Oct 10, 2013

12 things all Christian kids should know

For seven years I served in a couple of different churches as a youth pastor.  Of course, I did this before I had children, so I didn't know what was reasonable to expect from the families I served.  I taught straight out of the Bible week after week, and challenged the students in my ministry to strive for holiness, but I didn't give homework, nor did I force spiritual disciplines through-out the week. One pet-peeve I had {within the context of my ministry} was that on more than one occasion I had whiny demanding well meaning parents blame me for the lack of spiritual growth in their children.  They demanded I "challenge" their children with more "meat", while they simultaneously allowed their kids to over-commit and make everything else a priority over regular church attendance.

Now I am a parent, and looking back I am even MORE mystified by this demand from those parents.  I believe strongly that God did NOT create the church to "feed" us spiritual knowledge.  I know that might seem counter-intuitive, but church is not about getting your needs met.  Church is about building intimacy for the purpose of mutual accountability and serving one another {in love}, to build the Kingdom of God.  Yes, teaching can be a part of that, but it is {Biblically speaking} clearly more about the relationships of the congregants then the actions of Pastor, Youth Pastor or Children's Ministry Director {since the last two positions didn't exist until after World War II.}

My Father-in-law is a pastor, I am not saying we don't need spiritual leadership, but I believe primary responsibility for raising Godly kids falls in MY lap as a parent.  I should NOT be expecting the two or three hours a week we spend at church to be enough to develop a healthy faith in my kids {or myself}, and neither should you.   This is one of the reasons I am writing this 31 days of Family devotions project, because I have felt convicted more and more that it is my husband and my responsibility FIRST to teach our kids the Gospel, and I should NOT be abdicating that role {and privilege} to other people.

So these are some of those foundational Truths that I want to teach my kids before they leave my home:



1. God made you wonderful {Psalm 139:14}
He knows everything about you, everything you do, everything you think, everything you say and WILL say... and He accepts and loves you.  He MADE you JUST the way you are, you are enough.

2. God loves you enough to die for you {John 3:16, John 15:13}
This love is bigger than anything we can understand, but it's ours.  God loves us so much that He was willing to lay down His life so that we could have hope. 

3. All of us sin sometimes, but God always gives us a way out {Romans 3:23; 1 Corinthians 10:13}
Every single one of us is weak.  We all make mistakes sometimes.  But GOD doesn't leave us alone when we are tempted, He is not waiting and watching and secretly hoping that we fail, He always {ALWAYS} gives us a way out of our sin.

4. God's love is deep and wide and long and high; and nothing can separate you from His Love. {Ephesians 3:18-19; Romans 8:38-39}
God loves you.  There is NOTHING you can do, or say; NOWHERE you can go; and NOTHING in all of creation that can make Him love you less.  He loves you so much that He can't love you any more, which means there is nothing that we can do or say that will make Him love you more.  That's a lot of love.

5. It is not enough to just believe in God, your faith in God MUST change your behavior. {James 2:14, 20}
Actions always follow belief.  If you believe a chair will hold you, you will sit in the chair.  The way we behave reveals what we really believe.

6.  You should never be ashamed to tell others about what you believe in. {2 Timothy 1:8; 1 Peter 3:15-16}
If you believe that God Loves you so much He was willing to die for you, if you believe that you have this incredible HOPE because of God's love, then WHY wouldn't you tell the world about what you HAVE??

7.  YOU are God's masterpiece, He created you for a specific purpose. {Ephesians 2:10; Jeremiah 29:11}
You are not an accident.  You are not a mistake.  God doesn't make junk.  When He created you, and blessed you with His grace and love, He had specific purposes already picked out for you.  You have a purpose.  God has a plan for your life.  The better you understand this, the more likely that you will be able to discern what that plan and purpose could be.

8. You are never alone. {Deuteronomy 31:6; Matthew 28:20}
In the darkest, scariest, loneliest places, God is always with us.  We don't need to be afraid because God has PROMISED that He will never leave us alone.

9. The Bible is not "just a book", it is active and powerful, useful and your LIFE. {Hebrews 4:12; 2 Timothy 3:16-17;  Deuteronomy 32:45-47}
No matter what the "world" says, the Bible is not some irrelevant {hard to understand} book.  The Bible is powerful.  The words within are the WORD of God.  If we can "own" those words, remember them, live them, they will give you LIFE.

10. You are called to act different than the world, and to treat others the way you want to be treated. {Luke 6:28-31}.
We have a knowledge that the creator of the Universe loves us and died so we can live holy and set-apart lives.  If our lives look exactly the same as the world, then we are missing something.  Better yet, ask yourself this question: how would my life look differently if I didn't believe in God?   If there is no discernible difference, then you need to make some changes.

11. Live your life as if you are living {and working} ONLY for God.  Don't worry about what other people think. {Galatians 1:10; Colossians 3:23}
One way that we can live set-apart is by living our lives with the purpose to first bring glory to God through our actions and second to focus primarily on pleasing God first and foremost.  If we are motivated primarily by what other people think, then we should re-evaluate our priorities.  

12. Loving God and loving others is your primary job as a Christian. {Matthew 22:36-40; 1 John 3:18}
Even looking down this list of things you "should" be doing, the most important thing you can do is LOVE.  To Love in actions {as in, love is a verb} and in truth.  To treat others with respect and compassion.  With holy love as your motivation, you will rarely find yourself outside of the will of God.

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4 comments:

  1. I completely agree with you. The most important teaching should be done in the home and Church is a place of support and fellowshipping. Of course, we learn at church, but if we rely solely on Church, our spirituality will come up sorely lacking.

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  2. YES! This is one of the down-sides of the modern church... we feel like it's "enough" Christian education, and don't do any at home... I learn new knowledge from the studies I have participated in at church... but it's at home where the growth really happens... in the every day! Thanks for the great comment!

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  3. Very good post! My husband is the pastor of our church and we try to get this message across to our members as well. You get out of it what you put into it. If you don't fill your spiritual tank during the week you won't get very much out of the service. What do they expect when they arrive on fumes? No one can eat just one meal a week. Spiritually or physically. :)

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  4. Thank you for this comment! It was an encouragement to me! I like drawing the correlation to eating... because our relationship with God can't grow or THRIVE when we are only sitting in a room with him a couple of hours a week... He needs to live in our home... Thanks for following me on FB! :)

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