Monday, October 17, 2011

Intentional Family - Freely Give (& a little give away)

The motto of the college I attended was, “Freely you have received, freely give.” Matthew 10:8 I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately and asking myself if I freely share the gospel with others. Then I specifically thought about my children – have I intentionally talked to them about the gospel?
     As I was doing my daughter’s hair this morning for church she asked me, “What does enthroned mean Mommy?” I explained to her that a throne is like a chair that a king sits on. She said, “Oh, so Jesus sits on a throne in heaven?” “Well, Not really,” I said. “I don’t think he’s up in heaven sitting on a big chair. Or maybe he is (I’m a verbal processor!). But I know he sits on the throne of our life, in our heart.” As I continued I seemed to be getting more and more confusing! And so I asked, “Have you prayed and asked Jesus into your heart?” The look on her face expressed surprise, fear and confusion! I told her that this week we’ll go on a date and talk about it.
     I’ve been thinking about this for several months now – time to get away with my girls, one on one, and explain to them the gospel of Jesus and explain to them how they can become Christians. I became a Christian when I was 5 years old in Sunday School and I’ll never forget it. As my daughters turned 5, I knew they were at a place where they could understand. But here we are, 6 months later, and I haven’t gotten alone with them.
     In Sunday School my daughters are learning so much about Jesus. In AWANA they are learning even more! And from hearing them pray at night I swear these little ladies are Jesus lovers! But I hadn’t intentionally asked them if they’ve invited Jesus into their lives. It’s not enough to take our family to church. It’s not enough to put them in evangelical programs. We must be intentionally praying and intentionally talking with our family about Jesus. Our children’s spiritual development cannot rest on the shoulders of a church or Christian programs. As parents, we are responsible for freely sharing what we were freely given. We must be intentional with the spiritual development of our family.
     I’ve been convicted and this week I’m getting alone with my daughters for a little intentional Jesus talk! And if you haven’t, I hope you’ll do the same.

Here are some other ideas on being intentional with the spiritual development of your family:
1. Morning Devotions
I’ve had several children’s devotionals and every time I sit down to read one to my 5 year olds, they make no sense. I’ve been so frustrated that I thought about writing my own! But then I found this one:
Veggie Tales 365 Day Starter Devos For Girls (or boys, or everyone!)It is perfect! The language is simple, but biblical. It is short enough to read each morning while they are eating breakfast and it gives a perfect topic that they can apply at school each day. I LOVE it! And I must say, the simplicity is profound and I find myself being blessed daily by it as well. It’s one simple way that I can be intentional with pointing my children towards Jesus every day.

2. Teaching them to pray
Our children almost always pray over our meals, but at bedtime, my husband and I pray over them. We’ve recently started all praying before bed. The girls each pray and then either my husband or I close the prayer time. Praying before meals is great, but it mostly consists of “thank you for the food, amen.” But bedtime prayers incorporate thanksgiving for the events of the day, requests for loved ones who need help, wishes, dreams, confessions… it’s amazing to hear them pour out their little hearts (and sometimes quite comical!). It sounds pretty simple and perhaps obvious, but rather than always being the one to close the day in prayer, allow your littles to pray as well and learn that they can talk to God about anything, not just food. One of my pastors once said, “Prayer is an amateur sport.” Meaning that you don’t have to be some professional theologian – it’s just simple conversation.

3. Scripture Memory
We had a blast this summer memorizing scripture this summer. Check out this post that tells all about it. We’ve used scripture in our discipline of our children and it’s amazing how powerful the Word of God is in changing hearts and thus the behavior of children! They learn verses at church, but having family memory verses is awesome and it bonds us as a family as we hide God’s Word in our hearts together.

CHALLENGE: Pray about how you can be more intentional with the spiritual development of your family. Take some time one on one with your children to check in on their spiritual journey and if they don’t know Jesus yet, perhaps it’s time that you freely share him with them.

FLASHBACK QUESTION: Are you digging ditches?
In the spirit of giving, I’m doing my first give away! I’ve made these adorable Halloween flags and I want to give you one to hang in your home for some Fall flare! It’s really easy to enter to win:

1. become a follower of this blog if you are not
2. leave a comment in this post saying that you did so!
3. already a follower? Leave a comment on this post
4. you can enter as many times as you’d like

Yea! I’m excited to share these precious flags with a lucky winner!!!
The winner will be announced on Friday, October 21st.


  1. Maybe I could never post before because I wasn't a follower (I'm new to the blogoshpere!). Now I am!!! I just love your blog...keeping updated with you and your family, but also being challenged and encouraged by your words. Thanks!

  2. Totally never knew I wasn't a follower. Well, I am now. I'm really excited to look up that devotional. My girls love the VT, so glad to know there's a great devo for them too!

  3. Oh those flags are just plain adorable chica. As you know, I follow you. :)

  4. I am loving your "intentional family" posts, Raeanne. This week's got me thinking about who in my life God is asking me to intentionally share the Jesus with....since I don't have littles quite yet. Thanks for the encouragement. And, I am crossing my fingers that I win the flags...they are adorable!

  5. I read your blog every time u post but didnt realize i wast folloing u but u was in my favorites. I would love to win your giveaway. Thanks for the oppourtunity.

  6. I adore your blog Raeanne...I read it all the time and I draw inspiration from many of your posts....thanks for all of your hard work! Oh, and those flags are FANTASTIC! :-)

  7. i have been faithfully stalking (ahem, i mean READING) your blog for awhile now... ALWAYS love every post! You are such a blessing :)

    Love the flags... so cool!

  8. Okay....I am a follower and I need these darling flags (or someone needs to teach me how to make them, hint hint). Love you!

  9. I love that -- "prayer is an amateur sport." I remember being terrified to pray out loud in student leadership :)

  10. Hi :) Just clicked over from the follower fest :) Pretty sure you just gained a new follower :)

    This is some good truth here :) Thank you for sharing your heart. I will be mentioning some of this to my husband and will be implementing some of this with our children (who happen to only be 1- 2yr old and 2- 11 month olds :))



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