Thursday, January 30, 2014

Helping Our Children Grow in Their Faith- UPDATED

I love how our LORD works!

I love how he uses 
YOU and me 
to help others, to nudge a thought into their heads or to redirect them.

This week two bloggy friends have done that for me.

They did it just by emailing me simple questions.
Questions that I should have been able to easily answer but instead I found myself stumbling for the right words to say.
(you can cut me a little slack due to the stomach flu but I don't deserve any more than that…)

I am bringing their questions to you because I think we can each grow and learn by sharing our answers.
I want to learn and grow by reading your answers!

 Their question made me think and rethink what am I doing to teach the children about Jesus.
We have been in survival mode for quite awhile and although things are going well we still have many "everyday" things we are working on.

I pray all the time but I don't always share my prayers with the children nor have I shared my prayers or results with the children ( we did share before we went into survival mode).

Sometime I think of it as my secret weapon but the glories of GOD are not meant to be kept secret.
Their questions were a good reminder to me to share my faith and love for the LORD with the children and with others.
We were falling into habits that we don't want to have and it's time to crawl out of the hole!

(Katie started cleaning the house as everyone was getting sick! Good try Kate! In the end she got it too…)

We had tickets to a play and weren't sure if we were going to be able to make it.
The bucket was present "just in case"!

I read the book to all the children to prepare them for the play- hoping we could get there!
After all I had purchased 14 tickets!

Now- back to the original topic!
we go to church every weekend(except when we are sick).
We do bible stories M-F with our homeschool.
UPDATE- We use Abeka Curriculum- some do the video series and some do not.
We pray before our story time.
And the children hear me mumble throughout the day "thank you Jesus".

BUT something is missing and it's time to get "it" back.

"It" is sharing the love of the Lord with our kids, with others and with anyone who sees us.

"It"  is to radiate HIS love 
to teach our children to desire and allow the Holy Spirit to shine through them!

"It" is to welcome Jesus into our hearts.

Here are their questions. Please answer them in the comments!

D asked-
I was wondering if you could recommend any children's books you may have used to tell the story of Jesus or other bible stories.   The language barrier is so hard.

C asked-
 Did you convert your kiddos right when you brought them home?  How long after?  Did you give them a choice?  Did they seem to have deep rooted religious beliefs when they came to you?

One thing I have found is that God's children are eager to learn about him.
It is our job to spiritually feed them.
Also their tender herts are attracted to HIM because HE is all that is good and right.
Most of the time I am the problem when I get too busy to share with them or I keep it all inside and just forget to share.
I also find that I often need to connect the dots for them and make it simple.
I notice in our home school curriculum they ask a biblical question and always follow up with the correct answer. Sometime the answer is for the child to memorize and not one they would think of by themselves.
With our range of english language learners I believe that if they don't understand the answer now they will in time!

I think it is important to attribute all things in a positive way- events and results to our Lord. 
When looking for the good, it becomes evident!

The children see the tenderness of the Lord shine through and they will desire it for themselves!

Excited to see your responses!

Everyone seemed to be doing well, so off we went!

The play was WONDERFUL!
It was "The Mitten".

By the next day we had more fallen soldiers including me and then a day later, Katie!

This is how the stomach bug spreads- sorry to be part of the problem…
Thank goodness everyone is 100% now!


Julie said...

Thanks for sharing this! I look forward to hearing some of the answers. We also start our homeschool days with prayers, a devotion, and verse memory. We use Christian curriculum (Abeka and Alpha Omega - and some others) that weave God, his word, and Biblical principles throughout whatever we are studying. I do try to bring God up throughout our day - thanking him for whatever good things happen, asking (many times throughout my day it seems) for help - often when the kids can hear me. These things are easy. It is being the Christ-like example that is so hard sometimes amid the chaos, running to and from to activities, handling the kid to kid issues - where I fall short so often. I try to remind myself all the time that it won't be what I told them that they will remember into their lives - it will be what they saw me do - how I treated them and others, how I showed love and forgiveness, how I loved the lost and un-lovely, etc. I certainly fail each day - but just writing this has helped me regain focus! Thanks - By the way Jean, I have often wondered what curriculum you use with all your kiddos? Care to share? I'm always open for suggestions! lol God bless you and all your beautiful children!

Kelleyn Rothaermel said...

