Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Character Training

I know we've talked about having "J.O.Y." ( Jesus, Others, Yourself) in a previous blog but the kids and I have been memorizing a verse that really hides this truth in their hearts. Matthew 22:37-39 says this,

"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."

We need to be continually helping our children ( and ourselves) hide the Word of God in their hearts. They need to know that these aren't just rules we set up, but that God himself did. All of our rules need to have a moral or a safety value behind it and we need to be able to share with our children those values. We need to share the "why" of the rules so that our children can apply them to other situations. For instance, "Bobby, share the toy with Johnny." is instructive but it doesn't allow the child to know "why" he should be nice and share. However, if we have previously taught Bobby the value of loving others and putting others first we can say, "Bobby, are you thinking of others first by not sharing that toy?". We are teaching a value not merely issuing a command. Teaching values is what creates a Godly character. Look for the verses in the Bible that you can teach your children, for they should be the foundation of all character training.


Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Teaching the Truth at Easter

At Easter, as with Christmas, we parents have a great opportunity to focus the holiday on Jesus instead of the Easter bunny, candy, and baskets. Here's an easy way to teach your children the salvation message. For fun, we decorated foam cut out in the shape of eggs (eggs are a symbol of new life - which can be used to symbolize the new life we have in Jesus) in each of these colors and made them into Easter wordless books. We "read" them often so that our kids remember and can recite the salvation message.

Gold – reminds us of heaven and how great it us but we can't go with sin!
Black – reminds us that we all have sin and can't get rid of it ourselves.
Red – reminds us that God loves us so much that he sent Jesus to die for us to take away our sin.
White – reminds us that we can be cleansed from sin if we will believe in Jesus.
Green – reminds us that when we trust Jesus we begin to grow more like Him.

Duet 6:7 commands us as parents to talk to our children about God's commandments. It says to “talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you wake up.” We have a wonderful opprtunity to do just that at Easter. Focus on the Family website has some great ideas to help us as parents to teach about Easter. You can go to www.focusonyourchild.com/faith and click on “Finding Easter in Bunnies and Baskets”. I think you and your family will be blessed if you do!

Categories: holidays,