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The Bible and the Brain

Research shows that reading to children is important for things like brain development, socialization, and literacy—even “soft” skills like empathy. That’s why we encourage reading the Bible to your children until they are old enough to begin to do so on their own.

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Prodigious advances in technology have revolutionized the field of neuroscience, allowing us unprecedented access to information on the brain’s inner workings. The New York Times has declared the next frontier in science as, “inside your brain”![1]

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Knowing how children’s brains process and store information gives us critical insight on how to help them experience and retain spiritual truths and biblical principles that will deepen their relationship with Christ.

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Here’s a snapshot of how the brain receives and stores information:

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The Bible and the Brain | Experience the Story

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Rote memorization helps lodge information in your short-term memory. But if it is not repeated or attached to prior knowledge—such as associating the new information with a catchy song or important memory—it will quickly be flushed from your brain’s short-term storage any time a new and “more important” piece of information is encountered.

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Getting new information into long-term memory takes work. A good strategy is to connect the information to an additional activity:

  • Using a question and answer format
  • Engaging in a discussion
  • Relating topics to real life situations
  • Role playing or actual application

The more ways something is learned, the more memory pathways are built.[2]

When the brain perceives information repeated in multiple ways, there is a priming process that makes encoding of that information more efficient. That is why writing a vocabulary word in a sentence, hearing classmates read their sentences, and then following the direction to use the word in conversation during that day will result in more successful long-term memory storage and retrieval than just memorizing the definition (Koutstaal et al., 1997).

In other words, the more often information is repeated, revisited, and experienced in multiple ways, the more deeply embedded it becomes.

So what does this have to do with us?

Here at OneHope, we are always searching for effective mediums and ways to communicate the truths of God’s Word to children. It’s our job to instill a deep faith in the next generation. We’re not psychologists or neuroscientists, but we do our best to understand how effective learning takes place so we can leverage those principles in our ministry work.

Ultimately, we trust the Holy Spirit to make the profound truth of the Scripture come alive and move children from simply learning basic Christian doctrine to a deeper understanding and heart knowledge for how to live.


[1] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/31/brain-research-2014_n_6334088.html
[2] http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/107006/chapters/Memory,_Learning,_and_Test-Taking_Success.aspx

Helping Children See Their Invisible God

“Mom, why can’t I see God the way I see you and other real people?”

Gazing out the car window always seems to prompt deep or funny questions for kids. My 6-year-old wants an answer to everything that is happening in the world. Where does rain come from? Why do humans salivate? Can she have blue hair? (The answer to the third question was no.)

Seeing God…What a wonderful question! Believing in a God we don’t see is not only a dilemma for children, but something even adults can struggle with every day.

Jesus said: “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are
those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29)

How do we help children wrestle through the fact that they can’t see God? What does the Bible teach us about this? Here are some suggestions for navigating this conversation:

  • God always makes a way for us to know Him. The Bible tells us that Moses asked for the same thing. He wanted to see God.


 “Moses responded, “Then show me your glorious presence.”’

The Lord replied, “I will make all my goodness pass before you, and I will call out my name, Yahweh, before you. For I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose.  But you may not look directly at my face, for no one may see me and live.” The Lord continued, “Look, stand near me on this rock. As my glorious presence passes by, I will hide you in the crevice of the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and let you see me from behind. But my face will not be seen.” (Exodus 33:18-23)

God told Moses that no one could look directly at Him and live.[1] Use this opportunity to explain to your child that God did not leave Moses wondering. God made a way for Moses to feel His glorious presence. He even protected Moses by covering him as He passed by.


 

 

Moses couldn’t look directly at God because of the sin in his life. When God created humans, they were perfect. But the first humans, Adam and Eve, disobeyed God. Sin and death came into the world. Every human born after them was no longer perfect. However, God had a plan to save people from their sins. And one day, God would be able to walk and talk with them face-to-face just as he did with Adam and Eve.

God made a way for Moses to see and feel Him. And He was preparing a way for all other humans to see him, too.

1) How did God make a way for Moses to see God? (God hid Moses in the crevice of a rock and covered him with His hand. He allowed Moses to see Him from behind.)

