Friday, March 20, 2009

Nurturing their Spirits (and ours as well!)

Last week, I had a chance to speak to a local MOPs Group about the spiritual growth of our children. Together, we chatted about ways we can help our children to understand how very loved they are by The Creator of all things. It is a big and important job.

I think sometimes it is difficult to know just what to do. We know what we want. We know the stories. But, how do we use that desire and those beautiful, Biblical stories to spur on the spiritual growth of the little ones in our homes? How do we help our children to know of and to KNOW the God who loves them very much? Just thinking about it can be overwhelming... but what if it all comes down to what we do on a day to day basis? What if it comes down to little things? What if we tried:

~ to be aware of our example to our children? What do we show them in the car, at meals, during struggle, in times of celebration? Can we live our own faith in real, concrete and gritty ways before our children so they can see that our belief systems take us from Sunday to Monday to Tuesday... and on throughout the week.

~to see God's amazingly powerful and exceedingly gentile hand working in the world all around us. Do you have flowers blooming in your yard? Buds coming on your trees? God is active all around us and in the change of seasons, we do not have to look far to see His incredible creativity. Show your children! Wonder with them at it all...

~to use church seasons, like Lent, to support what we want to teach them? Can we make Easter real to our children? Can we give them the lessons found in the truth of these stories and help them to see how this relates to them right now? Sounds like a lot, doesn't it? But, Lent is a great place to start because the focus of Lent is on God's deep love for his children. His love for YOUR children. His love for YOU. We rely heavily on Lent and Advent in our home to teach our children some incredibly important Biblical stories. These stories tell them how deeply them are adored by the Creator of all things. Not sure where to start? I have created a set of easy to use devotions to help you teach your kids a little bit each day from Palm Sunday through Easter. These devotional sets are on sale right now on my website. Click here for more information. Order quickly to be sure to have them in time for use on Palm Sunday!

There are so many details to be tended to as we parent our children. I know it can be overwhelming. But, what if it is really about the small things? What if working to be intentional in our day to day lives with our little ones can really make all the difference in the world? Today, look for something small; a tiny observation to share with your children that will help them to move forward in their own spiritual journeys. And while you do that one small thing... be sure to see it yourself, as well. God created us to need Him, to love Him, to look for Him. Even in this busy season of hands-on-parenting, that need lives on in us. He sits near you today, wherever you are, waiting to shower you with His love.

"The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with his love,
He will rejoice over you with singing."
Zephaniah 3:17

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