- Remember that you were created for a purpose
For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” – Esther 4:14
- Absorb the fact that the time is short, you are just passing through this world
You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away –James 4:14b
- At the beginning of each week, write down one or two things that matter to not only you, but also to God
Example: Spending time with God, having a strong marriage, understanding each of your children, how many lives you are going to touch positively.
Then, jot down one or two ways you can show these things truly matter to you. Example: Get up 30 minutes earlier each day to study the Word; have a date night; plan how you will create individual time with each child this week and then implement your plan.
But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves – James 1:22.
- Decide whom you will serve – God or man
Sit down with your spouse (if you are married) and discuss what is seen, heard, and done in your house. Does it really please the Lord?
“… Choose for yourselves today whom you will serve … as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” – Joshua 24:15.
- Cultivate a legacy of gratitude to people and to God.
You may want to have a blank journal and ask family members to write one or more blessings in it every day.
“… keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving” – Colossians 4:2.
- Encourage your children to pray along with you
When making tough decisions, and even minor decisions, interceding for others, or asking for material provisions, carry your children along and make it a part of your system. As your children see God answer prayers, they will learn to look to Him when they are in need, and not you all the time.
“For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you” – Jeremiah 29:11-12.
- Take time to write or record (audiotape or videotape)
For your spiritual journey – your childhood memories about faith, your salvation experience, career experience, the fulfilment of purpose, what lessons God has taught you, etc., record keeping is essential.
“Remember the days of old, consider the years of all generations. Ask your father, and he will inform you, your elders, and they will tell you” – Deuteronomy 32:7.
- Allow your children to sacrifice for a greater need
Perhaps eat meatless meals once a week and give the money to a local food pantry. It might not necessarily be this, but the message is: Consciously do not allow your family to think that every day is for merriment. Do things together and make them realise that whatever you are feeding on today, was provided by God, and that there are several people out there who cannot afford it. So, such people should not be maltreated, bullied or laughed at, but should be taken care of. This will build a caring character in every member of your family.
And walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma – Ephesians 5:2.
- Look for daily teaching opportunities
For example, if the cashier gives you too much money back after a transaction, return it and explain “why” to your child: “God says not to take what’s not your own.” It helps you as a parent not just to “say,” but to “do” and then “teach” what you do.
“These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up” – Deuteronomy 6:6-7
- Create an atmosphere of understanding and love
Welcome your spouse and children’s questions about faith, family and life.
That their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself – Colossians 2:2 .