Sorry Katie got sick, but she is the cutest mommy to be! I think children's bibles are good, but never are a substitute for the real thing. Daily reading is key! Praying at meals and as a family before children go to bed is key. Encouraging them when they are troubled about things to go pray is key. Sharing experiences with your children of when you prayed for something is great we call this sharing your testimony. My favorite children's bible is the DK Bible. They do a great job explaining what things are. Encouraging children to perform service for others grows their testimonies.

Rebecca said...

The Jesus Story Book Bible is wonderful! Also, you can weave Jesus into your conversations as you teach your English Language Learners the words for the things in the world around them. For example, "This is a bird. Do you know who created birds? God!" You can also use this same method with all your children as you go about your day. Another example, "Look at these beautiful flowers children! Do you know who made these flowers? God! Isn't it neat how HE made them all different colors and made them smell so beautiful?"

Another great thing to do is to teach your children that they can take their cares and concerns, no matter how small, to Jesus! When they are scared, when they are hurt, when they are happy, etc. Stopping to pray with and for your children throughout the day teaches them to do what you already do yourself, but you are modeling it for them!

And like you said, it is great to share with children the way that you see God answer your prayers!

Matt and Maria said...

I really like Kay Arthur's "How To Study Your Bible for Kids". It teaches the inductive Bible study method. Then, you can just use the method to study books of the Bible, or continue with the other fun books in that series. It is geared for 8-12 year olds, but younger kids can help mark with colored pencils and listen and learn too!

Dazzled and Frazzled said...

I think having an evening family devotion with both Mom and Dad (Dad being there is so important!) and kids where everyone sings a couple of children's Bible songs, prays together, and has a devotion is a great thing. I've found it's important to learn all the Bible stories, but it's also important to consider the stories in light of the greater theology. For example, the story of David and Goliath is exciting in and of itself, but it's an example of how we should obey God and have faith in His sovereignty over each situation He places us in--which could lead to going over to the New Testament and reading verses that apply to God's sovereignty. I want to convey that it's important kids come to a place where they have placed their own faith in Jesus and a relationship with Him and aren't just riding on their parents' coattails. So teaching well-rounded theology and seeing how you and your husband place such importance on Jesus can help them get to that place.

laurajonesjournal said...

I cannot say enough about the book "Leading Little Ones to God"...It is a classic and has been wonderful to use with our youngest 4 children who were adopted at older ages (7-10). You will need to have some basic english down but we have found that it is geared right toward them, thorough, easy, interesting, thought provoking. good.
Also ANYTHING by Kenneth Taylor is GREAT. He has since passed away but he was responsible for translating the Living Bible. He and his wife raised 6 children and lived across the street from us, actually. Thanks Jean!

Bridget Cole said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rebecca said...

I'd like to recommend a book just for the moms:) it's a must-read-and-apply! "Praying The Scriptures For Your Children", by Jodie Berndt. You will wonder why you didn't think of it yourself:) it's honestly the best parenting tool out there! Prayer!

Jan Ahern said...

I am so encouraged by your blog. You are an amazing witness to your children and to me! I am in the first year of homeschooling my 11 and 8 year olds. We also have one in college, one in high school, a preschooler and a toddler. What comes to mind most about praying with your kiddos are the things that you are already doing. Two other things came to mind only because we are in the middle of one right now. Praying a specific Novena for a specific cause. It teaches kids the need to pray for others and the power of the intercession of the Saints. Keeping a prayer journal of the things your family is praying for and checking back once in awhile to see how God answered, is another fun thing we do. We keep a chalk board with the topic "Praying For..." All have access to the chalk and can write their prayers on the board. As we walk by we are reminded of the prayers. Often times we tell someone we'll pray for them and then forget exactly what we were supposed to be praying for. When it is on our prayer board, we tend to remember and continually pray. And when in doubt remember what St. Francis of Assisi said, "Preach the Gospel always, when necessary, use words." Your love is a prayer!

Kristy said...

We did a Fruits of the Spirit study...I found it on line...somewhere. We cut out the apples and colored them and placed one on our tree each week. It had a lesson to go over each day that week for the fruit we were studying (love, patient...). The kids really enjoyed it! I still remind my kids daily to look for opportunities. My daughter goes to school and the rest are home schooled. I still tell her each day to look for ways to show compassion, love, humility. What is really awesome is when they get in the car after school and say "oh guess what! This is how I showed compassion to day." We also look for the attributes of God when we are readying our Bible daily. I hope that it is always in the forefront of their minds to always strive to be Christlike. Also, there is an awesome ap we use at church. The ap is free but each quarter it cost between .99 and 2.00 to upload the next one. It has videos, puzzles, songs, etc. It is called The Gospel Project for Kids.