and ramblings on everything in between
Jim Burns recently spoke at our church about passing God’s love down to the next generation. As a Student Ministry Leader, I’m constantly wondering how to best reach kids and students. I know how much I would have benefitted if I had had a mentor or youth leader growing up, and I pray all the time that we can be a difference in these kids lives.
One thing Jim pointed out is the average teenager who attends church spends 40 hours at youth group each year, while in the same year their parents spend 3,000 hours with them at home. I know my youth group strives to pack all we can into those 40 hours, but the time students spend with their family greatly outnumbers the time we get with them each week. The ability you have as a parent to shape and mold your children is key to their emotional, physical, and social health, and let us not forget about their spiritual health.
Deuteronomy 6:5-7 states, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
There are teaching moments throughout every day that can be used to guide children towards knowing and understanding how much God loves them and how He wants to be the center of their life. Taking small chunks of time out of your day to share what you know about God and how He has changed your life can have a powerful impact on your children.
I’m not a parent yet, but I hope that if I’m ever blessed with a rambunctious brood scrambling around my feet every day I’ll take that number to heart. 3,000 hours a year. I hope I find an excuse when we rise and when we go to bed to pray with the little ones in my care. I hope I find teaching moments throughout the day to show love to a stranger or a person in need because that shows children how to live out what Jesus has asked us to do. I hope I can give them Godly advice when they are in need. And I hope my marriage can model how God has structured it.
My friends often discuss the resources they use to raise their children in a faith-centered home and I want to pass along a few ideas to you. They swear by them and I’m taking their word for it! Perhaps they can help you to make the most of your 3,000 hours this year.