Raising Children Who Truly Follow God (It’s Not All About You)

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I had a wake up call a few weeks ago as a parent.

I can’t create a relationship with God for my child.

It sounds so basic, right? Actually, at times I tend to think we ignore this one simple concept.

As a parent who feels like they have a serious responsibility to raise up children that love God with all of their heart, I tend to feel like it’s all on me.

I have to say all the right things, do all the right things, create the perfect environment for my child to do the right things. Do you ever feel that pressure as a mom?

Raising Children Who Truly Follow God (It's Not All About You)

A few weeks ago we had a guest minister come and preach at our church. My 11 year old son came home and quietly followed me into my bedroom. He sat down on my bed and said he wanted to talk. Some things that were said in the sermon really stood out to him, and he felt like parts of the sermon were life changing to him.

You know what?

They were.

I spent 11 years, pouring myself into this child, trying to train him up in the way he should go, and it took 45 minutes of hearing someone expound the word of God to really change him. 

The following week Israel was practically perfect. He worked so hard on getting along with his siblings, he was respectful to Sean and me, and he was reading his scriptures without being told. He received so many good checks on his obedience chart from Character Badges!

It helped me to understand -you can’t force these things to happen. You can encourage them, pray for them, spend hours talking to them about the right and wrong way, but ultimately God has to reach down and touch their hearts.

I find it interesting that all of my children heard the same sermon, but only one was really touched by it. The rest left and it was just, well, it was just another sermon. You never know what will touch your child, but we have to keep providing opportunities for these life changing experiences to take place, don’t we?

I’m not writing this to encourage moms to sit back and do nothing now. You can’t count on these experiences to happen despite yourself; but be open to letting your children be instructed and changed by people other than yourself, and by situations your not responsible for.

This being said, I’m still grateful for the resources I have used thus far. This isn’t an all or nothing post. It’s mainly a post to encourage you mothers to keep praying for your children, recognizing that sometimes God is bigger than you think, and He will touch your child in a way outside of your plan.

With six children we have spent hours talking about getting along together. It is so exhausting to have children that fight and quarrel all day long. Some of my favorite studies we have done (and will do over again!) are My Brother’s Keeper, and Because I Said So. These teach obedience to parents, and a love for your siblings.

Learning to love your siblings God's way

These studies are great to do together before a school day starts, or in the evening as a family!

A Biblical study of obedience

While these studies are great, it can be easy to do one study and not have your child truly retain what they learn. This is where Character Badges comes in. It’s designed to help you daily build good habits in your children. I find this supports any studies out there you do, because it’s helping train your children in good habits such as respectfulness, diligence, helpfulness, obedience, kindness, etc.

https://characterbadges.com/shop/character-badges-complete-set

Take heart dear mother. You have a huge responsibility to raise your children in the Lord, but God is so merciful to send those who can come alongside us, and reinforce these things to our children, and even present them in a different way. Embrace this. Take courage that you are not alone. Teach your children to respect their pastor, teacher, or mentor over them. A change in your child’s heart might be right around the corner!

 

 

 

 

5 Things I Learned About Modesty As A Teenager

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Dressing modestly feels very natural to me. I was raised from a young child to think about the clothes I wore, but it was with a balanced approach. I will forever be grateful to my mother for the incredible job she did in teaching me what modesty really means.

5 Things I Learned About Modesty As A Teenager.

Here is what stands out to me years later, over how I was raised.

1. She started with the basics when I was young.

While I don’t consider the clothes we wore previously as being really immodest, it wasn’t until I was 9 that we started exclusively wearing dresses and skirts. My mom came to my sister and I and we had a serious talk about switching to all skirts/dresses. As a girly girl who already wore play dresses constantly, I was thrilled. My tomboy older sister? Not so much.

When we made the switch, she didn’t make it complicated. Every single clothing piece was not pulled out of our closet and analyzed.

We just did it.
The thrift stores were visited, the jeans given away, and we made it work with what we had. Slowly, over time, we added more items that we needed.

2. When I questioned why we had to dress modestly, she gave me solid answers.

As I reached the teenage years, she would answer my questions of why our necklines had to be so high, and our skirts so long with actual personal stories. Now not everyone has these stories (I won’t have them for my girls), but my mom had spent some of her early adult years not walking with the Lord. She had real life experience of why she cared so much, and when I was old enough to handle the stories, she told me.

I can’t stress enough how helpful this was for me. Especially as your daughters reach teenage years, they don’t need to constantly hear “we dress modestly because I say so”. They desperately need solid answers to help them through the days when they feel different, or are made fun of for not wearing that bikini at the swim party.