2) Why couldn’t Moses look directly at God? (Moses’ sinful nature prevented him from looking directly at the perfect, magnificent God.)

3) How did God protect Moses in this story? (He made a way for Moses to see Him without Moses dying.)


Have your child close their eyes and keep them closed. Hold a flashlight pointing toward the ceiling as you walk past them. Ask if they could sense your presence and if they saw the light emanating from the flashlight. Remind them that God’s brilliance is overwhelmingly more powerful.

This activity will work better in a darker room. But remember not to point the flashlight directly at your children’s eyes when you do this!

  • God took on human form. He came into the world as baby Jesus. It is through Jesus Christ that humans could see God again because Jesus is God.

“For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body.” (Colossians 2:9)

“Though he was God,
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
he took the humble position of a slave[2]
and was born as a human being.” (Philippians 2:6-7)

God’s desire is that we see Him. It is so important to God that we know Him that He came to earth in human form as the person of Jesus Christ.

God and Jesus are one.[3] The people walking on the earth about 2,000 years ago had the chance to see Jesus, and therefore also saw God. Jesus Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.[4]

Jesus’ full divine glory was hidden by human flesh. Jesus was 100% God and 100% human. Even though people were seeing Jesus face-to-face, many did not believe in Him. However, many did. And this is how the Church started.

Jesus willingly died on the cross for all the sins of the world. He rose from the dead and went to heaven to prepare a place for those who love and follow Him to be in God’s presence in the future.

Again, God made a way for people to see and feel Him.

1) Who is Jesus Christ? (Jesus Christ is God)

2) How long ago did Jesus Christ live on the earth? (Jesus lived on the earth about 2,000 years ago)

3) What did Jesus come to earth to do? (He came to die on the cross to save us from sin)

Ask your child to hold an ice pack or cubes with their bare hands. Acknowledge how the ice is cold and can feel like it’s burning. Then, take the cubes back and wrap them in a towel. Now, have your child hold it again. Explain to your child that Jesus was 100% God and 100% human. He chose to wrap himself in human form so we could know him.

Ice is the best for this activity—hot materials may burn yourself or your child!

  • In what ways can you help your child see God now?
  • We can see God in creation.

For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.” (Romans 1:20)

 

 

God created everything! All the things we can see around us—and even the things we can’t see. This is one of the ways God shows himself to us.

1) What have people seen since the creation of the world? (People have seen the earth and sky)

2) What did God create? (God created everything)

3) How can we see God in creation now? (We can see His power and divine nature through His beautiful creation)

Take a field trip into nature (the mountains, beach, or a local park). Or simply have your child look out a window up at the sky and clouds. Contemplate the Creator together and talk about how intricate creation is. No human hand could design the oceans, skies and mountains.

  • We can have God’s Spirit in us. Introduce your child to the Holy Spirit. If you’ve never talked with your child about who the third person of the Trinity is—this is the time.

“If you love me, obey my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate,[5]who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.” (John 14:15-17)

1) How can we show God we love him? (We obey His commandments)

2) How does the Holy Spirit help us? (He leads us in all truth)

3) Why can’t the world recognize the Holy Spirit? (The world is not looking for Him so they can’t recognize Him)

God has made a way for us to experience Him in a very deep and personal way. When Jesus Christ ascended into heaven, He promised to send His Holy Spirit. And when we believe and receive Jesus Christ, God comes to live in us through the Holy Spirit.[6]

Explain to your child that the Holy Spirit of God lives in us to guide, empower, teach and help us to follow the Word of God, and He shows us our unique purpose here on this earth.

Through the Holy Spirit we know God is with us, always. Once again, God made a way for us to be with him – until we see Him face-to-face, once and for all.

Sit with your child. Ask if he/she would like to pray with you. Ask God to show Himself in a powerful to you and your child today, and for them to receive the guidance of the Holy Spirit in their lives.

  • We can see God through His Word. Jesus is the Word of God (the Bible). He is God. 

In the beginning the Word already existed.
The Word was with God,
and the Word was God.” John 1:1

Jesus has many names – one of them is the Word. Jesus is the Word of God. God speaks to us through His Word. The more we know and understand the Bible, the more we know and see God. This is why it’s important for us to learn the Bible and memorize what it says.

