Teaching Rich Doctrines through Christmas Carols

Teaching Rich Doctrines through Christmas Carols

As a child, one of my favorite family Christmas traditions was singing carols together on Christmas Eve. However, as much as I loved the music, I was fairly clueless as to the deep, doctrinal richness found in many of these beloved carols. No one thought of actually explaining the words to me. What about your children? Do they know the meaning of phrases such as…

And makes the nations prove The glories of His righteousness (Joy to the World)

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse (O Come, O Come Emmanuel)

Hail th’incarnate Deity (Hark the Herald Angels Sing) Continue Reading…

How to Use Fighter Verses for Instruction

How to Use Fighter Verses for Instruction

Fighter Verses are a wonderful means to share the Word of God with our children. Breakfast or supper, riding in the car, or any time the family is together is a good time for instructional conversation about the Fighter Verses. Below are a few tips to remember as you share God’s Word with your children.

Keep it Short

A short instructional time that catches and holds a child’s interest is better than a long drawn out time that leaves the child bored and frustrated.

Teach “Bite-Sized” Portions

To keep the instruction from becoming long and burdensome for the child, teach a word-, phrase-, or verse-at-a-time, as suits your child’s age and attention. The Bible is so rich that a single verse can present a number of different avenues for instruction. Rather than worry about being exhaustive in your instruction about a passage, pray for guidance from the Holy Spirit and teach the points God puts on your heart. Spend several days on a passage rather than try to cover it all at one sitting. Continue Reading…

Helping Our Children Learn to Be Content

Helping Our Children to Be Content

Years ago, several of us from Children Desiring God had the great privilege of going to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to visit with our ministry partners there. As many know, Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries in the world. For those of us accustomed to western prosperity, it was an eye-opening and heart-transforming experience. One day of our visit we were taken on a walk through an area of the city that was built around the garbage dump—with people making their “living” by what could be gleaned from the trash. We saw dozens of children that day, including a group of children in tattered clothes playing with an old, dirty ball. What I found amazing about these children were the smiles on their faces and their giggles and laughs as they played together.

I wonder:  Would my grandchildren be content in this situation?

Would my children? Would I?…Honestly, would I be able to say with Paul,

 …for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:11-13 ESV) Continue Reading…

The Gift of Making Him Known this Christmas

Making Him Known Series

Are you still looking for a meaningful and unique gift for a special child in your life? A gift that is relatively inexpensive, yet points children to riches beyond measure? A gift that can foster wonderful conversations between parents and children? Then consider choosing a book from the Making Him Known series.

Every book in the series consists of 26 chapters, written in child-friendly language, with full-color illustrations. Each book is designed to focus on particular aspects of the greatness and worth of God and our response to Him. Every chapter concludes with “Learning to Trust God” application questions to further spiritual discussion between child and parent and a suggested activity. At only $11.99 per book, they provide an affordable gift that seeks to address our children’s deepest need—to know, love, trust, and treasure God through Christ! Continue Reading…

Godward Recognition for Bible Memory

Godward Recognition for Bible Memory

Incentives. Prizes. Class recognition. All are legitimate ways to encourage and reward students for Bible memory. In my first-grade class, we always took a few moments every week to encourage Bible memory and acknowledge children who had memorized verses in the past week. We also took time to celebrate special milestones, such as when a child had memorized 25 verses. That said, there are some careful considerations I think we should take into account with all of the above.  Depending on our manner and tone, we can either serve to encourage God-honoring thankfulness, or self-centered pride. As much as possible, I want to foster the former, and not the latter.

Here is an example of what I mean by this: Suppose you want to recognize a child in your class for memorizing 10 verses. Along with this recognition and maybe even rewarding him or her with a small prize, consider saying a prayer of thanksgiving and encouragement such as… Continue Reading…

A Good Reminder this Christmas

A Good Reminder This Christmas

Over the years, our family has made some drastic changes in how we celebrate Christmas in regard to gifts—a lot fewer “things” under the tree, tighter budgets, spiritually beneficial resources, homemade gifts, choosing a charity to give to, thrift store and garage sale finds, etc. And it has been wonderful for everyone involved! Here is a great reminder from Randy Alcorn:

Consider the typical American Christmas. When the annual obstacle course through crowded malls culminates on the Big Day, what’s the fruit? We find a trail of shredded wrapping paper and a pile of broken, abandoned, and unappreciated toys. Far from being filled with a spirit of thankfulness for all that Christmas means, the children are grabby, crabby, picky, sullen, and ungrateful—precisely because they’ve been given so much. Continue Reading…

How to Help Children Memorize Scripture

How to Help Children Memorize Scripture

Children can memorize almost anything very quickly and easily, but they need encouragement and support from you as they memorize Scripture. Parent and teachers are crucial in challenging children to continue pursuing Scripture memory, developing a memory routine and helping children understand and apply the verses they learn. The best way to memorize is through repetition. There is no substitute for reviewing a verse repeatedly. However, specific memorization techniques can vary from age group to age group. The following are ideas that we have found helpful.

