Monday, August 14, 2017

Model It

"Do as I say, not as I do." We all know that idea doesn't truly work, especially as parents.

I can tell my daughter that she needs to spend time in prayer and Bible study, but I I don't model it, she won't see the importance. When she sees me studying my Bible and praying, she has proof that doing these things have value. If I don't engage in these activities I require of her, I prompt doubt. She will wonder why she needs to study her Bible and pray.

There are many areas in life to model. Out reactions and attitudes in situations and with people are to be modeled. The Bible instructs us to treat others as better than ourselves. We can preach this, but the best way to convey this is to be kind to that unlovable person.

My husband has been the best role model for reading the Bible for personal study. He is a pastor and can struggle with not always studying the Word for his sermons. I usually see him pull out his Bible or his iPad in the evening at some point and read the Bible reading for his plan he has set for himself. This has been a great example for me and our daughter. We see that he values reading the Bible personally, not just for preparation for teaching or preaching.

Has someone in your life been a good role model for you?

Who was or is that person and what did or do they model for you?

Saturday, August 12, 2017

More on Staying Firm and Consistent

The consistency in passing along a Christian heritage can truly be difficult to maintain.

Often as my life becomes busy with a full time job and then coming home to another full time job of caring for my family, I let things slip. I'll neglect reading my Bible. I'll even barely go to the Lord in prayer. If I'm not being consistent in my Christian walk, it is difficult to convey the importance and need to others. But I have learned that at these times, I need to pray and read the Word more than ever.

Admittedly, I'll return to those teachable moments by admitting that I got off track and that it wasn't right. I need to repent and return to staying near to God through reading His Word and communicating through prayer.

God has called me to follow His precepts, not the world's. To ensure a Godly legacy I have to stay firm and consistent in teaching and emphasizing what God would endorse. If I know something wouldn't be acceptable to God, I should steer myself and those I have influence over away from it. I must teach others to do the same.

Staying firm and consistent in the ways of God is the right example for others to see. And God clearly instructs us not to conform to the ways of this world. We are to be different.

Will we take some ridicule for it? Probably.

Will we be labeled too strict? Sure.

Will we be found faithful in transmitting this all-important Christian heritage? Yes, servant, you will!

What struggles have you experienced in staying firm and consistent in passing along a Godly legacy?

Monday, July 31, 2017

Stay Firm and Consistent

Do you struggle with consistency?

I've always heard that parents must remain firm and consistent in disciplining their children. When we aren't firm and consistent, our children can become confused about what is acceptable behavior or what is truly right or wrong.

This idea of being firm and consistent transfers into passing along a Godly legacy. In this I must remain consistent.

When my daughter was a teenager, her father and I were fairly restrictive on what she watched on television and the movies she saw. One day she approached me rather upset because some of her peers had teased her because she hadn't watched a particular TV show. She went on to explain that her friend told her this was a good show and she should try it some time. Because these friends were from the youth group at church, I decided that we would watch an episode together. We lasted about two minutes before I abruptly turned it off. The language and morals portrayed were not appropriate for a Christian of any age.

I have been labeled overly-protective, old-fashioned, and strict by people in my own family, but I cannot allow the world to creep in and desensitize us to God's will. When we watch what the world watches or listen to what the world listens to, we are conforming to the world. The more we engage in what the world offers, the more the lines of Godly discernment blur.

Do you find that others label you strict because you desire to follow God's commands consistently?

Friday, July 28, 2017

More on Teachable Moments

What kinds of lessons concerning the things of God could become teachable moments?

Since I homeschooled my daughter, I had the opportunity to see her growth in many areas. None was more pleasing than in her spiritual maturity.

Prayer time became a teachable moment. Her father and I tried to make sure we modeled prayer for her. And we instructed her. When she would pray, we would encourage her to make it a conversation, not just rote recitations.

