As the mom of ten kids, I sometimes forget that I have to give each child a firm, faith foundation. “What do you mean you didn’t know that was wrong? Didn’t I teach you that?” (No, I taught the first six kids, and then just expected that kids 7-10 would catch on.) Maybe you can’t relate with the 10 kids part, but have you ever expected your kids to know what’s right, just because?
As parents, we often expect our kids to have strong faith, too, without talking about it or modeling it. We want our kids to act right, be positive and not grumble when we haven’t taught them how.
I realized this problem in our family when we were dealing with a lot of discontent and discord in our ranks. We embarked on a journey we called The Grumble Free Year, and I wrote about efforts … many of which were NOT a success.
When we started our year, I came up with a list of activities that I thought should help my kids learn not to grumble. Then, after struggling for months, God’s gentle whisper stirred my heart. Why did I think my words and my ideas could transform my kids’ hearts? Only God’s Word could do that! My kids didn’t need more projects. They needed a firm, faith foundation built on the Word of God.
As we sat down as a family to read God’s Word—and discuss it together—things began to change. Like Ruth and Patrick Schwenk say in their book Faith Forward (include your Amazon link), “One of the greatest joys we have in life is the calling, with God’s help, to shape our children’s hearts. To ground them, guard them, and guide them in God’s amazing truth, love, and grace.”
I love that! I also love Faith Forward. Written for families with children of all ages, Faith Forward Family Devotional takes families like yours through the entire Bible in one hundred devotions. Each devotion is complete with key verses, a devotion for the whole family, a key idea, discussion questions geared for various ages, and even a family prayer.
And what is the result when we study the Bible with our family? Like the Schwenk’s said, the Word of God grounds, guards, and guides our kids!
1. Studying the Bible together grounds our kids. God’s Word becomes an anchor to keep our kids steady through the storms of life. It reminds us that even when things are hard, Jesus is with us. As John 16:33 says, “In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” As we study God’s Word as a family we all find hope.
2. Studying the Bible together guards our kids. The world spews lies at our child. Mottos and messages tell them to “be true to yourself,” while at the same time advertisements proclaim: “You’re not good enough … this will make you happy.” It’s hard to be true to yourself when deep down you’re truly discontent!
Instead, as families study God’s Word together, children hear eternal truths. God’s Word becomes a shield to the lies that assault our kids on a daily basis. As Psalm 18: 30 says, “As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him.”
3. Studying the Bible together guides our kids. Life can be confusing and hard, but God’s Word guides us in everything from how to do what’s right, to how to handle it when someone does wrong against us. Ephesians 3:18-19 says, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.”
There were times I didn’t know how to help my child to make better decisions or act right, but thankfully God’s Word works deep inside my child’s heart even when I cannot see it happening.
Yes it takes time and intention to sit down with God’s Word and a devotional book like Faith Forward Family, yet the moments we spend now prepare our kids for a future we cannot see. You can do your part in giving your kids a firm, faith foundation. And know your efforts now will make an impact for a lifetime!
Faith Forward Family Devotional by Patrick and Ruth Schwenk is written for families with children of all ages to help equip and inspire you to raise another generation to love and serve Jesus.
In just a few minutes a day, at your own pace, you can take your family through the entire Bible in one hundred devotions.
Grow closer to your kids as they grow closer to God.
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