians 1:23 phrase by phrase, it gives us a 3-dimensional faith that we all need to have, especially our kids.

Persistent faith – “continue in the faith”

Perceptive faith – “which you have heard and which was preached”

Personal faith – “and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister”

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