Because we know God’s plan will lead us home to heaven, we can endure suffering along the way. In fact, if today’s suffering is “achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Cor 4:17), we ought to be able to count suffering as a blessing instead of a curse. Nonbelievers do not have this perspective on suffering and must achieve their glory now, because their future is eternal suffering apart from God.
We don’t know what it will be like in heaven, but we know that today’s suffering is our training for an eternal future of ministry in the presence of the Father. Trials prepare us for that futureÑthey are God’s curriculum for eternity.
Treat your family’s trials as opportunities to glorify the Father and as training for your future.
[You should] be exceedingly glad on this account, though now for a little while you may be distressed by trials andsuffer temptations, 7So that [the genuineness] of your faith may be tested, [your faith] which is infinitely more precious than the perishable gold which is tested andpurified by fire. [This proving of your faith is intended] to redound to [your] praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) is revealed.
1 Peter 1:6-7
Our example has a huge impact on our kids. There are liberties we have as adults that we can enjoy because we have the experience and maturity to keep them in perspective. But, these same liberties may be a trap for our kids because they don’t have the same experience and maturity. What was a freedom to you can turn into enslavement for a child who tries to emulate your behavior.
We may have to sacrifice some of our freedom because of our children’s immaturity. We may rethink our choices about drinking, movies, and TV, and even the words we use, and modify our activities because we don’t know the areas in which our kids might be prone to struggle. Until they can filter our actions through a more mature perspective, we may need to lovingly refrain from some of our liberties so that our actions will not become stumbling blocks to them.
Think about your example to your kids. Are they wise enough to copy everything you do?
Then let us no more criticize andblame andpass judgment on one another, but rather decide andendeavor never to put a stumbling block oran obstacle or a hindrance in the way of a brother.
We may look at the things we do for God going to church, tithing, Bible study as favors to Him and expect Him to appreciate our sacrifices of time and money. A sense of entitlement may even develop as we expect Him to reward us. However, God doesn’t need our sacrifices. He owns them already!
True worship recognizes that all things belong to God, including our time and our children. Every heartbeat is His gift. This perspective encourages us to make our offerings as true worship because we realize we have no claim on the things of this earth. It is only because of grace that we are able to have fellowship with Him and offer those gifts in the first place.
Don’t be resentful for being called to give back to God; see it as a privilege and opportunity to express your love and faith.
I will accept no bull from your house nor he-goat out of your folds. For every beast of the forest is Mine, andthe cattle upon a thousand hills orupon the mountains where thousands are. I know andam acquainted with all the birds of the mountains, and the wild animals of the field are Mine andare with Me, in My mind.
God wants our eyes to be fixed on Him. The world offers many distractions, and we may substitute our obedience for earthly indulgence. The more we do this, the more we learn to settle for less. John Piper, from his book A Hunger for God, notes, “If we don’t feel strong desires for the manifestation of the glory of God, it is not because we have drunk deeply and are satisfied. It is because we have nibbled so long at the table of the world. Our soul is stuffed with small things, and there is no room for the great.”
Our children listen to us say we want to do God’s will, and they watch us to see how it is done. Let your example be that of a deep relationship with Christ that satisfies and compels you to seek His will over your own.
Approach the banquet of God’s fullness, and bring your children with you!
Yet you do not know [the least thing] about what may happen tomorrow. What is the nature of your life? You are [really] but a wisp of vapor (a puff of smoke, a mist) that is visible for a little while and then disappears [into thin air]. You ought instead to say, If the Lord is willing, we shall live and we shall do this or that [thing].
Your sibling did something horribly bad! They cheated on a test, no. They shaved the cat, no. They took dad’s new car for a joy ride, yeah that might work.
Not only did your sibling take the car out, but they damaged a good portion of the driver’s side. Dad is going to be extremely upset.
Your sibling thinks it was fun, funny, & that its no big deal because Dad will just get it fixed. At least that’s how you see it. You just know your sibling will take no responsibility when it comes to the consequence.
You know that you’ve gotten in trouble a lot with day. He helped you learn your lesson & be remorseful of your mistakes. But your sibling doesn’t seem that remorseful.
Ironically, you recall when you did the same thing. You took Dad’s car & got into an accident.
What do you do?
A) Do you pretend that nothing ever happened?
Dad won’t notice, or if he does you’re not responsible so you don’t need to say anything or do anything about it.
B) Do you help your sibling escape the blame & consequence by creating a believable story?
Lie to Dad. Tell him it wasn’t your siblings fault. Tell him someone must have stole it.
C) Do you speak up to Dad & tell him the whole truth about what happened?
Your sibling might despise you, but they might just need to learn a lesson or morality & values. Wouldn’t you want to be disciplined now before you veer too far off the path? Why not do your sibling the same favor.
“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
(Matthew 7:12-14 ESV)
Songs I find that suit this subject are;
WORK TO DO
Are you excited about God? Do you talk about the amazing things He has done in your life in the morning, over dinner, and when your kids go to bed? That’s the attitude the early believers had, and it was the impetus for spreading the Word in the earliest days.
Kids are attracted to great stories, and they want to be a part of something dynamic that stirs their blood. We do our kids a big favor when we make being a follower of Jesus something that is exciting and rewarding, rather than a tedious effort to follow a bunch of rules. Recognize God’s movement in your life and tell your kids about it. Make Christianity exhilarating.
When the God of heaven and earth touches your life, it is exciting! Share those stories with your kids.
We cannot keep quiet about what we have seen and heard.
Our response to painful situations in life demonstrates the level of trust we have in God. This is true in our lives and the lives of our kids. God has told us many times that He allows trials to perfect us and make us more like His Son. Trials are not to be dodged or avoided as much as they are to be endured for the sake of the lesson.
