Jesus sent the disciples out to share the good news and minister to others once they had been equipped to do so. Likewise, once we give our kids a sense of purpose, equip them to bear good fruit, and model sharing Jesus’ love with others, it’s time to send them out. Just like Jesus used a boy who was willing to share his lunch to feed 5,000, God can use our kids too. In fact, children have a unique position and faith that allows them to impact the world around them in significant ways.
This week we will look at how Jesus modeled ministry with His disciples as a way to teach them to share God’s love with others. “And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people” (Matthew 4:23)
When my daughter was twelve-years-old she started serving on our preschool worship team at church. One day I let her lead the large group lesson with our preschoolers. I was absolutely amazed by how well she did on her first try! I noticed her teacher-like intonation with the kids, how she kept them engaged throughout the lesson, and how she naturally spoke at their level without me even telling her to do so. Then it hit me. She had been watching ME teach the preschoolers since she was a preschooler herself! I didn’t need to teach her anything- she had been learning all along just by watching me.
A Mama Heart Like Jesus: Equipping Our Kids to Bear Good Fruit
Guest Blog: Beth Meverden
Every day on the way to school, I quote the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:14-17) and the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) with my children. I throw in others to make sure they’re still hidden in their hearts
Why do I focus on those passages with my children? Because when times get tough and they start to wonder if God is with them or how to handle a specific situation, my prayer is that the Holy Spirit will bring those verses back to mind and give them encouragement and guidance.
When the disciples heard their purpose, to be fishers of men, they were so excited that they dropped their nets to immediately follow Him. It’s interesting that in Jesus’ first encounter with His disciples, rather than work on their sin issues or build their flawed character, Jesus calls them to a purpose of making disciples. Oftentimes we think that our children need to be fully mature before God can use them. We think they have to fully know and understand God’s Word and work through their many character flaws, and then when they are older, God will give them a purpose in His kingdom. But Jesus shows us a different model.
1. Know God’s Love
Before our kids can love others as Jesus does, they need to experience Jesus’ love for themselves. In John 15 above, Jesus commanded His disciples to love others as He first loved them. How can our children truly experience God’s love?
Our kids first get a glimpse of God’s love through us.
Imagine with me that you and your kids have been planning all month to go to the zoo during Spring Break. Your children used the zoo map to create a well-planned tour through the zoo, making sure not to miss any of their favorite animals. The morning of your zoo trip, you wake to pouring rain. What now?
You know your zoo has a rain-or-shine policy and you won’t get your money back. You don’t have a poncho that will fit your youngest child and you don’t want your stroller to get soaked. What are your options?
As I have been searching the Scriptures to discover what character traits Jesus taught His disciples, I have noticed that one of the virtues He emphasized most frequently was humility. I wonder if this is because we humans have such a hard time being humble, or if humility is one of the foundational character traits to acquire in order to develop other virtues, such as a servant’s heart. In order for our kids to learn to serve others with the right attitude, they must first learn humility. Here are a few ways we see Jesus teaching this important virtue to His disciples.
This month we will discuss how Jesus taught his disciples to be like Him in character. He did this through His example, explaining why character is important, highlighting other people’s character, and through correction and encouragement.
One of the character traits Jesus focused on with His disciples was obedience, or teaching His disciples to follow His ways.
Jesus taught the disciples obedience.
Guest Post: By Mindy Hite
I would like to introduce Mindy Hite to you, a dear friend, speaker, author, and mom of three boys, who is sharing with us today about protecting our kids from the lies of the enemy. For more information on Mindy and her wonderful resources, check out her bio at the bottom of this post.
Equipping Our Kids to Be in the World But Not of the World
If you have been around church lingo or attended Bible studies, you have probably heard the term “to be in the world but not of the world” based off of John 17 (see above). This is an important concept to teach our kids because as Mamas, we cannot shelter our kids completely from the world, nor did Jesus do this with his disciples. Jesus taught his disciples to be in the world, but to not live as the world lives. In order to learn from Jesus, let’s look at three ways He taught His disciples to be in the world but not live like the world.