2 Timothy 3:1-3 (KJV) – “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good.”

As parents, we are called to hear the Word and respond. When I read that verse, my stomach feels like a pit. I so do not want that for my children, nor the culture around them. However, God is alerting us to reality, and it is our job to respond. I have done a lot of things right in my parenting and have enjoyed the fruit, but I am seeing a greater need to CULTIVATE A DEEPER DEPENDENCY UPON THE WORD! I would always talk about Scriptures, Biblical principles, and our household rules and discipline that reflect His Kingdom. Still, I am seeing a need to help cultivate their own relationship with the Word even more. When I see a need in my children, I partner with God and ask for His strategy. He gave me the idea of getting Proverbs deeper into their heart. I searched for a reading plan, and we will dive deep into Proverbs as a family. My kids are older, so it will include more discussion time, but for younger children, you can act it out, discuss how the Proverb applies to their world, role play, memorize it, etc.



One morning, Lauren (then 15) led our family devotions. All of the kids woke up super late and assumed that waking late meant we would forgo our new commitment to meet in the living room at 7 EVERY morning to spend time with Jesus as a family. We talked about the sacrifice it sometimes takes to follow Jesus and that if their outfit, hair, makeup, packed lunch, etc., were perfect, it would add little to their day, but giving God room and time to speak to them would fill them in a way the other things can’t. Lauren chose to read to us from her daily devotion about the urgency of the Lord’s return and making every day count. She had each of us think of one person in our world that needed to know they were loved, and then we asked Jesus to show us HOW. Lauren shared that God highlighted a new girl at school who was crying. When she asked Him HOW she could love her, He said to hand her a card with her phone number on it and invite her to come over for dinner and go to youth group with her. The Spirit of God was all over this assignment, and we spent the rest of the time praying for Lauren’s confidence to walk in love and obedience. The ONLY thing Lauren had planned was to read the verse. God showed up and did the rest. We don’t have to be a Bible scholar, school teacher, or executive leader to usher our children to Jesus. We need to be intentional about making space and have faith He will show up.


I am teaching my children about the Lord’s prayer and what it means to pray, “Heaven come – on earth as it is in heaven.” One morning during family devotions, I told them how I grew up with the belief that God was good and heaven was real, but for later, once you die. It gave us hope for what was to come. But I have learned over the years that Jesus died so we can have life and have it abundantly NOW. We talked about what the Kingdom of heaven looks like; peace, love, joy, power, clear mind, empowerment, connection, belonging, patience, honesty, truth, being seen, known, heard, understood, valued, attached to Him, family, etc. I had them think of something happening in their world and hold it in their hands. I then had them declare and pray, “Heaven, come” over that situation. Lauren felt anxious about the pep rally and having to be present but also take photos for the yearbook, not fully knowing where to be and when. When she declared, “Heaven, come,” she instantly felt peace and confidence that she would be able to figure it out. Emma was burdened by the girls in her class who gossiped behind their friend’s backs and wanted to say something to them. When she declared, “Heaven, come,” she got an increase of conviction that she was to figure out how to lovingly speak truth to them in a way that invites them into something greater (not just calling them out on it). She felt like she was to wait and really go after this with Jesus before saying something. Hudson was really burdened that he did not manage his time well last night and had homework due. When he declared, “Heaven, come,” he felt like God said to use the remaining 15 minutes and get it done. He said there was no way he could do that as it would take at least an hour. I told him to declare, “Heaven, come” over his time. Fifteen minutes later, he put it in his backpack and said, “Well, it might not have been my best job, but I did get it done.” WOW. Ellie was concerned about a test where she had to memorize something. When she declared, “Heaven, come,” she felt like God was highlighting her identity and that she was still loved and wanted even if she failed. Could you imagine a generation of ambassadors for Jesus who declared heaven COME to the world around them as a lifestyle?


Gather the family in the family room and have the children read 2 Timothy 2:1-7. The more you allow them to participate in things like reading, the more engaged they will be in the lesson. Then, on a piece of paper or whiteboard, write out the different attributes of the soldier, athlete, and farmer. What types of character or skill sets does each of them require? What makes them unique? Think about how tired the soldier must get at times, how the athlete does what it takes regardless of how they feel, or how the farmer labors hard, not knowing if the sun or rain will appear. Read verse 7 and spend some time responding. Think over these three illustrations, and may the Lord help you to understand how they apply to you.


