"My child doesn't want to go to church." Sadly, I’ve heard this statement from more than a few parents over the years. Some even say, “My child hates to go to church.” It can turn Sunday mornings into a miserable experience for parents and children alike. I have had some desperate, frazzled parents arrive at the classroom with a young child who is literally kicking and screaming. What’s a parent to do? Here are ten general suggestions that may be helpful. How you apply each may look very different depending on the age of the child—but the basic principles are the same.
In a child’s mind, the thought of Christmas often conjures up the anticipation of gifts—lots and lots of gifts. “Can I get ____ for Christmas? Which presents are mine under the tree? When can I open them?” While there should be a sense of excitement, and there’s nothing wrong with wanting to give gifts to our children, it can serve as a great challenge to the heart.
Truth78 is pleased to offer this special family discipleship gift guide highlighting resources that parents and children can enjoy together. The resources target various age groups and include a range of ease of use—from extremely simple read aloud stories to more formal Bible instruction. From simple parenting tools to deeper discipleship training.
Thanksgiving will be soon upon us, and many of you are probably anticipating readying your home for company, preparing a delicious meal, setting a beautiful table, enjoying time with family (or praying toward that end!), or traveling to visit relatives. But have you thought about preparing for actual thanksgiving – as in thanksgiving to God “from whom all blessings flow”?
My grandchildren love to be read to. Books are scattered everywhere in their homes. Fortunately, their parents are very careful in evaluating and choosing books that feed the mind and soul. But I know that, as they grow older, my grandchildren will need to learn how to evaluate what they read for themselves. How will they learn to do this – not only for what they read but also for what they watch and listen to? What kinds of questions should they ask? What kind of standards should they apply?
We often joke that our children grew up with another set of parents in their lives, along with an additional set of grandparents. These men and women were godly, mature believers from our church who served as invaluable mentors for our children. Little did we know at the time, as young parents, the rich benefits we and our children would reap from these relationships.
Summer provides parents with a wonderful opportunity to explore great parenting resources. Equipping for Life—A Guide for New, Aspiring & Struggling Parents by Andreas and Margaret Köstenberger is one of those resources. The book is written around three basic themes: Parenting needs to be realistic, relational, and responsible. These themes are fleshed out from a Bible-based, God-centered, gospel-focused perspective, giving practical examples from everyday life to which parents can relate.
One of the most significant and defining events in our children's lives occurred every night at bedtime. My husband would take Sarah and Jacob aside and have a time of prayer with them. At the end of the prayer time, he would lay a hand on each bowed head and pray a "blessing" over them. Throughout the years, on good days and bad days, each day ended with a tired father calling out to God to bless his children.
In a world experiencing turmoil, uncertainty, fear, hardship, suffering, and death there is only one unshakeable hope—knowing, trusting, and resting in the Sovereign Creator of the universe. For those who trust in His sovereign, good, and loving rule, we can endure the present difficulties of this world as we look to Him as our anchor and strength. The King of kings and Lord of lords is on His throne bringing about His perfect purposes, for His glory and our everlasting joy.
And just like that, everything changes. In a mere five days, we have witnessed the upheaval of rulers and nations. And within the larger context of war, we’ve seen the tragic toll on individual families in images of mothers walking with their children amidst the rubble of buildings that were once places of safety and shelter. Their world has been upended, and many are fleeing. What a poignant reminder to all of us…
The eternal God is your dwelling place, (Deuteronomy 33:27a)