TIPS FOR YOUNG CHILDREN

youngkidsmemorizequoteMemorizing by repetition works well when teaching verses to young children:

  • Say the reference: First, clearly pronounce the reference (“address” may be easier for some young children to understand than “reference”). Then have the child repeat the reference.
  • Repeat the passage in sections: Say the passage in several bite-sized sections, having children say each section after you. Repeat the sections.
  • Repeat the reference again.
  • Review the passage several more times, lengthening the sections each time.
  • Discuss the passage. After the passage is remembered (usually in 3-4 repetitions), it is good to dissect it. Discuss the meaning of unfamiliar words. Rephrase the passage and try to help the child discover how the passage applies to his life.

Continue Reading…

Why Should Children Memorize Scripture?

Why Should Children Memorize Scripture

Here are four top reasons to encourage children to memorize Scripture:

1. Children have amazing memories.

Children memorize easily. In fact, they often memorize effortlessly. Since memorization is so easy for them, they are memorizing constantly. They will memorize either what the world has to offer them or what we have to offer them. Why not take advantage of this God-given gift for the benefit of our children’s spiritual growth? This “window of opportunity” is open for about twelve years. After age twelve, memorization is harder — unless a child has been trained in the habit of memorization.

2. What is learned in childhood is often retained for a lifetime.

It is so much harder for adults to memorize Scripture than children. We often feel handicapped because we do not have more Scripture memorized. For many adults, the verses they know well (those which come to mind as an automatic response) are verses learned in childhood. So seize the moment! Continue Reading…

What Happened to Their “Faith”?

What Happened to Their "Faith"?

The older I get, the more I have seen this and wept. Sadly, too many of the students I once taught 15 and even 20 years ago have abandoned any pretense of the Christian faith. The great majority of these students grew up with godly Christian parents. What’s a parent to do? What’s the church to do? Last week Tim Challies had an important post, “Why Christian Kids Leave the Faith.”

Few things are sadder to witness than people who once professed faith leaving it all behind. This is especially true when those people were raised in Christian homes by God-fearing parents. These children were given every opportunity to put their faith in Jesus but determined instead to turn their backs on him. Why would they make such a tragic choice?

What Happened to Their "Faith"Several years ago Tom Bisset carried out a study of people who had left the faith. Wanting this to be more than a statistical analysis, he actually sat down with people to interview them and ask for detailed information on when, why, and how they abandoned their faith. As he compiled his research he arrived at the four most prominent reasons that people raised in Christian homes eventually leave Christianity behind.

• They leave because they have troubling, unanswered questions about the faith.
• They leave because their faith is not working for them.
• They leave because they have allowed other things to take priority.
• They leave because they never personally owned their faith.

…As parents we are to commit ourselves to the task of raising our children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord, to teach them the facts of the faith, to show how it answers our questions and meets our needs, to insist that the good news of the gospel must be personally apprehended. We do what God calls us to do, we do it to the best of our abilities, and we entrust the results—and our children—to God’s good providence.

whychristiankidsrebelA book I would recommend for parents is Tim Kimmel’s Why Christian Kids Rebel: Trading Heartache for Hope. Even if your children have not rebelled or shown any indication of rejecting the faith, this book has some very helpful biblical counsel for all parents to consider and implement in their parenting.

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving, our hearts are overflowing with thankfulness to the Lord for so many blessings, both small and large. We are thankful for family, friends and home, but most importantly for the truth found in the Gospel.

We are also so thankful for each and every one of you, our partners in ministry. Thank you for joining us in the mission to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things so that the next generation may know and cherish Jesus Christ as the only One who saves and satisfies the desires of the heart. Thank you for joining us in prayer that parents and churches will continue to partner together to instruct the mind, engage the heart and nurture the faith of our children so that millions in every generation will set their hope in God.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Children Desiring God Team!

David, Sally, Jill, Brian, Terry, Holly, Lori, Suzy, Betty, Karen, Nicole and Rachel

 

 

Page 5 of 77« First...«34567»102030...Last »