Although difficult sometimes to do, one teachable moment to take advantage of is when I would make a mistake or lose my temper. I modeled asking for forgiveness and even discussed with my daughter how I might avoid that situation in the future.

There are teachable moments that occur when we are with other persons as well. When facing trying times, we teach through our attitudes, words, and actions.

When my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, she taught others through her faith. She emphasized prayer to bring her through, which instructed others in the importance of prayer. She also displayed an attitude of trust in God, knowing He was in control. Her motto was that of Paul: "To live is Christ, to die is gain." She won either way.

We can learn many lessons through teachable moments, those moments when the instruction is the most meaningful and timely.

To pass on a Godly heritage, we should take advantage of our teachable moments and focus on the meaningful instructions of God.

What have you taught through a teachable moment?

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Teachable Moments

Often as parents and teachers we are encouraged to take advantage of teachable moments. Of course we have all taught different concepts in the classroom or when they come to mind. But instruction can be more meaningful in context.

Let me give you an example. When my daughter began learning about money and the concept of making change, we would do the workbook pages or use play money. But the more meaningful way was to learn in context. She would accompany me to the grocery store, and I would ask her to calculate the change I would receive. Or I might ask her to tell me which brand of a food was a better buy and by how much. We would also do this when we went to a restaurant. She learned to make change and learn about money in a real situation.

But I didn't restrict these teachable moments to academics and life skills only. As a Christian parent I saw the need to use teachable moments to instruct about faith and the things of God. There was also an aspect of studying my daughter's bent and discovering her gifts and abilities, so I could encourage those.

Have you used teachable moments? Is there a particular one that comes to mind you might share?

Do you find teachable moments an effective way to instruct?

Tomorrow we will continue to consider this topic about teachable moments more pointedly in regards to our Christian legacy.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Sunday is for Worship at Church Pt 2

In our house, we have decided that nothing comes before church attendance. My daughter was to be in a ballet recital. The dress rehearsal was scheduled for Wednesday evening at exactly the same time as our church's midweek service. I kindly informed the ballet mistress that my daughter wouldn't be in attendance. To compromise would mean that I believe if something else comes up, it's okay to do that instead of attending church.

I feel that by not allowing other activities to interfere with our church attendance, I am teaching my daughter the proper place for honoring God in our priorities.

When my daughter attends worship and Sunday school, her knowledge of the things of God increases and are reinforced. I thank God for those Sunday school teachers and youth leaders who help instill God's Word into children and youth each week.

Even if our schedule is busy, time for corporate worship must take priority. If we allow sports practice or other activities to take precedence over our church attendance, our children won't believe we truly honor God and put Him first.

People other than our children will also notice our worship attendance or lack thereof. We influence others in our family, neighbors, co-workers, and friends as well. They are watching to see what priority we place upon worshiping the God we serve.

To ensure a Christian legacy, we must "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy."

How do you combat an interference with church attendance or activity?

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Sunday is for Worship at Church

The first strategy I have personally employed to follow God's instructions and pass along a Christian heritage is to obey the fourth commandment.

God commanded us to "remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy." God "blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy." Exodus 20:8-11

God set this day apart for rest and focus upon Him. In another verse in the Bible we are told not to "forsake the gathering of the saints." Hebrews 10:25

Today the way we honor this commandment is by setting aside specific times to attend church. These are times we worship corporately as well as times we receive instruction and encouragement for living our Christian lives.

Our time is in such demand. We are so busy with our lives that we must schedule the activities we want to accomplish. In doing so, our priorities become evident; that which we value most gets our time.

I know some people argue that they can worship any place. And I know that is true. I can certainly worship God while out in His creation. But God specifically made the Sabbath holy. That means it is set apart and different than other days. For me this implies that I have to make sure I am keeping it holy - set aside and different than my other days.

Let's continue our discussion of the Sabbath tomorrow.

In the meantime, do you attend church regularly? How do you keep the Sabbath holy?