Don’t Prepare Them To Become Adults
The whole goal of parenting should be to raise Godly children who will become responsible adults. This will make them marriageable and employable. To do this we should be giving them more and more responsibilities as they age. They can earn more privileges and freedoms as they prove themselves responsible. Sometimes this means allowing natural consequences to occur. It is tempting for us to fall into the trap of rescuing our children. If we keep rescuing our child for something like forgetting their homework, we are actually enabling their irresponsibility. We also need to hold them accountable, make sure they are doing what they say and following instructions. Another area we need to be working on with our children is teaching them how to share, give and sacrifice for others. This is an extremely important lesson to have learned before going into marriage. Siblings help a parent to train in these lessons. Make sure you are encouraging and applauding when you see one child sacrificing, no matter how small, for their sibling. Keep the end goal of parenting at the forefront of your mind and remember that we are raising our children for adulthood.
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Don’t Teach Them To Respect Authority
Many have said that parenting isn’t for the feint of heart. Parenting is hard work! Unfortunately, there are things that we can do to make it much more difficult then it has to be. The first thing that will make life a lot more difficult is to not instill respect for authority in our children. This can make things much more difficult at home and sets our child up for failure, not only at school but as an adult. This is such an important issue we spent a week discussing how and why to teach respect to your children. Click here to see that series.
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A Story For Easter
There is a beautiful story that you can read to your children Easter morning. It is a story that has to do with the linen cloth placed over Jesus face during his burial. Here it is.
The Folded Napkin (author anonymous)
The Gospel of John (20:7) tells us that the napkin, which was placed over the face of Jesus, was not just thrown aside like the grave clothes.
The Bible takes an entire verse to tell us that the napkin was neatly folded, and was placed at the head of that stony coffin.
Early Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance.
She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved.. She said, ‘They have taken the Lord’s body out of the tomb, and I don’t know where they have put him!’
Peter and the other disciple ran to the tomb to see. The other disciple out ran Peter and got there first. He stopped and looked in and saw the linen cloth lying there, but he didn’t go in.
Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there, while the cloth that had covered Jesus’ head was folded up and lying to the side.
Was that important? Absolutely!
Is it really significant? Yes!
In order to understand the significance of the folded napkin, you have to understand a little bit about Hebrew tradition of that day. The folded napkin had to do with the Master and Servant, and every Jewish boy knew this tradition.
When the servant set the dinner table for the master, he made sure that it was exactly the way the master wanted it. The table was furnished perfectly, and then the servant would wait, just out of sight, until the master had finished eating, and the servant would not dare touch that table, until the master was finished.
Now if the master were done eating, he would rise from the table, wipe his fingers, his mouth, and clean his beard, and would wad up that napkin and toss it onto the table. The servant would then know to clear the table. For in those days, the wadded napkin meant, “I’m finished.”
But if the master got up from the table, and folded his napkin, and laid it beside his plate, the servant would not dare touch the table, because……….
The folded napkin meant,
“I’m coming back”
Listen to today’s podcast for more on celebrating Easter as a Family.
Visuals for Teaching
Like we mentioned yesterday utilizing the Resurrection Eggs to teach children about the message of the Easter week is a great visual aid. But what about taking some of the symbols of the Easter story a step further to teach.
For example take the Spear in the Easter story. The spear, is an amazing representation of the fulfillment of prophecy. The Old Testament states that not a bone would be broken in Jesus body. This is one example of God keeping his word. There are so many amazing promises in the Bible. We can use the fulfillment of prophecy to help children learn to focus on God’s promises.
A fun activity to do is make a promise coupon. Children can think of something they can do for another family member. A promise they alone can fulfill. I could be something that they promise not to do, a teaching tool, such as I promise not to argue about going to bed. It could also be something nice that they will do for another family member, like helping mom clear the dinner dishes. Writing promises down helps children remember. This can be a fun way to help children learn to do what they have promised, like their Heavenly Father does.
Get creative with other objects to use for visuals for teaching your children. Creating activities with children helps them to understand the magnitude of what God has done!
Listen to today’s podcast for more on celebrating Easter as a family.
Explaining Christ’s Sacrifice at Home
It cost our Savior everything for us to have relationship with God, His Father. We cannot make light of the sacrifice that Jesus made for us. Crucifixion was such a horrific way to die that some have stated that it is the most inhumane form of carrying out the death penalty of all time. It is something that cannot be taken lightly. Make sure that you are taking the time to help your children understand the sacrifice that Jesus made for us on the cross. You can utilize Resurrection Eggs for your older children to explain the events of Easter week.
The horrible things that Jesus went through before His death may be a difficult thing to explain to small children. But helping them understand the reality of what He did for us is very important. One way to help them begin to understand, is by helping them to see what the outcome of his suffering was. Jesus’ death and resurrection opened the door of communication between God and humanity. Our sin stands as a barrier, but when Jesus took that sin upon himself and paid our penalty, that barrier was removed.
To help children visualize this lesson, you can explain that God allowed the cords (or whip) of Jesus suffering to be part of the process to open the communication to Him. The activity that can help children to understand that new communication between God and man, is making an old fashion can/cup telephone. Punch a hole in the bottom of a cup or can and thread the cord through. Put a can on the other end and pull the cord taunt. You will then be able to hear a voice talking into the other end. You can even write “God” on one cup and “man” on the other. Use red yarn or string for an even stronger visual to represent that Jesus blood made this communication possible.
Listen to today’s podcast for more on celebrating Easter as a family.