Asking God the right question in the middle of a trial is an expression of your trust in Him. The question should not be, “How am I going to get out of this?”, but rather, “What am I going to get out of this?” By changing “how” to “what”, you illustrate your dependence on Him to teach you and your willingness to learn.
Teach your kids to substitute an attitude of “what can I learn?” for “how can I escape?” when they face trials.
We know that God is always at work for the good of everyone who loves him. They are the ones God has chosen for his purpose.
In times of struggle, we often seek a counselor — a trusted friend or a confidant to talk with about our troubles or from whom we seek guidance and direction. The disciples saw Jesus as their counselor, and were worried when He said He was leaving them. It was then that Jesus promised the ultimate Counselor — the Holy Spirit.
Like the disciples, we are given a Counselor to teach and remind us what Jesus taught (John 14:26). The Holy Spirit is available 24/7 and is absolutely free because Jesus paid His “fee”. He gives us the ability to understand our issues from Christ’s perspective and He exposes the false promises of the world. He offers us “the mind of Christ” (1 Cor 2:10-16).
Do you take advantage of the best counselor in heaven or earth? He is available to you when you trust Christ for your salvation.
But I tell you I am going to do what is best for you. This is why I am going away. The Holy Spirit cannot come to help you until I leave. But after I am gone, I will send the Spirit to you.The Spirit will come and show the people of this world the truth about sin and God’s justice and the judgment.John 16:7-8
Traffic, gas prices, long lines, screaming children, demanding bosses. Each day offers lots of opportunities to gripe, complain and argue. Do you take the bait?
Most times we respond to these situations poorly and without thinking, but consider the fact that these can be opportunities to demonstrate our trust in a powerful, loving God. When we approach trials from God’s eternal perspective, they can become opportunities to show our kids that satisfaction and peace are not based on the world’s response to us, but rather our response to the world. Show them you are willing to accept inconveniences without complaining or arguing and make the best of each day regardless. This attitude is a “light” to your children.
Let’s stop complaining and arguing, and show our children we trust in God’s plan.
Do everything without grumbling or arguing. Then you will be the pure and innocent children of God. You live among people who are crooked and evil, but you must not do anything they can say is wrong. Try to shine as lights among the people of this world.
This passage referred to the responsibility of leaders to study and rely upon the law of God as they governed. It kept them humble, centered on God, and guided their decisions so they would not stray from His path. Of course, this wasn’t easy and the Israelite leaders failed many times. When they strayed, God faithfully delivered consequences for their failures.
God’s advice for leaders hasn’t changed! As the leader of your family, recognize your need to learn from God’s Word. When we sacrifice personal study and meditation, we tend to lose our godly focus quickly, both for ourselves and for our family as well. Are consequences far behind?
Part of being a good leader is turning to your Leader for guidance every day.
Each day the king must read and obey these laws, so that he will learn to worship the Lord with fear and trembling and not think that he’s better than everyone else.If the king completely obeys the Lord’s commands, he and his descendants will rule Israel for many years.Deuteronomy 17:19-20
The Greek word for workmanship is poiema, from which we get our word “poem”. It is used also in Romans 1:20 where Paul explains that God’s eternal power and divine nature can be seen in nature, His poiema. Paul tells us that all of creation contains works of incredible art created by God to demonstrate and reflect His glory, and that our kids are part of the art show!
If God was willing to put that kind of love and care into creating our children and preparing a path for them to follow “for good works”, doesn’t it make sense that we should work to find God’s path for our kids and surrender any path we may have dreamed up without Him?
God is the great artist and He is preparing a work far greater than any of us can see. It involves all of us. And we can participate by finding the role he created for each of us in His great design. Let’s resolve to stop trying to make our own primitive finger painting, and join the rest of God’s creation in His work.
Let’s surrender our independent plans and assume our role in the greatest work of art ever created!
God planned for us to do good things and to live as he has always wanted us to live. This is why he sent Christ to make us what we are.
Do you ever get caught up in gawking at the “lifestyles of the rich and famous”? The media offers us a front row seat to the excesses of the super rich. Their houses, cars, clothes, and hobbies are all paraded before us as examples of “success”. Hasn’t it always been true that “men praise you when you prosper”?
In light of the world’s preoccupation with achieving “the good life”, isn’t it ironic that anything with a price, no matter how extravagant or expensive, will have zero eternal value? Help your kids fight materialism by focusing on eternal significance. The most effective way to communicate this message is not with your words, but with your example. Take a moment and ask God to reveal any blind spots you might have in this area. Commit to making one change, no matter how small, that more effectively demonstrates what you truly value.
Teach your children not to confuse price with value.
Don’t let it bother youwhen others get richand live in luxury.Soon they will dieand all their wealthwill be left behind.We humans are praisedwhen we do well,and all of us are gladto be alive.But we each will go downto our ancestors,never again to seethe light of day.Psalms 49:16-19
From what I hear, grandchildren are God’s reward for making it through all the years of worry your children caused you. You can play with grandchildren–and give them back when it’s time for diaper changes or bedtime routines. Having grandchildren is like a mulligan from God–you can make up for some of your parenting mistakes by doing it better with them.
While you now enjoy a break from the physical work, God still has important spiritual work for you. “Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them” (Deuteronomy 4:9).
Here’s a special salute to all the grandparents who for whatever reason have to (get to) raise their grandchildren. What a gift of love! You rock!
This is also for everyone over 60–the world needs honorary gramps and grannies. With the stories you tell children, you have a fabulous opportunity to share the good news of God’s forgiving love. The offerings and gifts you give keep the Word moving in the ministries you invest in. Even from your nursing home, your prayers can reach around the globe and change lives.
The seniors who gave you extra mentoring and love when you were little are eagerly awaiting your arrival in heaven. Well done, good and faithful servant!
“Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children—