Next in the "Parenting In Christ" Bible discussion guide series, Christina Dronen will release Parenting in Christ: Training in the Disciplines of Jesus May 1, 2018.
Yesterday we met and discussed how to teach and share the Bible with children in age appropriate ways. A lot of wisdom was in that room so I thought I'd share some of the thoughts and resources I learned about there, plus a few more. Personally I am a fan of teaching Jesus first, hence all the Parenting In Christ books. Seeing and getting to know Christ in you will have profound effects on how they come to see and accept (or reject) the scriptures and lessons they learn, even into adulthood. Below I've included some additional resources for parents to help them educate preschool and elementary school children. You can guide your children through scripture - building them up in essential truths without also having to deal with subjects like gouging out eyes, adultery, murder, etc.
Author of the "Parenting In Christ" Bible study/ discussion guide series, Christina Dronen wrote this as a companion guide to "Parenting in Christ: Lessons From The Parables.” “Growing in Christ” challenges tweens and teens to explore the parables of Christ. The lessons in this book look at the parables and examine the treasures within that can apply to growing up into a person who lives like Jesus did.
Jesus told these parables, or stories, to teach us about who we are, who God is, and the way of God. Within these stories are hidden the secrets of the invisible world and truths to help kids grow up and mature in Christ-like character.
In my opinion, Easter should the most celebrated holiday for Christians. Every year I feel like Easter gets under-celebrated. The build up and hoopla around Easter just don't measure up to Christmas. So this year I'm digging in and finding some (last minute) ideas and potential traditions for making more out of Easter.
Being a disciple of Christ means following in the pattern of the “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). The meaning of the Hebrew for peace, “Shalom,” is much richer than just “not fighting.” It indicates safety, well-being, and wholeness. Shalom brings rest, reconciliation, and restoration. Shalom leaves no room for false peace, for quiet contempt, or for unspoken grievances. It is a truthful and honest peace.
Through Christ, we have entered into peace with God (Romans 5:1). The work of Christ has brought us the peace of righteousness and confidence before God (Isaiah 32:17, Hebrews 4:16). And while this has put an end to striving on behalf of ourselves, it also compels us to do the work of peacemakers. “But all things are of God, who reconciled us to himself through Jesus Christ, and gave to us the ministry of reconciliation; namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not reckoning to them their trespasses, and having committed to us the word of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:18-19).
We are given directives to work for peace because it is not something that comes naturally to us. Sin is the great divider – putting us at odds with God and each other. Fights, dissentions, and divisions result from those who are living to serve the desires of the flesh (I Corinthians 3:3-4, Galatians 5:19-20).
When a child enters our lives, it can become more difficult to set aside time to pray. The new responsibilities for a precious, fragile life can stir up a wealth of worries. Our natural response may be to become busy and anxious, not realizing the real solution is to pause and connect. As parents, how much more than ever do we need to call upon “Our Father in heaven.”
When Jesus taught us to pray (Matthew 6), he wasn’t just giving us words to recite, he was teaching us how to relate to God in a new way. The God who would rip the temple veil when Jesus died (Matthew 27:50-51), opened the curtain (Hebrews 10:20) so that we could boldly approach God with confidence, not as slaves, but as children (Galatians 4:7). In teaching us to pray, Jesus was guiding us in how to connect with God under the new covenant.
In the back of my book, "Parenting in Christ: Treasures For Parenting From Jesus" I list references and resources. For your convenience I am providing links to these below. Some of these are very loose inspiration, some very direct, and a few were found after the lessons were completed.
An essential practice of Christ-like living is the exercise of self-control. As Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, and whoever will lose his life for my sake will find it" (Matthew 16:24-25). Self-control requires making short term sacrifices in order to achieve something greater. An op-ed in the New York Times, shared a study that demonstrated that those who exhibited the most self-control "went on to have higher SAT scores than the ones who couldn’t wait. In later years they were thinner, earned more advanced degrees, used less cocaine, and coped better with stress."
In my last post I began to look at the creation story to see if we can find the fatherly attributes of our unchanging, eternal Creator. Genesis 1:27 says, "God created man in his own image. In God's image he created him; male and female he created them." It was them creating us; the first Parents, the three in one God, making the first children. Here are some of the qualities of a good parent I see demonstrated by God at creation.
In the beginning, all was perfect. To summarize Genesis 1, God created Heavens, Earth, light, darkness, time, the sky, the waters, dry land, vegetation, the stars, sun, moon, and animals. The Hebrew is ELHOIM, which is plural - indicating the Trinity. God created by the Word, saying "Let there be... Let the waters... Let the earth." But when it came to humanity, God said, "Let us." There is an emphasis on the triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit creating humanity in their image. In Genesis 1:26, God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them.." Genesis 1:27 says, "God created man in his own image. In God's image he created him; male and female he created them." It is them creating us; the first Parents making the first children. But He is not as man, God is three in one. God is one eternal divine nature with three persons, unified and distinct in ways that are beyond human understanding.