1) Why should should we read the Bible? (To know and see God)

2) Who is the Word of God? (Jesus is the Word of God)

3) How can we hear God speak to us? (Through His Word)


Set aside time each day for devotionals with your child. Read a Bible story together, ask questions and let God speak to you.

You can also find great resources at: http://onehope.net/feature/parentresources/

 

Related:

5 ways to help kids understand the Bible
Catechism
Teach kids to share faith using Bible App For Kids

 


[1] Exodus 33:20
[2] Servant
[3] John 10:30
[4] Colossians 1:15
[5] Comforter, Encourager or Counselor.
[6] 1 Corinthians 3:16

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Thanksgiving Activity Guide

No matter what’s going on in your life and the world around you, Thanksgiving is a time to pause and point our hearts in the direction of thankFULLness. We’ve put together a great resource for families full of inspiring stories, conversation starters, and activities to calibrate our hearts to a biblical attitude of gratitude.

Enjoy this great FREE activity guide that helps us focus on what we DO have instead of what we don’t.

Download your Thanksgiving activity guide here!

Related:

HELP KIDS GO FROM COMPLAINING TO CONTENT IN 60 SECONDS
6 WAYS TO ACTIVELY SHOW THANKFULNESS
HOW TO HAVE A DAY OF REST WITH YOUR KIDS

Honor Your Child’s Positive Character Traits

Parents, what are you doing to honor the positive character traits you see in your child/ren?

Whether they are brave enough to voice it aloud, or if it’s the question that runs silently through their minds, every grade-school boy and girl wonders: “Am I good enough?” … “Am I good enough for my parents? For my teacher and friends?”

The way they answer this question will shape their confidence for years to come. Child development by definition is the process of growth. And as parents, we have the main responsibility in guiding and informing that process.

Proverbs 31 begins with

“The sayings of King Lemuel – an inspired utterance his mother taught him” (Proverbs 31:1)

King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, held dearly in his heart and into his old age the words his mother had spoken to him throughout his life.

If we would see the power our words have over our children, and if we answered their silent cry with a, “yes, you are more than good enough!” there is no limit to the good that would fill their young souls!

The challenge at times is the need for genuine words. Children of this era desire truth and can see right through hypocrisy. I realized this when in praising my “special” eight-year-old son he replied, “Thanks mom. But aren’t we all special?” Stunned at his wisdom I began to describe what about him was special and was forced (in a good way) to articulate his uniqueness and positive qualities. I saw relief in his eyes. He understood I truly meant it when I called him special. I, too, was relieved and was enjoying a “proud mommy moment,” until my younger daughter who was listening asked, “And what about me?”

What makes Proverbs 31 a commonly cited passage of Scripture is the specifics it provides. It describes the character of a noble wife in every unique area – family, work and spirituality. It doesn’t just call her “noble,” it articulates the how, when and where and paints a clear picture about her.

This is what our children long to know – the specifics and uniqueness about them that we as parents have the front row seat in discovering and identifying. And when we voice it to them with authority and love, we shape a healthy esteem and sense of purpose.

The Bible commands us to “…encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:11). God’s Word is specific. Its vocabulary is ample in describing a Christ-follower who is full of the Spirit in the way he or she thinks and acts.

To help you in this journey, we’ve created two sets of downloadable certificates to guide you in recognizing and building up the unique character traits in your children. Highlighting their positive qualities, and seeing their value through God’s Word will not only answer their question of “Am I good enough?” it will change the course of their destiny!

Honor Your Character Traits | Experience the Story | OneHope

Download positive character trait award certificates:
  Perseverance, Obedience, Courage, Peacemaker, Forgiveness, Good Attitude, Honesty, Fairness, and Good Choice

 

Honor Your Character Traits | Experience the Story | OneHope

 

Download the Fruits of the Spirit award certificates:
Goodness, Faithfulness, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Self Control, Love, and Gentleness


Related:

Owning the Spiritual Growth of Your Child
4 Drucker Principles For Better Parenting
Your Child’sName in Bible Verses

Soccer and Scripture (Part 5) #GiantKillers

Over the last century, many terms have become a part of soccer’s unofficial lexicon; phrases that perfectly describe situations that any avid fan of the game would understand. For example:

  • “It’s a game of two halves” –if your team has played terribly in the first half, there is a chance of redemption in the second.
  • “He’s got chalk on his boots” – this particular player is an old-style winger who loves nothing better than to run the length of the field and cross the ball from the wide positions.
  • “Punching the Old Onion Bag” – this has nothing to do with vegetables! Soccer fans know this as a reference to scoring a goal.

