A Parent’s Response To The Newtown Tragedy

A Parent’s Response To The Newtown Tragedy

Dec 17

“Mommy, Where Was God?”

Parents this week are wondering how to respond to the horrendous tragedy that took place at Newtown, Conneticut.  Children have the same four questions that we might have.
Why did this happen?
Where was God?
Can this happen to us?
What should we do?

It’s important for a parent to be able to help the children with these questions.

Why did this  happen?
This tragedy took place because we live in a fallen world. Our loving Father has given us the option to love Him, to trust Him, and thus to love each other. We are not puppets on a string. And too many choose the evil option of not trusting God.

To ask the question where was God is natural. To assume, however, that God was not with those children is incorrect, unBiblical, and even evil. He tells us “He will never leave us or forsake us”. We will have no idea until Heaven, when we will be given the privilege of seeing what an invisible God and His Angels were doing to usher those little ones instantly into Heaven.

Every child and every adult needs to cling to the FACT that “He knows the plans He has for us…,” and ” He will never “leave us or forsake us…”, and ” this is the day The Lord has made…”. Our job is to help our children trust our loving God, who is not only our God but our Father; a loving Father of each of us individually. He proved that by coming at Christmas and sacrificing Himself at Easter for each of us.

“Mommy can this happen to me?”
“God will not let anything happen to you that He will not take care of.  God is our strength.

What should we do?
“Honey, what we need to do when something bad like this happens, is pray for the families and when possible, do something for hurting families that God has placed around us.  Only God can heal, only God can protect, and only God can get us through the things we don’ t understand. That’s why as a family, we have learned the verses “Trust in The Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own upstanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

When we are afraid it is because we are leaning to our own understanding. When we feel another person’s pain, and express our love to them, we show we are trusting God. Let’s pray now for those families.

This exact lesson that I am teaching my children, I need to be teaching myself. I can’t establish a foolproof plan of protection by pulling them out of life, putting them in Tupperware containers and squeezing out the bad air. I need to teach my children and myself to trust God and love the people around me.

What can your family do?
This is a time more then ever before that people are looking for answers.  THE answer will be “unwrapped” at the Christmas Sunday.  It’s the perfect time to love your neighbors by inviting then to come to church this Sunday.

Kindness Consequences

Kindness Consequences

Feb 18

Love to me is kind, gentle, sweet, caring and happy. ~ Mischka, age 7

Training a child is a constant state of reminding that there are 
consequences (both positive and negative) for choices made. It is easy in parenting to focus too heavily on the negative consequences and not 
reward positive choices.

One place that we can reward is kindness in the home.  For some 
reason our homes seems to be the place where kindness is especially lacking, this is the most important training ground.  We can watch carefully and wait to catch our children being kind to other members 
of our household. By constantly uplifting those choices, whether it is immediate or at the dinner table, we can create an environment that 
will breed more and more kindness to others.  You can even make a game of catching your children being kind.  Give points for varying degrees of kindness and reward the winner.  Teaching sibling to treat each other with kindness is a very important life skill.  Take time this weekend to catch your children being kind to one another!

Love is Kind

Love is Kind

Feb 17

Love to me means to help others. ~Jake age 6

Nothing teaches a child how to love like giving the child a view of love in action…because love is an action not a feeling. From the original definition of love (1 Corinthians 13:4) we can pluck the love action of kindness. Love is kind.

Have my children observed me expressing kindness to people we encounter? Am I kind to strangers even when strangers are not. 
Kindness is a choice that is best observed in the face of rudeness.  It is also best learned when it is explained to a child after the fact. “Do you know why I didn’t talk back to that rude woman. It’s because I chose to be loving rather then what felt good at that moment.”

Jesus tells us in Matthew 25:35-40
35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home.  36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’  37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink?  38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing?  39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison, and visit you?’
40 And the King will tell them, ‘I assure you, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’

Teach the expression of kindness.

Love is Patient

Love is Patient

Feb 16

Love is… not punching my brother. – Benny, age 6

The first attribute found in God’s definition of love (1 Corinthians 13) is patience.  In today’s society we don’t do well with patience.  We have been trained for the immediate and today’s children are no different.  Patience is something that is taught by modeling this behavior.  You cannot tell a child to be patient with their sibling and then be in the car driving to the grocery store yelling at the driver in front of you because he is going too slowly.

As parents we must remember that there are always eyes watching to see how we will handle situations.  A child is more prone to do what we do rather than do what we say.  They are visual learners. We must be conscious how we are reacting to the things around us in word and action.  When they watch us our children are learning the “love acted out loud” virtue of patience.

What does it mean to be kind?

You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling….

You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling….

Feb 15

Love to me means that you care about someone, you love being around them and you do stuff for them.~ Feury, age 10

“I Just Don’t Feel Like I Love Her Anymore,” that from a husband of eleven months. The reason why culture is failing at love is that we are learning about love from all the wrong places; from music, movies and books. We get swept up in the romance of the “love at first sight” and “happily ever after” stories.

Isn’t love something you do rather than something you feel?  The mother of an infant doesn’t feel like getting up for the three AM feeding but she is doing love. Children of elderly parents don’t feel like helping those older parents during their last years of life but they do it because they are expressing love. These are selfless choices that are made.

Because Love is something you do, it needs to be something a parent teaches a child to do. The resource for how to do this has to be the Creator of love, and He has written down what love actually looks like in 1 Corinthians 13.  Do these things and your loving. Teach these things and you’re preparing.

What are some creative ways to teach patience?

What is Love?

What is Love?

Feb 14

Love to me means that I have a open heart for others.  ~Dani, age 7

While Valentine’s Day in the classroom means candy and parties, for others it is a source of pressure and for some it is just downright depressing.  What would happen if families used the month surrounding this holiday to teach children what it means to show love to the people around them?  We are told in Matthew 22 that to love our neighbor is “equally as important” as “loving the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind.” In fact the word love is used over 600 times in the Bible.

Sadly in today’s society we have no idea what it means.  To a child life revolves around them but we are raising a generation of adults who have not grown out of this.  To raise a marriageable and employable adult we have to cultivate the concept of love in our children.

What better a time to focus on this trait as a family then Valentine’s week?

How do we teach children real love? Please join us as we spend this week discussing the responsibility we have as parents to teach “love”.