Ponder for a moment why God would say there is incredible power in blessings and kindness. The reality is it has the ability to transform the worst of situations. So how can you be an agent of ‘doing good’ today?
- Activities/Teachings, Playing in the Kingdom
God so loved the world that He gave His only Son. “Jesus, will You show me a picture of how much YOU love me?”
Gather as a family in the living room, in the car, at the dinner table, or bedtime, and ask Jesus together. This is so empowering for children because they get to witness how God communicates with you, which increases their faith, and together you get to encounter Him. Spiritual hearing is a muscle that is strengthened by worshiping and praying. The more you do it, the stronger you become at it.
A while back, the Lord told me to pray for a leader who was enduring much. I went to pray for them and felt this incredible weight over them, like the shoulder pads of a football player, except they were made of steel. I know my prayers are powerful, but the weight felt so heavy it was unmovable. I went back to the Lord and asked for strategy since He is the one who told me to pray. And I heard Him say this, “You are right, Lisa, the weight is too heavy to lift it off of them, so I want you to pray that they come out from under it,” and I saw this person duck down, move to the right and stand up straight again like coming out from under a bridge. I laughed at the ease and simplicity of dealing with the weight. God ALWAYS has a strategy for dealing with a trial – always! Go ahead and give it a try.
Gather the family and talk about what burdens everyone is facing. Maybe it is a test at school, issues at work, conflict in the home, or unique circumstances. Have everyone stand and picture the weight on their shoulders. Now have them duck, turn and stand up straight again. We can move out from under the weight of what consumes us. Every time I do this, I breathe easier and lighter.
Gather the family and talk about their name. What happens when someone calls their name? Explore the meaning of their name or perhaps tell the story of why you named them. A name is significant in so many ways and represents who you are.
God has many names; it is important to know them as it teaches us His character and how to relate to Him in our time of need. Go through this list of the names of God, exploring each one as it relates to their world. Ex. Ask them if they have ever gotten hurt. Recall that time they fell off their bike and scraped their knee badly. Introduce them to Jehovah Rapha and talk about WHO God is at that moment. What about being afraid? Have they ever had a moment where they felt unsafe? Introduce them to El Shaddai – the God who is mighty and powerful. Teach the children they can call on the name of God anytime they want, and He will help. Putting this deep within their hearts is an important part of equipping our children for whatever they face.
- El Shaddai (Lord God Almighty)
- El Elyon (The Most High God)
- Adonai (Lord, Master)
- Yahweh (Lord, Jehovah)
- Jehovah Nissi (The Lord My Banner)
- Jehovah Raah (The Lord My Shepherd)
- Jehovah Rapha (The Lord That Heals)
- Jehovah Shammah (The Lord Is There)
- Jehovah Tsidkenu (The Lord Our Righteousness)
- Jehovah Mekoddishkem (The Lord Who Sanctifies You)
- El Olam (The Everlasting God)
- Elohim (God), Qanna (Jealous)
- Jehovah Jireh (The Lord Will Provide)
- Jehovah Shalom (The Lord Is Peace)
- Jehovah Sabaoth (The Lord of Hosts)
Something that always brings a shift for me is when I hold my hand palms up and say, “Lord, I let go. You can have this one. I will not carry it, hold onto it or worry about it. This one is on You.” It removes the tension I feel from operating outside of my control.
There is only one beginning and one end. And the chapters in between unfold in the Word. Doctors, scientists, pastors, and leaders may carry profound wisdom, but in the end, it must be in alignment with His Word. The world wants to use human wisdom and education to contradict or change God’s Word, but true human wisdom supports the Word.
With much excitement, say to the children, “Guys, Jesus is in New York! Many people are going to see Him. Do you want to go too?!” Test their responses. Many will become excited at the thought of seeing Jesus in person, which is a good thing. But some should feel a check in their spirit. Lead them to the Word to discover what it has to say about seeing Him again. Does it say He is coming to New York? That we will see Him on earth? No, it does not. Therefore, anyone making this claim, no matter how exciting the thought may be, is false.
Explore these verses as a family: 1 Thessalonians 4:17 and Matthew 24. Teach your children that many will say things that may sound true or even make us really excited but that we need to discern what is really His truth and that can be found in His Word. Get in the habit of training your children to be fact-checkers according to the Word. Teach them how to look up a verse, use a concordance and cross-references, and search the Word for His truth.
I was teaching parents about healing and seeking God first and got this message the next day. Holy Spirit is the best Teacher, and He often illustrates the lessons with real-life situations.
“Wow… this is so awesome. I had one of my usual horrible headaches, which I normally try to ignore and massage away and then eventually need to take some extra strong pain killer to cope the rest of the day. As I was reading through today’s lesson, I started praying for healing again, which I had not done in a while, and I instantly felt relief and 8 hours later, I still have no need for medicine. I guess more than anyone in the family, it is me who is learning how to play in the Kingdom again – so that it becomes a lifestyle for my children.”
Read Daniel 2 & 3 and act out parts of the story. Chapter 3 ends with the abundance of favor over their lives, but there are KEYS to the favor listed in the story. Talk about the king and how he used intimidation to rule his people. Share how Daniel asked and heard God speak and how God changed the circumstances around them because of what Daniel heard. How can a person go through a fire turned up seven times hotter and not burn? It all depends on who is in the fire with you. These chapters are so relevant for today.
Face it, errands are a child’s least favorite ‘activity.’ Look for ways to engage them vs. just having them follow you around. Who can push the cart? Who can find the can of beans first? Who can open the door? Who can guess how long the line will take? Use the wait times to fill up their love tank and connect with their hearts (not check your phone). For older kids, empower them to help plan the menu and pick out the groceries. They can get out and wash your window while you pump the gas (I also have a child gather the trash from the car while I get gas). Make it fun and look for ways they can own part of the outing.
How many of you have to do things in life that require a sacrifice for your child? Selling a house? Long car rides? Going grocery shopping? Look at what this real estate agent did to EMPOWER the kids to be on the team rather than set it up for conflict and chaos.
“At my listing appointment tonight, I had the smallest residents sign their own contracts promising to keep their rooms clean, and toys picked up while the house is on the market. If they hold up their end of the deal, they each get a gift card from a store of their choice.”
This is a great way to teach and train young children. When you need to instruct/correct them, instead of staying where you are and calling out to them, STOP what you are doing, go to them, and get down on their level. Place your hands out and tell them to put their hands on yours. You are not forcing them, grabbing their hands, or controlling them. You are giving them the command (as many times as it takes) to put their hands on yours. Then you instruct them to look into your eyes. If they remove their hands or lose eye contact, in a gentle but firm voice, instruct them to put their hands/eyes back on you. When they have achieved that, you give them your short command of what you want. “Mommy wants you to come to the table,” “Mommy wants you to put your clothes away,” “Mommy wants you to pick up your toy.” It is important that they follow up with a “Yes/Okay, Mom.” The purpose for that is when kids come into agreement by verbally saying “Yes/Okay,” something happens in their brain where they accept ownership. The key to using this tool is to speak to them in a gentle but firm way. It does not work well when the parent is angry or controlling, nor does it work well when the parent caves if the child does not respond right away. Few people enjoy being disrespected, and it can feel very frustrating when children ignore us. If, as the parent, you feel frustrated at their lack of listening, I encourage you all the more to go after this. Good character does not come with age; it comes with intentional parenting. Stay in the game and help your child overcome their weakness. Give them tools to grow in their capacity. This requires extra effort from you upfront, but you will reap the JOY of a child who responds to your voice.