The game is littered with colloquialisms, and one of the most recognizable is the term, “Giant Killers.”

This phrase has a special place in the vocabulary of soccer. When a “small” team beats a “big” team in a knockout style competition, news sources report the team as, “Giant Killers.” The papers and TV love nothing better than a good “giant killing.” Over the last century there have been many of these slayings for reporters to publish:

soccer

 

Everyone gets excited when the underdog pulls out a win.

Ask any “Giant Killing” team and they will tell you that, yes, they may have ridden their luck a bit, but what took them to victory was having a game plan. Most underdogs know that they can’t match their opponent’s strengths, so they devise a game plan that identifies their opponent’s weaknesses and plays up their own strengths. Knowing their identity as a team and being confident in their strengths allow them to stick to the plan and slay the giant.

Long before the game of soccer was invented, Jesus talked about the importance of having a game plan to succeed against unfavorable odds.

“What king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand?” (Luke 14:31)

A game plan and belief in your own strengths are paramount in “giant killing.” The young shepherd boy David knew this. Goliath, the giant from the city of Gath, was a huge intimidating foe as he came out day after day for 40 consecutive hate-fueled monologues against the people of Israel. Dwarfed in size, the young David used what strengths God had given him to beat the giant. Confident in his slingshot skills, David exploited the giant’s weakness by drawing the giant into close proximity where he could more easily be defeated.

Just like any giant killing team and the shepherd David, we will all experience facing a giant. Only by knowing who we are in Christ will we truly be victorious. Even Jesus needed to know His identity to be prepared to do what lay before him.

The best way to help our children become “giant killers” is to bolster confidence in their identity by immersing them in Scripture’s truth. Surround them with verses declaring that they are loved by God, unique in His eyes and that they have been given specials skills and strengths that can overcome any giants they will face—with the help of the Lord.

Soccer + Scripture #Assisting (Part 4)

Growing up in the northeast part of England my friends and I would often find ourselves playing soccer on any surface possible. Grass or concrete, flat or uneven—it never mattered. We simply played for the love of the game.

As a child, all I wanted was the glory of scoring the goals that won the game. Back then I would imagine myself having the finishing qualities of one of the greatest English goal scorers of all time, Gary Lineker. I would try my best to replicate his finishing ability combined with his “sixth sense” of positioning. He always seemed to be in the right place at the right time.

As I grew, I tried to couple these attacking qualities with what I saw introduced by a new legend of the game, Thierry Henry. In August 1999 Arsenal paid Juventus an estimated fee of £11 million for this mercurial French winger. It wasn’t long before he was converted into Arsenal’s main striker and netted 175 goals for the club. It’s hard to suggest that there has there been a greater forward in the Premier League era than this brilliant architect of the modern game. Henry had the ability to glide across the pitch like a gazelle and calmly slot the ball past the goalkeeper. He was coolness personified.

SOCCER + SCRIPTURE | ASSISTING | UNDETERRED.NET

Alas, I never did make it anywhere close to their finishing standards. I came to realize that my own personal strengths on the field lay in the position behind or to the sides of the strikers. Practicing daily to use both feet to supply a pass that would split a defense or create a goal scoring opportunity from a crossing position became “my game.” I started to study different kinds of players—like Glenn Hoddle, who could pass a ball around the corner of a brick wall and still find the intended recipient. I analyzed the terrific David Beckham’s ability to cross the ball from wide areas and land it on a dime. Recently, the great Mesut Özil has captured my attention with his 180 assists in 449 games, and a passing accuracy rate of 86%. This is, simply put, incredible. Midfielders may not get the obvious glory that the striker gets for scoring goals, but without assists there are no goals.

