Sunday, January 22, 2012
Since I don't have little ones around the house anymore, I tend to "people watch" parents a lot these days. I have noticed that as a whole, society seems to be giving more and more to our children. BIG things like ipods, cell phones, laptops, etc. And not just more, but more at younger ages. It seems that parents today think that they have to give things to their kids in order to make up for the lack of time they are spending with them or to make up for some other shortcoming. Or maybe they are afraid that their child will be left out since all the others kids have it (you know keeping up with the Joneses).
I am here to tell you that the basics in life are much greater than the BIG things you give your kids. So what do I mean by the basics? What do children need to flourish? According to www.springer.com/psychology, children need:
•Positive formation of the self—character, values, spirituality, life satisfaction,
hope, and ethnic identity.
•Healthy habits, positive behaviors, and time use.
•Positive relationships with parents and siblings.
•Positive attitudes and behaviors toward learning and school environments.
•Enacting positive values and behaviors in communities.
It is interesting that nowhere in the list does it say that children need lots of possessions in order to flourish, to succeed, to become a responsible and vital part of society. Read over those again carefully and let's add the spiritual emphasis found in Deuteronomy 6:4-9.
1. As believers, we need to help children form character by instilling biblical values and morals in their life.
2. We should provide our children with boundaries that teach them responsible behavior.
3. Children need positive relationships with their parents and siblings - which requires spending time together.
4. Children need us to encourage and challenge them to do well in school. We should support school teachers and staff.
4. We need to provide opportunities for our kids to serve others and give back to their community.
What is important to you? To give BIG or to give basic? Please in your giving, keep in mind what your children NEED is just the basics. It really is greater than BIG.
Friday, December 16, 2011
As parents, Tommy and I would always try to keep Christmas focused more on Christ than the gifts that would be under the tree for our kids. It was difficult at times because, it really is fun to give! There were years we got carried away and years that we really hit a home run with the spiritual meaning of Christmas.
As I was buying my nephews and nieces Christmas this year, I felt like I really should be getting them something from the Christian bookstore instead of toys from Walmart. But let's all be honest - kids like toys much better and yes, this great aunt loves being "cool" with the kiddos. God showed me a way that the kids can open a really cool toy and focus on Him.
So here's a tip for all of us:
1. Look at the toys through spiritual eyes. Is there something in the Bible that will tie in with what you bought. (ex. slingslot brought to my mind David and Goliath).
2. Look up scripture that relates to the toy and write the reference on the gift tag.
3. Instruct the kids that they are playing a game - they have to read the scripture and guess what might be inside their package.
4. As kids read the Scripture this is a great time to talk about all the great things that God has done in the Bible and point them to the greatest birth ever!
If you need help coming up with some ideas for Bible lessons to tie to gifts - just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I pray that you and your family will have fun keeping the CHRIST in Christmas!