Tuesday, March 10, 2015

What Is The Families of The Way Communication Series?

 As the primary teachers of our children, the sooner we strive to create learning opportunities and to pass on our hard-learned wisdom, the easier it is to positively influence who our sons and daughters become as adults.

One of the great offerings I am creating for Families of The Way is an interactive and engaging 8 part group study series called “Communication - God and Family:  Growing Closer to Loved Ones in Word and Action”.    A main goal of the series is to help us discover the answer to these questions and to help us set holy intentions of action, deed and thought:

-          How can I better communicate with my family so that my love of the Lord is evident in my daily actions, thoughts and words?

-          What actions will I take to embrace a communication or parenting concept and better demonstrate my faith journey?

Let me highlight a few key areas of focus for this engaging, interactive study.  The first is “Communicating with God”.  In order to fully model a good Christian walk, we need to focus on our own spiritual development.  During this session, we look at simple spiritual practices to deepen our knowledge of the Bible and our faith traditions, especially with our children in our homes. 

A second area of focus is “Communicating with Our Spouses and Other Key Adults”.  Our sons and daughters look to parents and other caregivers to be consistent and loving in the way they are raised.  We explore how parents and caregivers can learn to really listen and reach agreement when there are differences of opinion on how to handle difficult issues. 

A third area we explore is “Communicating With Our Sons and Daughters”.  As our children enter the Tween and Teen years, they will either turn towards us or look elsewhere when faced by life’s challenges.  This session focuses on how to encourage your son or daughter to really open up to you when he or she needs to work through issues.  We learn about and practice “Active Listening” and communication skills which help your child feel accepted and respected, and feel confident that you will be there to help regardless of the situation he or she faces.

This Families of The Way Communication Series can be offered in a church setting, where parents can find fellowship, support and encouragement to tackle the challenges of and embrace the beauty of raising children who are engaged in living a meaningful life and who know and love the Lord. 

Monday, March 2, 2015

What Can Lenten Sacrifice Teach Your Children?

Many Christian churches recognize Lent as a time of repentance, fasting and preparation for the coming of Easter.  This season and its practices often seem out of step in today's world that focuses more on comfortable living, self gratification and consumerism.

Why then, might we choose to teach our kids about sacrifice during Lent?  Let’s look take a look at some reasons that our sons and daughters can benefit developmentally and spiritually.  We will use two examples of a small sacrifice your child may choose - giving up electronics for one day a week or going without a favorite snack during Lent.

1)  Building fortitude:  Choosing to make a small sacrifice such as one mentioned above might make your child feel a bit down, but doing it for several weeks can help him or her realize that it doesn't make him or her miserable.
2)  Strengthening the ability to delay gratification:  Being able to do without in the short term for long term benefit is key to achievement - in school and in life.
3)  Supporting maturation:  Eliminating something that one is holding too dear can help build new and better habits that foster development and spiritual growth.

4)  Connecting:  Joining others in the Lenten journey can deepen the sense of connection with your church community.
5)  Sacrificing:  Helping build a sense that just as Jesus sacrificed for us, we can sacrifice in some small way as a prayerful offering for ourselves and for others.
6)  Suffering:  Helping our child further connect with our Lord, Jesus Christ, and the suffering he willingly undertook on the cross to offer us salvation.
7)  Celebrating:  At the end of our period of sacrifice, the Lenten journey can help us more fully embrace the joy of Jesus Christ’s resurrection on Easter Sunday.