SOCCER + SCRIPTURE | ASSISTING | UNDETERRED.NET

It is much the same in our own personal walk with Jesus. The longer I walk with Him the more I realize that the moments of “glory” don’t belong to me, but to God. The desire to be the leader or the hero is strong in all of us but that desire does not serve us well. Jesus Himself modeled what true leadership should look like. Luke penned these words about Jesus in the opening verse of Acts,

“The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach.”

I love this about Jesus’ style of leadership. He was never the overlord who dictated to people what to do, but He first set the example by doing, and then He taught us. Jesus could never be accused of seeking His own glory in leadership. He taught us that servant leadership is the best form of leadership. The kind of leadership that requires us to be humble and not self-seeking of personal advancement. The aim has always been to assist others.

Furthermore, servant leadership doesn’t demand recognition. In Matthew 6 Jesus told us not to practice our righteousness in front of others so that you will be noticed. He went on to warn that to do so forfeits our reward from the Father. Hudson Taylor, the great missionary to China, believed that Christians should do all things wholeheartedly, not just those actions that can be seen. He reasoned, “As our Father makes many a flower to bloom unseen in the lonely desert, let us do all that we can do, as under His eye, though no other eye ever take note of it.”[1] Assisting others may never be noticed by others, but God is watching and keeping an account.

In the Gospel of John, we see one of the greatest examples of being a servant leader when we read that Jesus washed the feet of His disciples. As He arose from supper and laid aside His garments, washed their feet and wiped them dry, Jesus taught us how not to seek our own glory but rather how to serve one another in love. In a time and age that tells children and youth that they have to be number one, the Word of God teaches us to assist others. Only then can we become great leaders for the Kingdom of God.

What are some ways you can assist others? Download this great worksheet to help your kids keep track of how they are assisting others!

DOWNLOAD

 

Related:

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[1] https://bible.org/illustration/do-all-things-wholeheartedly

4 Ways to Get YOU Ready for Back to School

4 Ways to Get YOU Ready for Back to School | Undeterred.netBack to school! A phrase that instantly strikes fear and a simultaneous “AMEN” from all parents—especially moms. I know because we have two boys: one entering first grade and the other starting middle school. This is the first time when classroom preview day means I’ll participate in orientations, visit with teachers, drop off supplies, and hold my emotions together for an ENTIRE day.

The great thing is that I’m also an educator, so I’ve been on both sides of this scenario. Here are a few tips to guide you in preparing for the school year ahead. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a race!

Guard your heart. Pray with your child every morning. It aligns their spirit with the Father’s and models for your young one how to seek first (Matthew 6:33). Also, pray over your child’s teacher(s) and classmates. Share with the teacher that you want to support the class by praying throughout the year. This will make a genuine connection and help guard your heart when your child tells you that her teacher corrected her. The mama bear in you might want to tell that teacher a thing or two, but the sibling in Christ you are to that teacher should prompt you to learn more about the situation. Then you can guide your child in growing through the experience of being disciplined in love.

  1. Pace yourself! Waiting until the week before school will leave you scrambling to find the exact 10-pack washable Crayola markers listed on the supply list. Online shopping is always a great option if you start early. If your child likes being involved in selecting the items, do this together. Or if you prefer to shop without your student, consider packing all the supplies into their backpack and presenting it to them all ready to go! He’ll likely be SO excited about the goodies inside that he won’t even care he didn’t help pick it out.
  1. Look straight ahead. Don’t get distracted. Your child grows and learns in a unique way like no other child. Glean wisdom from how others prepare, but rest assured that you know your child best. If wearing a uniform is a new challenge, practice the routine before the first day of school. Label everything because that new lunch box and water bottle is new to your child, too, and she might not remember which one is hers in the lunchroom rush with all the other firsts of this new world!
  1. Be prepared. There will be things that are outside your control—like the bus being 20 minutes late the first few days. But by having as much organized as possible ahead of time, you will grant yourself the grace and space to deal with the unexpected.

4 Ways to Get YOU Ready for Back to School | Undeterred.net

Back to school prep is a given part of parenthood and requires exercising the fruits of the Spirit, but the reward is great. Children who see you investing in the simplest of things—like which pencils have the cool colored erasers—can begin to understand the care and concern of our Father who is so involved in all the details of life and learning!