Mis·take (noun) – an action or judgment that is misguided or wrong. 

We all fall short of God’s standard, so we will, at times, make mistakes, be wrong and fail. Jesus was confronted in Matthew with a question. A logical question that made sense, but Jesus first responded by telling them they had made a MISTAKE in their asking. Jesus replied, “Your mistake is that you don’t know the Scriptures, and you don’t know the power of God.” The mistake was not the question. The mistake was that they did not know the Word of God. 

How much of our struggles in the world stem from simply not KNOWING and then APPLYING the Word of God? If you want children who can navigate through the days ahead with success, they need to avoid this mistake. They need to be lovers of the Word and have a deep value for its truth. In the days ahead, when you encounter issues with your child (hitting, lying, rudeness, lack of self-control, etc.), together search for what the Bible says on these topics. For older children, ask them to come up with three Scriptures on the topic. Let their understanding be shaped by what He has to say on the matter. Get in the habit of searching and looking for the answer IN HIS WORD. 

For a week, commit to meeting at the end of the day and picking one topic that affected your day as a family. Search the Word for what He has to say about it.


Are you feeding your child’s spirit daily? What does that mean? Like daily food, our spirits need to be fed to stay healthy and alert. How do we feed their spirit? By worshiping, teaching them about a verse, telling them your God stories, sharing with them a story from the Bible, soaking, talking about God, taking Communion, actively forgiving, hearing God, declaring His goodness, loving each other intentionally, being grateful… 

A spiritual orphan will hear that and feel condemned for not doing enough or partner with fear over their child. A Son/Daughter will hear that message, and it will increase their hunger for more of Him in their homes. They will partner with Holy Spirit to creatively feed their child’s spirit TODAY!


People often ask me what I do for family devotions. I have done a variety of things over the years. My goal is to water their spirits every day just like I do their minds and tummies. I haven’t focused on the HOW as much as I have the WHAT. I felt led to buy each of them a personal devotion and a new journal for Christmas. I coached them on how to read, process, and journal. I felt like God was highlighting that my children are very comfortable with getting prophetic words for people, which I love, but sometimes we need to speak truth and life over people. It will only transform those around us if our words are anchored in HIS truth (the Word). I am having them read and process the following questions each day. 

What did this reveal to me about who God is? 

How can I relate to the story/Scripture? 

What can I be thankful for because of it? 

Who needs to hear this truth today? 

And then they are crossing their chicken lines and growing in their capacity to ask God to highlight one person who needs to hear the truth they now carry, and they are speaking it over them through text, phone call, or email. I feel like parents need to hear this. Were my kids jumping up and down at the thought of a new journal and devotions? No. Did they fully understand the heart behind the concept of journaling? No. Did they do it on their own? No. Did they thank me profusely for caring about their spiritual growth? No. Did I do it anyway? YES!!!!! Because in this house, we serve the Lord, and this is what He has led me to do with them.


When you think of persecution, what words come to mind? Fear? Intimidation? Worry? Lack? The apostle Paul was no stranger to the world of being persecuted, and yet he describes it with words like joy, honor, growth, and opportunity. This generation has been introduced to an anti-bullying campaign. While I fully agree, no child should have to endure bullying. My concern is that it has taught this generation to simply raise their hand every time someone so much as bumps into them, expecting someone will come to their rescue and stop their discomfort. This generation needs to have the skill sets to deal with bullying, pressure, and real persecution.

What skill sets are needed?