3. She didn’t panic or get angry when I didn’t always follow the “rules”.

I’ll never forget going to my grandparents to visit for 2 weeks when I was 15. They lived states away and didn’t really appreciate our stance for modesty. When I walked off the airplane my parents were pretty surprised. I had on a modest, but extremely bright dress (just different from what I normally wore), my Grandma had put nails on me, and I had quite a bit of jewelry on (only simple jewelry was allowed), and I was very, very tan from having been at the beach for the weekend.

Not everything was wrong in what I wore, but everything combined really surprised my parents. My mom let me know she wasn’t happy that I gave into the pressure to be something different than who I really was, but also gave me lots of grace. I wasn’t in trouble, and deep down I knew that I wasn’t representing my true self.

I continued to struggle during that year, but my mom helped me through it, and looking back I don’t have regrets from doing anything drastic. It was just part of the growing up process.

4. She never made me feel like I alone was responsible for how a man thought.

Do you know the pressure a woman must feel if she thinks that the sexual thoughts a man has centers only around how she is dressed? What about a young lady who was raped, and told she just wasn’t dressed modestly enough? I’ve read all of this and more as arguments for needing to dress modestly.

Hogwash.

My mom definitely talked to me about being respectful and considerate towards the young men I was around, but I never was made to carry this heavy burden around. It’s a two way street. We ladies need to be thoughtful and considerate for the men we come in contact with, because sexual thoughts are a struggle for a lot of men. Plunging necklines with bosoms hanging out are not helpful for a man’s thought life! But think about all the Islamic women who are raped, and covered head to toe?

Ultimately, a man needs to be constantly on guard with his thought life, and a woman needs to watch what she wears. Take responsibility for your own actions.

5. She showed me her commitment through her struggles.

It wasn’t always easy for my mom to dress modestly. She was a plus size woman and struggled finding clothes. But the struggle I will never forget are her attempts to sew us jumpers.

I grew up in the homeschooling movement when jumpers were the style for homeschoolers.  Looking back I cringe at the loose, so unflattering, matching jumpers, but I also have a tenderness in my heart at the memory of those clothes.

I’ll never forget coming out of my bedroom when I was 11, and seeing my mom in tears. She had spent hours working on putting a zipper in a jumper for one of us girls, but she just couldn’t get it. I remember thinking she must really love us, and desire for us to wear these jumpers if she is trying so hard.

When money was tight, she stuck with it. When we all were tired of wearing the same jumpers over and over again, she stuck with it. When friends or family laughed at us, she stuck with it.

Dressing modestly isn’t always easy. Like anything else in life, it’s a commitment that you have to be willing to stick with. Choose your standards, and help your daughters truly understand the reasoning behind them. The closer I was connected with my mom, the more I respected and listened to her opinion in all areas of life, including dressing modestly. Be the type of mom that your teenage daughter can share her struggles with, and lovingly help her through them!

Character Badges Back to School Sale Is Here!

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Character Badges Back to School Sale!

It’s the Character Badges Back to School Sale!!

For most of you, the new school year is just around the corner and many of you have already begun! (yay homeschooling!) We’re just as excited as you are, and to celebrate we’re having the biggest sale we’ve ever had!

Academics are the primary focus of any school year, but character training is just as crucial to the future success of your child. We designed Character Badges to help children build habits of sound character and to help parents be more consistent and creative in how they train their children. It’s a fun and effective addition to any school year!

Character Badges is a creative child training program

That said, there’s never been a better time to incorporate Character Badges into your classroom. Our back to school sale only comes once a year, and this year the entire store is 30% off!! Charts, stickers, coins, even complete sets – its all 30% off. Just use the offer code BKTOSCHOOL at time of checkout and enjoy some great savings!

This sale runs from today (7-20) through Saturday (7-23) at midnight, so hurry to take advantage of the biggest discount we’ve ever offered! Character Badge complete set

 

How Much Does It Really Cost To Spend Time With Your Child?

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One part of our Character Badges program is the rewards chart. Our children love saving the coins they earn from their good behavior, and getting to turn it in for a reward. It’s amazing how often they want to spend their Character Badge coins on simply spending time with Sean or I! And it can be so simple. Recently my 12 year old and I had time alone where we watched a symphony on the iPad together (cuddled in my bed), and then we watched an Andy Griffith together, and had an ice cream bar. Nothing fancy, we didn’t even leave home, but he loved it!

How Much Would You Pay To Spend Time With Your Children.

You can read a whole post on spending time with your children over at the Character Badges Blog that my husband Sean wrote!

Click Here to Read It! 

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