In our family fellowship, I taught about unconditional love and tips on raising children. This morning my daughter and I got up early and we both saw the amazing sky with bright orange and yellow colors in the clouds. The Sun was just coming up, and it was making a fantastic display for us to enjoy. I said that we can get better look at the Sun and its brilliance by jumping into the car and driving to a spot that I knew. We did just that.
When we got to the place a few moments later, we realized that the Sun stopped shining, the clouds blocked the morning rays, and we were just not in the right time and place anymore. We missed it. Enjoying Sun's brilliance and beauty was conditional upon us being at the right place and time.
God's love is just like the Sun. The Sun is always shining. It doesn't care who you are, how old you are, where you are, or what time it is. It's always shining brightly, beaming, warming and providing life. It's up to us to learn how to turn towards the Sun (towards God) and enjoy it's live-giving powers.
I used a globe to teach the folks in our family fellowship about how the Earth moves around the Sun. The Earth is tilted in relation to its axis by 23 degrees. And it spins around and round about 365 times for every loop around the Sun.
From earlier teachings, we've learned that God is love. And we experientially know and believe in the love that God has for us. God is love, and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him (1: John 4:16). Unfortunately, the Buddha knew little about raising children, leaving is own small child and wife in the middle of the night. But he did teach that nothing is lost in the universe in that we were born of our parents, our children are born of us. And, therefore, the love is everlasting. When we teach our children to love God, they get to know the way that God loves us. It's just like the Sun--everlasting and unconditional. The Sun is always shining, no matter if our part of the globe is pointing in the right direction or not. Likewise, God is always shining, dwelling in us.
It is written that we are to love one another, for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God (1 John 4:7-8). We are to serve one another, taking care of each other (Galatians 5:13). In order to do that we have to be in alignment and harmony vertically with God. We have to have that good, strong connection with God, based upon believing. First take care of ourselves vertically, spiritually, with God, then we can take care of others, horizontally, serving and loving one another. It's a bit like using a plumb bob, which helps a builder to get in alignment and harmony with the entire structure. Read more about a plumb bob and being in alignment and harmony with God.
Allow each day to be a new one for your child. Forget yesterday and the past. Forgive mistakes made yesterday. Welcome your child into your heart every single day without restrictions, without reminding them of what happened yesterday. Let it go. Make them now you are glad that they are living with you, and that you get to be with them, living and experiencing life together. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof (Matthew 6:34).
Read God's Word with our kids. Let's teach them lessons based upon spiritual principles. Show them how God answers your prayers in action and how to apply their believing in their own lives. Discuss with them how we expect to see miracles, signs and wonders every day in our lives. Let them see our relationship with God. Tell them every day how God blessed you. Try at the dinner table, "So, how did God bless you today?" See what they say.
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth (3 John 1:4). To be truthful, you have to take on responsibility, for yourself as well as others. Let's teach our children about responsibility. Let them know that they will not always be right, they'll make mistakes, they won't win every race. But teach them about handling life gracefully. How? Remind them that God loves them just the way they are, and you love them in the same way. Unconditionally.
Let's start training our children early. Some of the most important life lesson that I live by today, I learned when I was just a kid. Pay undivided attention to your kids while you have them. Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6).
Be Not Conformed
I teach my children to not be conformed to this world. Don't just do what everyone else is doing. Don't invest a lot of precious time in trendy ideas. They are fleeting. Invest in building up a child. How? By teaching our children to renew their minds. They have the power to renew their minds and manifest great things in this world. I teach my kids to be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of the mind, so that the may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God (Romans 12:2).
If life is too busy, try hitting the "delete" button. If you're feeling that life seems really busy, you've got a lot to do today, too busy to read, too busy to play with the kid, too busy to eat healthy meals together. If life is too busy, it probably is. We can set our children up for success in life by making the renewed mind easy for them.
I look at each of my children as a 3-part being. They are made up of body, soul and spirt. For a strong, healthy body, I give my kids the best food I can afford. Healthy food is a lot cheaper than medical bills. I also push my kids outside. Kids need to play outside. Get them out of the house. And I make sure my kids get plenty of sleep. 7:30 PM on Sunday through Thursday nights and 8:30 PM on Friday and Saturday.
For their soul, No TV. No computer. No devices. No social networking. Get them outside with play friends for real social networking. It's okay for a child to say, "I'm bored." Let them figure it out. Children need tim to dream and create. Reading is very important. Playing musical instruments in important. And remember to keep things light. Proverbs 17:22 says that a merry heart doeth good like a medicine.
For their spirit, show them how to live in God's love. Walk it. Don't just talk it. Be a great example. In Matthew 22:36-40, we learn that there are two commandments, which sum up all other laws, rules and religious dogma. Jesus said to love God and love your neighbor as thyself. I show my children how to be kind to one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another (Ephesians 4:32). Make a spiritual belief system, your spiritual principles, the foundation upon which to build and transform the self, the center of your family's life. Take care of yourself vertically by being in alignment and harmony with God, then radiate outward, serving and loving others as you would love and serve yourself. My wife as a bible chapter and verse on a small stand on our dining room table. We often, not always, quiz the kids to see if they can recall the verse. Then, we talk about it and what it really means to their lives. In every situation in life, there's a spiritual principle that can be applied.
God's love that is taught within the walls of our homes can be far more attractive to our kids than anything the world has to offer, and that will keep our children coming back to God no matter how far from home they roam.
I encourage you to teach your children about God's unconditional love every time you see the Sun.
Below is the cross word puzzle activity we enjoyed doing together.
Tips for Men to Be Better Men, Wonderful Husbands, and Loving Fathers