Manage Your Time
How we manage time as parents will be absorbed by our kids. Involve your older kids in the discussion about whom you will spend your time with and where that time will be spent. Discuss the importance of not overdoing anything and trying to have balance. Remind them it’s okay to sit quietly and read or sit quietly and create or meditate. Meditating on God’s Word has become a lost art in our modern world. “Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.” Ephesians 5:17 NLT
Open Your Heart
Having a big heart toward others is a valuable behavior for our children to see modeled because it shows love, kindness, honor, value and respect for others. From opening a door for someone as you enter a building, helping someone in your neighborhood, going on a mission trip to serve the poor––there are many things that can be done to show that you have a big heart. “By everything I did, I showed how you should work to help everyone who is weak. Remember that our Lord Jesus said, ’More blessings come from giving than from receiving.’” Acts 20:35 CEV
Date Your Family
The family that plays together stays together. Having fun and laughing together helps to form a bond between everyone and teaches the entire family not to take life too seriously. Laughing together is the glue that holds people together. On a scientific level “laughing represents the shortest distance between people because it instantly interlocks the limbic systems of the brain. It’s no surprise, then, that people who enjoy each other’s company laugh easily and often.” Even the Bible subscribes to the good that laughing can do:
"I recommend having fun, because there is nothing better for people to do in this world than to eat, drink, and enjoy life. That way they will experience some happiness along with all the hard work God gives them." Ecclesiastes 8:15 NLT
Encourage Your Family
There are so many ways to live a life that encourages others––the words we say, the looks we give, the gifts we share. Maintaining a positive attitude in situations that are difficult is also encouraging. Speaking into the life of each of your kids with a positive tone and life-giving words is encouraging. Writing a note to your spouse and/or each of your children and leaving it in a place where they will easily find it encourages them. Bringing home a “Friday surprise” for everyone in your family lifts their spirits. As parents we want to, “keep on encouraging each other to be thoughtful and to do helpful things.” Hebrews 10:24 CEV
Learn from Difficulty
I honestly wish we could avoid this one altogether, but finding joy even in difficult times is a necessary area and an important skill to pass on to our children. James 1:2-3 says, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.” James says, “when,” not “if” trouble comes our way.
And when trouble comes our way, we are given powerful moments for modeling the right behavior. Some characteristics are forged only in pain, brokenness and difficulty––characteristics like tenacity, resilience, humility, thankfulness, leadership, trust and faith.
Scripture reminds us that God’s “kindness is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak.” Paul went on to says, “So if Christ keeps giving me his power, I will gladly brag about how weak I am.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 CEV.
1. Which one of the above ideas is hardest for you to MODEL?
2. Which one of the above ideas will you try out this week?
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