Hi there! ....
The highlight of this week for my children was a sleepover to celebrate Jessica’s birthday. We don’t do this often and so when we do it is a lot of fun for all. After dinner we sat down to watch Facing the Giants, which is Jessica’s favourite movie, and yet none of her friends had seen it. (Jess could watch it once a week!) I must admit each time I sit and watch it with her there is another lesson for me to take to heart. My favourite lesson though is a line about preparing for rain. One of the characters tells a story of two farmers who both need rain, they both pray for rain, and yet only one farmer goes out and ploughs his field. The question was asked, which man trusted God? The man who ploughed his field. He prepared for rain. It struck me, and it strikes me each time I see the movie, that is exactly what we are doing as we raise our children. We pray for God’s blessing on their life, that He would soften their hearts and knock on their door, and that they would respond to Him. As we teach and train their hearts towards him we are ploughing the field – preparing for rain! I get so much encouragement from that thought! God is a faithful God.
Live life with your kids!
Being Generous to my Family
Carefully managing my resources
so I can freely give to those in need
Generosity starts with recognising that everything we have belongs to the Lord. We usually see this in terms of our material wealth, the stuff we have but God has given us so much more than just stuff. He has given us gifts, talents, wisdom, time, energy, even our relationship with Jesus himself is a gift from God. These are the ‘resources’ we have in life to give to others.
In looking at our definition of Generosity, we need to ask ourselves, “Who are those in need?” Before we look too far afield, lets look at our family – they are our closest neighbour; my spouse, my children.
- Do I manage my resources – my time, my energy, my talents, my wisdom, etc so I can freely give to my spouse and my children?
- Do I recognise their needs? Do I give priority to these needs?
- Do I recognise that I am the one to meet those needs?
Society tells us that we need to be meeting the needs of other people – and this is in line with the Word of God too, but we need to see that our children (and our spouse) come first. So often they miss out because we are busy giving to other people, meeting their needs and by the time our hearts turn home we are exhausted, we have nothing left to give. The best way to ensure we meet the needs of our family – is to give there first, give them our best.
What are our children’s needs?
- They need to be loved. We all need to be loved, this is why God put us in a family, this is why he gave Eve to Adam, and this is why he plants the lonely in the family of God. Love is expressed in many ways – but we do not know we are loved simply by being told so, love is an action word. We need to show our children that they are loved.
- They need to be taught the things of the Lord. We need to tell of the good things that He has done. We need to teach our children who God is, and what it means to worship Him.
Do we have enough energy and strength, focus and intent to meet these needs in our children? Or are we tired, exhausted, spent, distracted, and overwhelmed with the challenges of our day that we only have a meagre amount to give to them?
One other word in that definition of generosity that I would like to look at is “carefully managing my resources”. We need to manage the resources God has given us. The word ‘managing’ always brings the picture of balance – finding the balance between all the demands on my time, energy, wisdom, talents etc. This makes it a very deliberate decision on our behalf. It is easy to be swept up by the needs of others, and yet we need to manage our resources, so we can give freely to the needs God puts in our pathway. There is no doubt about it that God gave us our family first – are we managing our time, energy etc in order to give quality to our children?
In order to be generous we need to:
- Recognise that God has given us resources in order to bless others
- Acknowledge that God has given us our family as our first set of "others"
- Manage our resources to meet the needs of our family so we do not run out of puff
At the end of the day we need to ask – Have I given to my children today? Have I given generously, or have I just given the scraps?
But he who sows sparingly
will also reap sparingly,
and he who sows bountifully
will also reap bountifully.
So let each one give
as he purposes in his heart,
not grudgingly, or of necessity;
for God loves a cheerful giver.
2 Corinthians 9:6-7
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Until next week
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About Live Life with your kids Newsletter
I know homeschool mums are busy with lots to read, so I have divided my newsletter into four sections and you will receive one section a week; short but regular newsletters!
- Be a Deliberate Parent – Encouragement to continue in purposeful and intentional parenting.
- Family Life is a Resource for Education – Spotlights on a particular aspect of family life so we can see the natural opportunities available to us in educating our children.
- Character Education – Each month we focus on a different character trait – The newsletter will include application for Mums, as well as seeing character training opportunities in everyday life.
- A Homeschool Thought – Discussing homeschool issues
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