UPDATE:: It’s Tuesday morning and we started today with Words and I’m happy to say the morning went much better than yesterday. Thank You, Jesus!
Welcome! This is post #4 in our series 10 Ways to Raise Spiritually Minded Children. You can read the other posts in this series here.
So this morning Jackson got up early to catch a flight. I did the morning routine with the kids alone and they griped the whole time. I herded them out the door at 7:35 and they complained about the smell in the elevator.
They complained about having to share the elevator.
They complained about a school bus getting in their way. They complained about having to scoot over in the van.
In fact, they did nothing BUT complain.
And today I’m supposed to write a post on raising spiritually minded kids. MmHm.
Today was one of those mornings where you just wonder what in the world is going on and how in the world do you change it?
The birds were singing so I went for a walk. “Lord, what is going on? Our minds are so frequently consumed by the base, the trivial, the worthless. It provides absolutely no edification but somehow we are attracted to the stimulation such nonsense brings. We just feed on it! How can I guide my children to the noble, pure, and worthy? How can I invite them to something far more attractive? And how can I do it without demanding and forcing? I need to guide them into the better way.”
I thought about Ben Carson’s mom. As a poor, uneducated, single mom, she relied heavily on the Lord. When her boys started bringing home terrible grades, she didn’t know what to do about it. But she knew who did.
“Sonya pulled Ben and Curtis close to her and looked right into their faces. “Boys, I don’t know what to do. But God promises in the Bible to give wisdom to those who ask. So tonight I’m going to pray for wisdom. I’m going to ask God what I need to do to help you.”
Ben and Curtis didn’t know what to think. Had she gone off the deep end? Did she really think God was going to tell her how to help them get better grades? Two days later, the boys found out God’s answer to their mother’s prayer, and they didn’t like it.
“God says we need to turn off the television,” Sonya told her sons. “You may choose three TV shows each week, but three times per week it is. You can use the extra time for reading.”
The boys complained and tried to change her mind, but their mother wasn’t finished. “You’re also to write two book reports every week about what you read. Then you can present your reports out loud to me.”
Sonya’s boys didn’t like it, but they did what their mom said and every week checked out a stack of books from the Detroit Public Library. It turned their lives around and Ben discovered what he was made for. He went on to become a doctor, eventually becoming one of the most prominent neurosurgeons in America.
What a child needs most is a praying mama.
So this morning, this mama prayed. And God answered:
“The law of the Lord is PERFECT,” He reminded me. “It restores the soul.
The testimony of the Lord is sure. It makes the simple person wise.
The precepts of the Lord are right, they bring joy to the heart. This morning, you fed your children’s bodies but failed to nourish their minds.”
Isn’t God good?! The answer was right there! For the past several months, our morning Scripture reading at the table has been sparse. More like non-existent. It is so easy to get distracted, to think it isn’t doing any good anyway, to feel like it’s just a boring, burdensome ritual.
The truth is that our minds need frequent intake of nourishing truth… just as our bodies need frequent intake of nourishing foods. The mind is renewed through the Word of God. There is no greater agent available. I love the simplicity of just getting back to reading the Word at the breakfast table. Thank You Jesus!
Way #4: Nourish the Mind
This week, my goal is to once again establish the habit of nourishing my children’s minds with the Word of God. Particularly in the morning at the breakfast table. Three resources I’ll be using are:
Daily Light on the Daily Path : This book provides daily scripture compilations, one for the morning and one for the evening. The readings are short (half a page) and are pure scripture. I love this book and it will be my primary tool.
Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions For Kids: I’m not a big fan of devotionals but this one is an exception. Our family always hears from God when we read this one. We’ll probably use it when I sense the kids getting tired of Daily Light.
Daily Audio Bible: This online scripture reading with Brian is a great way to start the morning and there’s a kid’s edition too. The only drawback is that it takes longer to finish. This is one for the weekend when we have more time to listen.
I’ve found we can get so complicated in our efforts to memorize scripture, understand the Bible, have family worship, etc that we stop doing the simplest thing of all. Today I asked God for just a few simple seeds. Just a few. Good, solid seeds that will grow with my children and produce a harvest of righteousness. Eating Words at meal times is one of them. So easy to implement!
This Week’s Challenge:
- Choose a meal time to regularly read a portion of Scripture as a family.
- Select your resources (the Bible itself is enough! I use the above resources because they cut out the need for preparation and help engage little minds and hearts.)
- Share your plan with your family and begin!