4 ways to help you child handle bullying

Business principles to help you become a better parent

5 creative ways to surround kids with Scripture

 

When Parenting Goes Viral

This past Saturday, Japanese parents abandoned their 7-year-old son by a road near a forest, as punishment for throwing rocks at people and cars.[1] There’s anger over the incident– they left him, drove about 500 meters and came back – and when they returned their son was gone. All they wanted to do was discipline him a little.

What would make parents do such a thing?

WHEN PARENTING GOES VIRAL | UNDETERRED.NET | EXPERIENCE THE STORY

The same weekend, parents at the Cincinnati Zoo watched in horror as a 450-pound gorilla grabbed a toddler by the leg and pulled him aggressively through the water of his enclosure. The gorilla became more agitated with the screaming audience watching helplessly from above. According to reports, the little boy had to go under a railing, through 3 feet of grass and shrubs, and over a wall before falling 10-15 feet into the gorilla enclosure.[2] [3]

Where was his mother? How could she let this happen?

Parenting is overwhelming and how we parent is constantly being questioned and tested. Unfortunately, in today’s world, our decisions and the consequences of those can even go viral. In reality, we make a lot of bad decisions.

We might not leave our child alone on a road as punishment, but we have all made poor parenting choices at times. We are far from being perfect. And acknowledging this is the first step to becoming the best parents we can be.

  • We are imperfect and have a sinful nature. Let’s protect our children from it.

 “The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.” Galatians 5:17 (NLT)

Thankfully, we have the Holy Spirit, our Helper, who can guide and instruct us through parenting. Furthermore, our heavenly Father is our greatest example. We need to fill ourselves with Him by engaging with His Word daily. Our sinful nature will diminish as we learn to walk and live according to the Spirit of God.[4] 

  • We need to learn child-rearing through the lens of Scripture.

Research shows that child-rearing cognitions influence parents to either act positively or negatively toward their children. In other words, parents see their children through a filter of thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes which direct how they perceive and respond to their children’s actions.

You are probably not even aware what your filters are. You might feel pressured to perform as a parent due to society, family or cultural perceptions. Triggers can be subtle – stress, onlookers, selfishness, laziness, hidden anger.

In correcting your child, are you quickly losing your patience, because you’re in a public situation and embarrassed? Don’t react to the environment. Respond to what your child needs.

Stop for a moment and go back to the beginning. These are selfish concerns. Sometimes we don’t even know we are allowing other thoughts dictate how we are disciplining our children. Ask God to help you see them clearly. Ask God for wisdom. Our Father knows the art of parenting.

  • Children are vulnerable.

Those Japanese parents probably had good intentions about teaching their son to be courteous and kind to others, but the method they chose couldn’t have been worse. Scaring their son into obeying by abandoning him on the roadside is not a good way to discipline. Beneath the surface of that unruly, rock-throwing, rebellious child is a little boy who will never forget the moment he was left alone. We need to remember that emotional scars are very hard to heal. And as parents we are responsible for the physical, emotional and spiritual well-being of our children.

  • Don’t sin against your children.

This is in the Bible, too. Of course we never intend to hurt our children or damage them in any way. But we need to consider the importance of our words, actions, and even body language in our everyday interactions. Everything we do “says” something.

“Fathers, do not aggravate your children, or they will become discouraged.” Colossians 3:21

Let’s treat our children with respect, as well as with love. We are the role models they will follow, and will emulate when raising their own children.

  • Always discipline your children with love.

No one is questioning the importance of discipline. It’s wisdom and life to our children. Without discipline, a child will suffer as an adult.

  1. “The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.” (Proverbs 29:15)
  2. “Discipline your son, for there is hope; do not set your heart on putting him to death.” (Proverbs 19:18)

May we correct, encourage and love our children as God corrects, encourages and loves us.


