Sometimes we get negative.
So much so that some people think that Christianity is a list of dos and don’ts … well, mostly don’ts.
Unfortunately, as Christians, we only have ourselves to blame because we’re the ones who are sending out the message.
Unfortunately, as Christians, we most often convey this message to our kids. Instead of teaching (and exampling) the joy of knowing Christ and the redemption we have through HIm, we focus on …
… God is angry because you slammed the door again.
… God is angry because you ran in church.
… God is angry because your skirt is too short or your hair too messy or …
You get the picture.
I say, let’s change the message we’re giving to our kids (and anyone else who is listening.)
How about a quick look at 12 Fantabulous Things the Lord tells us to do in His Word, the Bible? (By the way, I have never liked the word “things” in posts like this, but haven’t found a better choice.)
Wait. NOT a quick look … let’s cement these truths into the hearts and minds of our children (and us).
*Psalm 27:14 – Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! Here the Psalmist lists three things: Wait, Be strong, Take courage. Kids today face more anxiety than ever before. When we teach them at a young age that they can be strong and take courage in the Lord, we give them tools to cope with difficult situations all through their lives.
*Psalm 46:10 – “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Being quiet and thinking about the Lord is a necessity of life. Think of ways you can help your child do that.
*Psalm 135:3 – Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good; sing to His name, for it is pleasant! Teaching kids to praise the Lord whether through music or taking a walk in the woods and thanking God for His creation, is a great habit to acquire.
*Proverbs 1:8-9 – Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck. Parents have good advice – you can learn a lot from them! Listen.
*Proverbs 22:9 – Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men. What talents has the Lord given you. Work at them. Use them to the best of your ability. No, you might not stand before a king … but using talents well can open doors. (This doesn’t have to be best-in-the-world-type-of-talent, but something a child does reasonably well.)
*Proverbs 25:21 – If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat,and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. Teaching kids to serve an early age can start a lifetime of service.
*Ecclesiastes 12:1 – Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, I have no pleasure in them.” Do your kids know they don’t have be to adults to love the Lord? Some kids have that impression. (My husband was one of them until a camp counselor explained that kids can trust Christ, too.)
*Ephesians 4:32 – Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Can we get more positive than this?
*Ephesians 5:2 – And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. We are to walk in love – the kind of love that Christ has for us (which means making good choices).
*Colossians 3:15 – And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. Be thankful. A heart and mind focused on gratitude can change your attitude toward even the toughest situations … even when you’re a kid.
*Colossians 4:6 – Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. In a world where even young children use questionable language, let’s teach them the joy of having gracious speech.
*1 Thessalonians 5:17 – Pray without ceasing. Teach kids that prayer is a conversation with the Lord and doesn’t need special words or a special place.
Let’s teach our kids some fantabulous DOs!