"All the aspects of family living have a profound impact on the persons
your children become." Tedd Trip
No pressure or anything. But, ALL the aspects of family living - means ALL.
We are big believers that "families who pray and play together stay together" - as a Christian homeschool family who love the outdoors - we have to opportunity every single day to instill these same values in our children. We actually enjoy the company of our children and see them as blessings from the Lord - not as a way to punish us for things we did to our own parents. Although, it has become apparent to me that God really does have a sense of humor in this department.
The main point to Trip's second chapter is that although we have responsibilities to teach our children what is right - to provide structure, guidance, encouragement, and love to our little blessings -
THEY are responsible for the way they respond to our parenting.
We had a wonderful time on this particular family adventure. We camped, hiked, and learned about nature. We sat by the fire and told stories, talked about the stars and how wonderful God is in His creativity. We made beautiful memories - as we always do when spending time together outdoors.
But, we have three little boys. One hit the other (says it was an accident) the other responded with a strike back. We had them settle it and shake hands. At one point - someone had the SAME EXACT STICK that another wanted (you know how boys are about their sticks) we encouraged them to work it out themselves. Then there was this other thing - and the kid who threw themselves down on the ground - right there in front of God and everybody.
They are good boys, but you know what? It doesn't matter if we are headed to church, the grocery store, or on a big adventure - there are always "things" for us to guide them through. (read arguments to break up, discipline to hand out, and whining to
put a cork in encourage to stop)
Most everywhere we go - I have people compliment how "well behaved" my children are (not during that "throw himself in the floor" incident) but, it's not because they don't do normal kid stuff. It's because we do continue to lovingly guide them back on track. (Ok - a couple of times here and there - I talk through my teeth). When the going get's tough, we just keep on going and pray our way through it.
I mess up regularly - just like my children. One of the things Trip said in chapter 2 of major significance is this "don't let guilt over your parenting failures keep you from parenting!"
These are just SOME of the shaping influences in our children's lives.
Parenting and sailing:
"The direction of the craft is not determined by the direction of the breeze
but by the trim of the sail" Tedd Trip
Children are not born as neutral beings. They are born worshipers - they will worship things of God or the things of man. Our job is to teach and train them to love, value, and worship the things of God rather than man. Ultimately, they will choose to accept or reject God's direction for their life.
If they love the things of God - they will respond to His authority through you as the parent.
Their Godward orientation is like the set of the sail. *total paraphrase from the book
"Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it
SPRING the issues of LIFE"
Are you focused on the behavior of your children? Or on what's going on in their heart?
Call me a dork - a Jesus freak - whatever - but one of my new favorite questions for my children is:
"What would Jesus do?"
Ya know what? It's a much easier way to break up a fight
- turns out, my boys DO care what Jesus wants of them!
As Christian parents - we are the agents of Christ in the lives of our children.
How I'm sharing Christ with them this week:
We start our homeschool each day by reading and practicing a bible verse to memorize - This week-
"Be kind to one another, tenderhearted forgiving one another; even as God in Christ,
has forgiven you"
We repeat it back and forth to each other - discuss what it means - then pray and ask God to help us to remember not just the words, but to use it in our life.
We read and discuss several bible stories through the week - I love hearing what my kids "think" about what we are reading and how they believe it can be applied in their lives. I try to find key times during our week to remind them of what we are learning.
We sing songs of praise. We are currently learning and singing the songs from"Family Worship Seeds"
On my recent trip to ApologiaLive (now called Real Refreshment) - I had the privilege of meeting Pam Tebow - yes- Timmy's mother. One of the things they did in their home while Tim Tebow was a growing boy is to sing scriptures. Pam said that singing the word helped them all memorize scripture. She attributes "hiding God's word in their hearts" as a major influence in the lives of her children.
How about you? Are you Shepherding your child's heart? Please feel free to share ways that you've found to help train your children toward the Lord in the comments below.
For more information about joining the book club or getting your own copy go here.
Counting to #1000 Gifts and beyond:
#231. Singing scriptures with my children
#232. Learning from other mother's who love the Lord
#233. Growing with Christian sisters
#234. Encouragement from a stranger
#235. Grace and strength to push through
#236. A fresh start - a "do-over"
#237. Hearts turning toward Jesus
#238. Music filling the house with songs of praise
#239. Laundry almost caught up - one thing at a time
#240. Children soaking up the Word and being a witness to their heart changes!
Proud to link with encouraging sisters: