By Elise Brown
As a young child I was raised in a very loving Christian family who I often times looked at as being to strict. Today as a Christian mother of two young girls, one who is a teenager and the other still in her toddler years, I often find myself asking the question, What Are You feeding Your Children?
Sometimes with work, choir rehearsal J, mime practice, cheer leading, (the list could go on) I will stop at McDonald’s, Wendy’s or grab for them whatever will be quick and easy and stop us from being later than we already are. Now I am working on better meal planning to rectify what goes into their bodies. But the bigger question for me is what am I feeding into their Spirits?
When I was a child I would go to my Grandma teary eyed and ask, “Why was Granddaddy, a Baptist Pastor, so mean?” She would gently reply, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6. There was no way for me to understand it then, but as I grew older and had friends who were murdered, and older yet to have friends who would go to prison, I started to think back to all the times that I wanted to do what they were allowed to do but wasn’t. The obscure slowly began to become obvious. I would remember the times that God’s love was fed into my Spirit via scripture and songs and hugs and I now realize that what I was fed then has had a tremendous effect on who I am today and the decisions I have made from childhood to adulthood.
As I grow and mature in my Christian walk I often reflect upon the Blessing and responsibility that God has entrusted me with when I look at my daughters and I don’t want them to feed off of a diet of Spiritual Big Macs and Happy meals. It is easy to give a child the things that they will like, that will make them smile, but in this day and age it is crucial to feed them a Spiritually Well Balanced meal. We as a Christian community need to pray for the children in our community, parent or not. We need to love them the way that God loves us and we need to speak power and love and protection over their lives. It is time for us to stop sitting silently by and watch children throw not only their lives away but their souls and their spirits as well.
Ways that I think we can foster God’s love into their lives and everyday well diet.
* Read the Bible with them and teach them how to use the Bible to deal with daily life both good and bad. Not just reading the old family Bible (nothing wrong with it) but there are several Bibles that are specifically designed to speak to children/teens so that they can relate to what they are hearing.
* Teaching them your favorite childhood church song and why it’s your favorite. I feel this will help them to relate to you. If you can’t think of one “Yes Jesus Loves Me” is always good.
* Teach them the “Lord’s Prayer” and reward them as they learn it.
* Put the radio on a Gospel station or CD when taking them to school. If ever they need to be reminded that they are children of God it is in school when they are alone with their peers.
* Get them a shoe box to decorate and colored index cards and have them write notes to God. (Doesn’t have to be a prayer a simple word or sentence will do)
* For younger children read them Christian based books prior to bed.
* Say Good Night Prayers as a family.
* Involve them in youth activities at Church. This will help them to establish a peer group that has the same values as them. So maybe the peer-pressure will be to do what is right instead of what is wrong.
* Teach them that God is Loving, Kind, Forgiving and full of Grace and Mercy, not just Fire and Brimstone.
Now I have not done all of these, but I am going to start working on them pronto (work in progress). Hope you have something to add. We look forward to reading your post.