What do you fear? For some, it may be snakes, spiders, or clowns. Others, it is speaking publicly to being stuck in a small space. We usually associate the word “fear” in a negative sense. We encourage people to face their fears and to be courageous. As Christians we may even say “Fear is a liar.” But, is there a healthy fear that one should have and what does the Bible say about this?
I was reading a passage from the Bible to my children. I knew they would ask me a particular question. I was waiting and ready for them as I saw the wheels in their heads spin and try to process what it means. The part of the Bible I read was from Deuteronomy 6 where Moses is given a reminder to the new generation of Israelites before they enter the Promised Land. The word “careful” or “carefully” appears several times in Deuteronomy because Moses wants these new Jews to live in light of all that God has commanded to be mindful of how they pass that information on.
Deuteronomy 6 begins with, “Now this is the commandment-the statues and the rules- that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to possess it, that you may fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son’s son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long (Deuteronomy 6:1-3 ESV). I stopped after just three verses and I can tell that one phrase caught their attention. My oldest asked, “Why do you want to fear the Lord?
Continue reading “How to Raise Children in the Fear of Lord”
This past weekend, a goal of mine was accomplished by being able to have a parenting conference for our church. It took years of thinking and praying and wrong times to finally pick a date and stick to it. Here is what I learned through the process that could maybe help those out there that are planning on doing something similar at their church.
Child-care is important!
I knew the audience was parents and many who signed up for the conference had younger children who were unable to watch themselves. We knew planning this that child care was important but let me tell you, it was hard to get volunteers for it!
It was hard to find adults who were either not parents themselves who could benefit from the conference or were willing to miss it.
Continue reading “Having a Parenting Conference? 5 Things I Learned from having one.”
Every parent thinks about what their children will become. When they grow up, will they be successful? Will they make it? Will they be well off? We think of the types of investments we would deposit into their lives, like their education, training, extracurricular activities, etc. The truth is every parent, whether good or bad, makes these legacy choices. The ones mentioned above are not bad, but they are not the most important.
Continue reading “Leaving the Right Legacy”
There is no ignoring Halloween. It is everywhere you go; from the store to your neighbor’s house, some form of decoration is pointing to Halloween. It is one of the most marketed days of the year. There are many arguments to how a Christian should view Halloween. Should we fight against it, ignore it, or should we embrace it? I don’t know if the answer is that simple. You can’t just overlook the fact that there are some demonic sides to Halloween; it is pretty blatant. There are arguments about the evil background and history of Halloween. On the other side is that the starting of Halloween was “All Saints Day” to remember the martyrs who have been killed for their faith and then through history this holiday merged with heathen practices.
Here are a few thoughts on a parent’s approach to Halloween.
1) Be cautious and wise.
There are some parents who don’t have a problem with their children participating in Halloween and they exercise wisdom and discernment. For example, they allow their children to wear a fun, innocent costume. They don’t see candy as something bad (just in moderation).
As a parent who allows their children to participate, you want to use wisdom by not letting your children be around something evil or scary so you pick which house is good to go to and which houses are not. We do live in a day and age when you need to be careful of strangers and you also know that you are called to protect your children.
Some parents may choose to participate in other ways. For example, they may bring their children to a church-run event such as the Harvest Fest. This limits what their children will be around and with whom. There are many places that are safe for kids to have fun, dress up, and have some candy.
There may be some parents who do not want their children participating in something that they view is spiritually compromising. I respect the family that makes a stand that their children are not participating in Halloween activities. A parent that takes this stand needs to communicate with their children about why they are making that stand, knowing that they will have questions from other people.
2) Teach your children.
Everything is a teaching moment. Though Halloween may have some superstitious backgrounds, as a parent you are not approaching Halloween that way. There is nothing inherently evil with dressing up for fun or eating candy. If you have toddlers this may happen every day (maybe not the candy part)! What matters is our approach as parents. Teach them that we follow the Word of God, that there are evil spirits and the devil, and he is not more active on Halloween than any other day of the year. What a great reminder for us to know that Jesus Christ is greater in us than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4). Jesus is King and Lord and He has dominion and power over evil.
3) It is a day that you can use to witness to people who come knocking on your door.
You can choose to turn the lights off at your house or you can look at giving candy and talking to parents of kids as an opportunity. This is a great opportunity that you can use and be a light during a dark time. You can pass out witnessing tracts and candy. You can be friendly and start conversations with other parents.
On a day that points to death and despair, we have the gospel message of eternal life and hope. We should look at this as a perfect opportunity to share Jesus Christ with others!
Personal Note: I understand that not everyone will do what we do, nor do I expect that, but you may be curious how my family approaches Halloween.
We allow our children to dress up in something fun and innocent. We, in past years, have dressed up as a whole family. We communicate to our children that they can dress up and have candy. We invite family and friends as we go to Harvest for the Harvest Fest, where they have a great time, hear the gospel, and meet with the church family. We then spend some time in our neighborhood as I want us to use the opportunity to meet our neighbors and be somewhat present to them. I try to encourage our children that we can have fun but there are also dark and scary things about Halloween—but they are of God and have overcome those things, for “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4 NKJV).