I stumbled across this website this morning just in time for summer! It is an online magazine and podcast designed to make it easy for busy parents to create adventures with their children anywhere. The mission of the website is “to help you overcome the ‘I’m bored, I don’t know what to do’ complaint you hear from your kids.”
I came across this the other day and plan on using it tonight for our family devotions. It is called, “No More Crying” and is an annotated outline of one of J.C. Ryle’s sermons for children. I am sharing it with you in hopes you will do the same for your family.
Today we’re going to talk about three places:
- A place where there is a lot of crying
- A place where there is nothing but crying
- A place where there is no more crying
There is a place where there is a lot of crying.
- The world we live in (John 16:33 … in this world you will have trouble …)
- What makes you cry? Why do we cry?
- Sin ultimately caused crying … pain, sickness, hurt, loneliness, death resulted from the fall
There is a place where there is nothing but crying.
- Where do you think that is?
- Hell is the place where there is constant crying (“weeping and gnashing of teeth”)
- Hell is real, it is not made up – Jesus spoke about it more than anyone
- Why do all people deserve to go there? (Read Romans 6:23)
- How can we escape this horrible place?
There is a place where there is no more crying.
- Do you know where this is?
- Do a Sword Drill (look up Revelation 21:4 – volunteer read)
- What do you think heaven will be like? … Bible gives us some clues (Rev. 21:10-27)
- What’s the best part about heaven? – Jesus is there!
Do you know that Jesus cried when he was on earth?
- When did Jesus cry?
- Remember the story of Lazarus (May want to refer to John 11:1-44)
- Jesus cried for those he loved
- Jesus is a man and knows what it feels like to be sad and cry
- Jesus is also God and He gives us life
- Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, even though he dies, yet he will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.” (John 11:25-26).
- How can you live forever in heaven? Believe in Jesus!
Great thoughts here from the Resurgence website on how to raise godly children:
1. We are confident in our God-given parental authority.
God has set parents in place as the authority figures in the lives of children. Hebrews 12 speaks of how discipline is actually a privilege of being a son. Don’t fear that your child will resent your discipline. On the contrary, they will soon realise that it is a sign of your love for them.
2. We never count to three.
The counting-to-three routine undermines your authority and places your child in the driving seat. You are training them that, essentially, obedience is a negotiation and they can determine the timing of their obedience. Train them to think, “I must obey straight away.”
3. We model it ourselves to authority figures in our lives.
Several times a year there is a clash between what my “boss” is asking me to do and what my family and I would like to do. I always seize these opportunities to explain to my boys that I must obey my boss straight away and with a good attitude, and that although I would much rather spend Saturday morning with them, I must obey my “boss” and go to that meeting.
4. We try not to exasperate our children (Eph. 6:4).
Avoid petty rules. Pick your battles. Be merciful and compassionate. When you are in the wrong, say a sincere “sorry” to them. Also, make sure that you are giving them sufficient attention so that they are not compelled to rebel just to get some time and attention from you.
5. We use appropriate forms of punishment.
We discipline mostly for three D’s: disobedience, disrespect, and destruction (of property or your brother’s nose). Punishment must be proportional to the offense and also proportional to the child’s stage of life. If it is not then you will find that you exasperate a growing child. Also, the mode of punishment must be what will best help the child. Different parents have more “faith” in some forms of punishment than others, and different children respond differently to different forms of punishment. I acknowledge and respect that, although we have had continued success with the primary biblical form of disciplining children with a wooden spoon on their chubby bottoms.
6. We are convinced that it really is worth the effort.
The joy of parenting increases dramatically when you have obedient children, and most importantly, you are equipping your children with the vital life-skill of obedience, which will stand them in good stead in their obedience to God, life, at school, and in the workplace.
I just finished reading a great book called, “Everyday Talk” by John A. Younts. It is about “talking freely and naturally about God with your children.” I strongly recommend it. It has blessed me greatly, stirred my heart, and strengthened my faith.
Here is the author’s purpose statement:
“God is not just a Sunday God; He is for every day. If you live in awe of Him, your children will see that. If you love Him and serve Him, you will talk about HIm every day, and your children will hear that. This book is written to help you understand and use the influence of everyday talk on your children. Shoes come and go. It doesn’t matter at all what my everyday shoes were like when I was a child. But, everyday talk – that different! The everyday talk that your child hears now will influence him for the rest of his life. My prayer is that this book will help you learn how God wants you to talk about Him every day” (Page 8).
Here is the table of contents:
1. Stupid Rain
2. Your Children and the Gospel
3. Listen To Your Children
4. Holy Directions
5. Don’t Be Ordinary
6. Big Sins, Little Sins
7. Thirteen Comes Before Twenty-One
8. Your Home is God’s Greenhouse
9. The World: The Grand Deception
10. Everyday Talk About Sex
11. Everyday Talk About Music
12. You Are On Display
13. For Everything There Is A Season
My favorite chapter was “Don’t Be Ordinary.” It starts by asking, “How do you talk to someone who is angry at you when you have only been trying to help? What do you think of someone who hurts you deeply? If given the choice, do you try to avoid these kinds of people? How do you talk to people who sin against you…what is your typical, habitual response when you are hurt by someone? Do you just “get over it” and move on? Do you get mad? Do you struggle with anger or self-pity? Do you tend to withdraw? Do you give up and think, ‘What’s the use of trying?’ Perhaps you experience a mixture of all of the above. If so, you are not alone. Most people can identify with you. However, these ordinary responses are wrong. God does not want you to be an ordinary parent” (pages 56-57).
Essentially, John Younts argues, by using Moses as an example, that ordinary parents give in to anger, resentment or self-pity at their children’s bad behavior, making themselves the center of the problem. They are loving themselves first and most. Parents must love their kids enough to show them the danger of their behavior. Children need to see that their first problem is with God, and only secondarily with you. Parents must be more concerned for their children than for themselves, and must be concerned most of all of God. By modeling patience, love, self-control – and all the fruit of the Spirit -parents teach their children how extraordinary God is.
How about you mom or dad? Is your response to sin ordinary or holy? Does your response to sin show God as extraordinary? Do you see your kids sin as a chance to practice the fruit of the Spirit and magnify God or do you see it as a chance to explode in anger, frustration, and self pity?