(Published in Moms on a Mission‘s magazine)
Studies show that hope is the best predictor of happiness. But do your children have this sustaining hope? The great news is they can! You can teach it. You can model it when you persevere through hard times. Hope can be shared. It is contagious.
What does God’s Word say? Where does the Psalmist place his hope? In God’s word! How well do your kids know God’s word? Do they know how to look for answers? Do they know where to find help when the inevitable trials come? Mom, you can’t protect them from everything! As a matter of fact, your attempts to control everything so they don’t feel pain not only exhaust you, but it handicaps them. Value your children’s character and their ability to rely on God more than you value their immediate happiness. Think long term. Pain is evitable in a fallen world and their security and hope must be in Christ.
What would you say the opposite of hope is? Depression? Anxiety maybe? We are absolutely plagued with anxiety in our society. There are a number of reasons for this. One is that it is more identifiable now. It’s part of the language of our culture and less taboo to talk about. Second, we are overscheduling and putting way more pressure on our kids than we have ever done before. But third is increased use of technology. It magnifies all of our fears and insecurities.
Sissy Goff, therapist and author of Raising Worry Free Girls defines anxiety in a very relatable way:
“Anxiety is an overestimation of the problem and an underestimation of themselves.” So if your child is anxious about something and you allow them to avoid it, you have affirmed that the problem is big and they are small. The object of their anxiety, their Worry Monster, just grew in size. Anxiety becomes entrenched. It is very difficult as a parent to resist the urge to rescue them from the thing they are anxious about. It takes time, energy, and intentionality to walk your kid through her anxiety tool box. And if she doesn’t have one, its time to build one.
So what do we do? I already mentioned hiding God’s word in our hearts. The better your kids know the Bible the more tools they have to fight the enemy of their hope.
Habits, rituals, traditions, religious observances, these liturgies of life ground us in hope. What do you do as a family that your kids look forward to? Go home and ask them! How do you make memories? You are going to create life habits and rituals, either intentionally or unintentionally. You might as well choose what your liturgy of life will be!
What is the liturgy of my life now? What would I like it to look like?
Hide ’Em In Your Heart (Scripture set to music by Steve Green) – an oldie but a goodie!
|He Is Good (Hide Em In Your Heart Album Version) [Music Download]|
By Steve Green / Sparrow
Sing the Word from A to Z
Draw the Verse: A Scripture Memory & Application Tool for Families
|Topical Memory System for Kids|
In Topical Memory System for Kids, kids will be introduced to a lifelong love of Scripture, through memory games, devotional readings relating to each verse, and it’s role in God’s story. There are 36 tear-out verse cards in the NIV and The Message translations, a devotional guide, a memorization check list, discussion questions, and a kid-friendly glossary. Paperback, 192 pages. Ages 5 and older.
|Victory Over the Darkness, rev. and updated ed.: Realize the Power of Your Identity in Christ|
By Neil T. Anderson / Bethany House
Anderson’s best-selling guide launched a ministry that has helped millions ward off Satan’s attacks and embrace freedom in God! Now in this revised, updated, and simplified edition, he offers practical, down-to-earth advice to a new generation, helping you seek release from the burdens of the past and realize the power of your identity in Christ. 240 pages, softcover from Bethany.
Raising Worry Free Girls by Sissy Goff
|Raising Worry-Free Girls: Helping Your Daughter Feel Braver, Stronger, and Smarter in an Anxious World|
By Sissy Goff / Bethany House
Anxiety has reached epidemic proportions in our culture—and children and teenagers are suffering, too. In this practical, bibically rooted guide, veteran counselor Goff shows parents, grandparents, and educators how to help girls cultivate bravery, confidence, strength, and hope. Teach them to notice when their brains are working against them—and to overcome fear with faith! 221 pages, softcover from Bethany.
Wild Things by David Thomas
|Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys|
By Stephen James & David Thomas / Tyndale House
After reading Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boy, you’ll have a rich understanding of the role development plays in the life of a boy from birth through college. All stages and phases of development are covered – emotional, physical, biological, and spiritual. The book contains helpful sidebars addressing specific topics to discuss with your son such as sex, drugs, homosexuality, pornography, and masturbation. Each chapter ends with a section called “Putting It into Practice” that gives practical directions on how to successfully interact with boys at each respective level of development. Paperback.
Talk about hope in these books and movies. Where does it come from? How does it effect others?
Pie by Sarah Weeks (ages 9 to 14)
Listening for Lions by Gloria Whelan (9 to 14)
George Mueller by Janet Benge
The Door in the Wall by Marguerite di Angeli
Waiting for Unicorns by Beth Hautala
By the Great Horn Spoon (a Gold Rush story) by Sid Fleischmann
Braver, Stronger, Smarter, A Girl’s Guide to Overcoming Worry and Anxiety by Sissy Goff
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
Free Burma Rangers (documentary)
The Good Lie (PG 13)
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