My cousin Tammy hosted a "Mom 2 Mom" carnival last week, looking for ideas for how to encourage our children's relationship with Christ. I've been computer-less for about a week and I missed the carnival, but I've had this post ready and sitting in draft for several weeks already. Despite the lateness, this seemed a good time to post it.
I'm afraid I don't have a whole lot of helpful advice, but this is a subject that's come into much sharper focus in my life of late and interestingly, it was a post of hers from a while back that kind of sparked it. Here's how I've come to think of it and what we've done about it in our home.
How many times a week do you eat?
Most of us would answer, let's see, 3x7=21, add "a few" snacks... so, approximately 73 times a week!!
How often do you feast on God's Word?
Tammy posted this really great quote from her daughter's devotional book* that illustrates the importance of devotions in such a way that it becomes difficult to forget.
What would the people in your church look like if they snacked on meager food morsels during the week and ate only one good meal on the weekend? You know the answer, don't you? You'd find yourself surrounded by emaciated, gaunt people in desperate need of nutrition.I want to begin equipping the army in my home. Several weeks ago, I mentioned I'd bought The One Year Bible For Children, and when it arrived, the girls and I started having devotions together at breakfast or bedtime. Let me just say, I LOVE this book!!
And how would these undernourished believers fare against a demonic adversary? Can you imagine how this army would look? You'd see threadbare skeletons with hollow cheeks and sunken eye-sockets, lined up like phantoms. Weakened by famine, that shriveled militia could barely stand at attention; each would struggle to find the strength to keep his or her bony frame upright.
Could this "army" conquer an opposing force?
No way. No earthly general would send them out to fight.
Well, then, how about the army of the Lord? What of those who gather on Sunday mornings? Are they spiritually nourished to fight the battles ahead? Considering what most members of God's army subsist on—an occasional tidy snack from a devotional book and perhaps an average-sized meal on Sundays to satiate conscience—you'd have to conclude that God's fighting force has some serious training to do.
Did you know that more than 80 percent of those who call themselves Christians read their Bibles only once a week? And that's usually on Sundays, at church. They come to church to get their spiritual fill, and then snack on devotional tidbits for the rest of the week (if even that).
I wish for just one day God would change the way our eyes work, so we would see ourselves spiritually. We'd see most [North] American churches filled with skeletal, hollow-eyed saints, looking as if a gust of wind would blow them away like tumbleweeds.
Which is why, when some new trend floods [the continent] and pushes our nation further away from God, further away from our spiritual roots, the church is unable to withstand the tide. We simply don't have the strength.
So what's the solution?
The American Journal of Medicine recently published a highly revealing conclusion: The health of twenty-first-century America will no longer be determined by what people can get doctors to do for them but by what doctors can get people to do for themselves.
Do you see how this prescription applies equally to the church? If we eat only once a week, it's no wonder the church is weak and struggling. But daily fresh bread can change all of that. Regularly dining on fresh bread makes for a stalwart, strong, developed army — the only kind of force that will always make a difference in this world.
I love that the stories are short ~ rarely more than one page. I love the discussions that have been born from the questions that are provided at the end of each story. And I love that my girls love it, too. They're even excited about reviewing the story again later in the day to remind ourselves about what we learned in the morning! I love that they're so THIRSTY and just soaking it up like li'l sponges!
I'm looking forward to purchasing this book soon, too ~ Big Truths for Young Hearts ~ to begin teaching my girls some serious theology. And learning some myself!! As part of my goal to develop a strong Christian apologetic, I may as well make sure they do right away, too.
So far, it has been a rewarding experience and I trust that as they grow and mature, not only in physical stature but spiritually as well, the rewards will become even more visible as they develop into strong, sure, godly young women.
*Find the entire quote here: LifeJournal.cc FAQs