How are you and God doing?
How are you, AND your family, and God doing?
Simply put, having a pulse on spiritual matters means knowing where you and your family stand with God.
Have you heard from Him lately? Are you building a daily altar? Do your children know Him and walk with Him? (Or, if they are young, do they at least know the fundamentals of our faith?)
Questions to consider:
Our children pick up on the things that we value most. I see it firsthand with our two sons. They're both into music, they like tapping rhythms with their hands, and they got a set of lungs. Generally speaking, they'll probably adapt the passions and disciplines that they see Daniela and I pursuing.
Before it's too late, be sure to identify the things in life that matter most to you. I'm not talking about things, per se. I'm referring to the values, lessons, principles, convictions, doctrines, and disciplines that you want to pass onto your children. The things that you would hope they picked up on by the time they are out of your day-to-day life.
To help, I came up with 4 categories that can help you sift out the good from the bad:
If the things you are spending time on fall in one or more of these categories, it's probably worthwhile to purse. Otherwise, you should quickly determine why you are doing them. If not, we can end up wasting the one life God gave us.
Currently, I'm 4 months past 40 years old and realize that age is just a number. Old age doesn't guarantee wisdom. Youth doesn't always equate to energy and ambition. No matter what stage in life, we should seek the things that matter and have an eternal impact.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. - Matt. 6:33
Dear parent, to live with more purpose, carefully answer this question:
How do you want your children to remember you?
What comes to mind? Do you want to be remembered as a loving father or mother? Fun? Strict? As someone who loved the Lord? The list goes on and it's unique for each person.
Once you've answered it and gave it some serious thought, write it down.
Next, put together a short list of daily, weekly and monthly activities that will help you live out this description. For example, if you want your children to remember you as someone who spent time with them and taught them the Word of God, one of your activities might include a weekly project/game and a daily Bible devotional.
These are some of the basic steps I took to create The Covenant Planner. This is a simple, one-page document that helps you plan for a Godly year by giving you a visual reminder of things that matter. Even as your children get older, this can serve as a simple tool to keep you focused.
Genesis 18:18 - For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, so that the LORD will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. (Deut.6:4-8)
'Passing on the faith' has to do with teaching Gods commandments to the next generation. That's the WHAT. Thankfully, God also gave us the HOW.
We need to be careful not to treat it as a checklist of information we need to 'serve' to our children. In todays culture, we're used to giving/receiving information, services or products, in the form of transactions. We drive up to Starbucks, place an order, pay for that order, and receive that order. Done. Move on. We log on to Google, type in a request, receive the information, and move on. DANGER in this method: We'll segregate our time into buckets of activities that are 'Christian/holy/faith-based, etc.' and buckets that are 'secular/non-faith-based.' To the Christian, everything we do must be done with a clear conscious and with full dependence on God.
Teaching our children and the next generation about God and His marvelous works must be a lifestyle. Speak His Word, sing it, live it, listen to it, act it out (for the younger children), ask questions about it, study it, write it, record it, share it etc., as you go about your daily life. When you wake, when you sleep. When you travel, when you're at home. That's what God tells us in Deuteronomy 6. And, not that you need a reminder but...God knows best! BENEFIT of this method: We will develop a holy habit of putting God at the center of everything - faith, family, career, and so on.
Note: This lifestyle method is not about making Him the Lord of your life. That's an overused and misused Christianese phrase. He already IS the LORD! Whether you 'make Him Lord' or not, does not diminish His power or authority. It will, however, diminish yours.
Keep the Fire Burning,
Biblical, on-the-go, tips for meeting with God. Written from our experiences as parents. This is our digital space for jotting down learning moments from our devotional time throughout the week.