Identity – You can’t fight a battle properly if you don’t know who you are (or you will be fighting the wrong battle). When words, slander, accusation, and misunderstandings happen, they become events, not defining moments that cripple your worth and value. We say OUCH and respond appropriately without cowering or retaliation. In the days to come, when your child endures challenging moments, and reacts, help them process the truth about who they are despite the events. I have empowered my children to ask, “Jesus, will You please shine Your flashlight in my heart and show me what LIE am I believing right now?” Much of the time, their above-average reaction to the situation was because they believed a lie about who they were. Break up with the lie by declaring, “I confess I have partnered with the lie that _____. I break up with that lie and renounce it (I taught my children that renouncing it was like breaking it over your leg like you would a stick).” Follow up by asking, “Jesus, what is Your truth?” The more you can help them walk through this, the faster they will be to run to Him in their moment of distress. As the kids got used to this, I would begin saying, “Why don’t you go to your room and grab your journal and talk to Jesus,” and they would ask these questions on their own. Now I don’t have to coach them because they WANT to process this with Him of their own accord. Pray for an increased understanding of who you are as a Son and Daughter.

Authority – When we learn our powerful authority in Christ, we learn how to use it in battle to fight the right enemy. We do not have authority over other humans whom God has given a free will to make their own choices, but we do have authority over the spirit realm that operates through a person. If someone makes accusations or slander against you, you can bind the spirit from using your name. If someone attempts to control you through words, you can take authority over the spirit of intimidation. I say something like, “Spirit of intimidation. I see you and do not partner with you. I break any agreement associated with my name.” Moms and dads, you have got to know your own spiritual authority so that you can empower and equip your children. Pursue understanding authority as a family.

Suffering – Yes, I said children need to learn how to suffer well. If we teach our children a life with Christ is all about the platform, fame, and blessings, we are setting them up for real failure. Following Christ means denying ourselves and picking up our Cross. Suffering to a child means not getting the cookie before dinner, having to go to bed when you tell them, or not being able to get that new toy while grocery shopping. To a child, this is a big deal. Our response should be to offer comfort and validation in their suffering, not to relieve them from the pain of suffering. Children who have never had to endure suffering, learn how to manage it and will have an incredibly hard time when real pressure and hardship come down the road. Suffering allows us to have fellowship with a Savior that understands. Talk about this with your family and how Jesus suffered, and when we walk through hard things, Jesus not only understands but we can walk with Him in it.


I have been growing discontent with leading my family spiritually. It is so easy to buy into the LIE that teens don’t want to engage, or that busyness is just a fact of life. I called a family meeting, and we had a deep heart-to-heart about our relationship with Jesus and how we operate as a family. I walked away so impacted by their hunger, even though it looks different now that they are older. We spent a lot of time processing, pondering, and praying about what it looks like to play in the Kingdom at their ages. One of the things we decided to do was each take a day of the week and lead family devotions. It was my turn, and I had them draw out a picture of themselves, and we passed the papers around in a circle, each adding what we saw inside of them (kindness, creativity, leadership, etc.). Then one person spoke over the person next to them who they are. It was so crazy simple yet life-giving. I feel such a renewed sense of hunger to keep going after their relationships with Jesus in a fresh new way.


Parents often feel pressure to lead their children spiritually. While there is a mandate to train and raise our children, I think sometimes we put too much focus on the HOW. My greatest tool for leading my children is to simply stay hungry myself and share with them what God is doing in my life. Every morning we would meet in the family room at 7 to check in, talk about our day, evening schedule, and it is my time to feed their spirits before they go out in the world. I was camped out in John 10 and came across this line, “My sheep recognize my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one shall snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else, so no one can kidnap them from me. I and the Father are one.” I highlighted to them that they could never be kidnapped from Jesus. They can never be taken away from Him. That simple line and 2-minute family devotion taught them a lot about who their Father is and placed a wall of security around them as they went out the door.


I cannot love this testimony anymore! A mom was trying to be super intentional to keep her daughters spiritually fed during C-19. They were going to a co-op group, but the girls were bored to tears and begged to stop going. The mom then tried another Christian group, but the leader’s daughter was super controlling, and the girls felt like it was more about the girl than Jesus and did not like feeling used and mistreated each week. The daughter finally came to her mom and said, “Can’t we just please do Awana at home as a family?” YES!! There is indeed a time and place to gather corporately, and we learn and gain things in community that are vital, but that does not need to replace the power of the home and feeding our spirits together.

Why not create a once-a-week FAMILY TIME? Let it be a time of worship, soaking, journaling, giving prophetic words to each other, praying, declaring, discussing important topics, going on a hunt to find people to love, creating skits, or understanding certain Bible passages.