Undoubtedly, these are formative years in the lives of our kids. As we embark on another school year, parents anticipate the growth their kids will experience physically, emotionally, educationally and spiritually. But have you ever thought of the fact that God’s Word asks your kids to be the ones who set examples for others?
Today we looked together at Paul’s admonition to Timothy, a young pastor who was likely leading many people who would have been considered Timothy’s elder. Nevertheless, Paul tells Timothy that he shouldn’t let his youth stand in the way of being used by God to set the example for other believers around him in speech, life, love, faith and purity. Don’t let the young age of your children stand in the way of what God wants to do in them or through them now, while they are young. This week, help your kids examine the example they are setting for others while celebrating the example Jesus set for us and, more importantly, the sacrifice He paid for all of us who have fallen short of His glory.
Plan a family dinner this week in which you and/or your spouse purposely fail to use the table manners you typically expect from your kids. Make it obvious enough that your kids ask you about it. When they do, ask, “Is this not a good example? Why not?” Then read or recite 1 Timothy 4:12 and spend time brainstorming all the places where they will set an example for others this year. Pray together for God’s help in being a good example for those around them.
Driving around town this week, point out a construction zone and ask your kids what kind of planning they think went into it. Tell them the story of the wise man and the foolish man from Matthew 7:24-27 and ask them what some of their dreams and plans are for this year. Finally, encourage them with ways you’ve seen them grow as a follower of Jesus this last year.
At bedtime one night, reflect with your kids on missed opportunities to be a good example. When did you miss a chance to be an example for others? Model this for them by admitting some of your own missed opportunities first. Afterwards, read 1 John 1:9 together to be reminded that God will always forgive us when we confess and repent. Pray together and ask God for His forgiveness for the things mentioned. Ask forgiveness of one another as well where appropriate.
Over breakfast or as you leave for the day one morning this week, share with each of your kids 3 simple words that convey a positive character trait where they are an example to you. Explain why you picked those words and be specific. Pray a blessing over them, thanking God for how you’ve seen Him at work in your kids’ lives.
Next week is “Character Sunday” where we will briefly look at the 12 godly character traits we will be studying over the course of this next year. Those traits are Initiative, Discernment, Thankfulness, Purity, Joy, Love, Trustworthy, Patience, Obedience, Gentleness, Hope and Courage. Talk with your kids about how they would define each one of these.
Will you be at Watermark Kids Live this Friday night, August 22nd? You don’t want to miss it. The pre-party starts at 6:30 and the main event hits at 7:00! Invite your friends and come join us!