Leiza Gomes | OneHope | Undeterred.net

Leiza Gomes has a passion to see children and youth find their true identity and purpose in Christ. Together with her husband, she served in overseas missions with youth in Germany and at-risk youth and children in Brazil. Leiza is both a graduate from the International School of Ministry in Boca Raton, FL and of Florida Atlantic University with a Bachelor’s in Multimedia Journalism. She currently works as a Project Design Manager developing tools to share the Gospel with children and youth around world with OneHope.

Related:


[1] https://www.yahoo.com/news/japan-erupts-anger-over-boy-abandoned-forest-being-064259495.html
[2] http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/nation-now/2016/05/31/jack-hanna-zookeeper-knoxville-cincinnati-zoo-gorilla-killed/85181272/
[3] http://www.cbsnews.com/news/gorilla-death-watchdog-group-wants-cincinnati-zoo-held-responsible/
[4] Galatians 5:24-25
[5] Grusec, PhD, Danyliuk, BA topic ed. Parents’ Impact on Children’s Development – Synthesis. Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development [online]. CEECD, SKC-ECD. December, 2014. URL: http://www.child-encyclopedia.com/parenting-skills/according-experts/parents-attitudes-and-beliefs-their-impact-childrens-development. Accessed [May 31,2016].

 

 

God’s Great Heart for Children

I was born into a Buddhist family. And to be born into a Buddhist family is to suffer abusive treatment, which is known as a disciplined life. This is a normal way of life. I know firsthand the experiences of a child growing up in a Southeast Asian country.

I have often considered myself a Zacchaeus among other people as I have always been below average height. Growing up, I felt small and insignificant. I grew up in a very tiny village and often was neglected by my parents. My father was an alcoholic and my mom was always occupied taking care of her nine children. Whenever visitors came to our home, we were expected to leave and eat on the roadside. I felt totally abandoned. I was fearful to spend time at home, which meant most of my time was spent out on the streets. My parents never knew if I attended school or not. Even at the age of 10, I had to pick my dad up from the streets after he had been drinking.Buddhist

At age 13, my friend invited me to a youth camp. It was there I accepted Jesus Christ. I immediately began witnessing to my friends and family. I brought more than thirty teenagers back to youth camp. I encouraged my father to drink at home where I could watch over him and talk with him about the Gospel. I began leading family devotions in my home every night. After three years of prayer for my family, my father and mother became Christians.

Out of the 70 to 80 children I grew up with, I was the only one to graduate from high school and attend college. I chose to attend Bible College. After completing my degree, I taught for twelve years. In 2009, I attended the Global Congress Conference at OneHope. God began to stir in me a desire to work with the children of my country. I also attended a children’s conference in New York. A woman approached me and began to prophesy about the ministry I would begin with children in my country.

As I arrived home, I realized my own story is intertwined with the children’s stories I encounter everyday in Southeast Asia. I decided to resign as head of the Bible College and being a senior pastor, and begin a children’s ministry. I started with no resources for the children. I had to write my own Bible lessons. Despite difficulties, I knew that God had called me to minister to the children of my country. God revealed to me my great desire to reach the next generation. In 2011, OneHope brought the 17 Stories curriculum as a resource for my ministry. I know God prepared OneHope to reach the children of Southeast Asia.

I get the unique opportunity to see children’s lives changed by the Gospel everyday. *Victoria, one of the girls who attends our Bible clubs, walks two or three miles every day to do so. She knows the walk is worth her time because the Gospel transformed her own life. She received a new Bible story every week from the 17 Stories program. Her friends at school would eagerly wait to hear the new story she learned. Now that she has accepted Jesus, she tells her parents the same stories she learned. She hopes they will believe so the whole family can be in heaven one day. Victoria’s favorite story is Noah because she wants to see that story become real in her family too.

Although Victoria is small, her reach is large. Her age doesn’t limit her influence. I want to see my nation rich with the Word of God and lives like Victoria’s transformed by the hope of Jesus. I desire to see the 20 million children of my nation reached with the truth of the Gospel. God values children and encourages believers to receive the kingdom of God like a child. I know He uses children to impact the world. In my country, oftentimes the worth of children is missed. God loves to use those whom society least expects. I know firsthand because God is able to use me, a Zacchaeus, to reach the children of my country. 

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*Note: Names changed in this testimony to protect the identity of the individuals involved.