Raising Spiritually Minded Children

by ArabahJoy on February 4, 2014 in Inspiration in Child Rearing, Purpose

10 Ways to Raise Spiritually Minded Children; post 1 in series by missionary Arabah Joy

 

There’s one key word when it comes to raising spiritually minded children: intentionality. It doesn’t happen by accident.

There are many things we can do to foster spiritual awareness, hunger, and spiritual appreciation in our children.  It just takes intentionality. We will be talking about 10 specific things to do during this series. I have either done or am doing these things right along with the series. I love that we can walk this journey together!

The starting point is clearly knowing and communicating purpose. Each child should know deeply and intuitively that

I am not simply filling time, I am fulfilling a God-given purpose.

Research shows there are several essential components to identity. One of those components is purpose. Without a clear purpose, one bigger than self, a child can not have a healthy, thriving sense of identity. Keeping purpose in front of our children is one of the best things we can do for them. So…

 

Way #1 to raising spiritually minded children is: Write out a family purpose statement.   {And have each family member memorize it.}

 

A few months ago I attended a meeting where another missionary said their family had memorized their organization’s mission statement. “We did it so whenever we had an hour or an afternoon or fifteen minutes of free time, we would ask ourselves what we could do to fulfill our mission.”

I was impressed. As I thought about what she said, I wondered what a difference it would make if each person in my family not only had a clearly defined, personally owned mission statement, but more importantly, whenever we had a snatch of free time, we learned to ask ourselves what action we could take to fulfill our purpose?

I admit, I had visions of grandeur. Instead of asking for ipad time, I envisioned my children memorizing Scripture. Instead of wanting a Friday family night out, I saw them wanting to have neighbors over to share the gospel. I became so excited by what I envisioned that I sat down with my children to discuss purpose and vision. By the time I was done, we were all fired up!

That’s the power of purpose!

 

This Week’s Assignment: Write out a Family Purpose Statement

 

A purpose statement needs to be organic, simple, and owned by each person in your family. It should grow out of your values and goals. So much has been written on this that I don’t want to reinvent the wheel. Below are simple steps and tools to creating a family purpose statement. After you’re done, share your statement! I’d love to hear it!

 

1. Pray.  Ask God for wisdom as you begin. Jot down any Scriptures He brings to mind.

 

2. Over dinner one night, find your family’s priorities. Here are some questions to ask and discuss:

“Where are we going as a family?”

“How does God want to use us?”

“What characteristics define us as a family?”

“What do we value as a family | What things are most important to us?”

“What is the main purpose of our home?”

For parents: “When my children leave home, what do I want them to take with them? What values do I want them to have?”

 

3. Look at your responses and use them to fill in the format below:

To  {Do something}

In such a way that  {Quality of action}

So that  {we gain these results or benefits}

 

4. If time permits, use Covey’s highly recommended free webpage to Build your own mission (purpose)  statement.

 

5. Tweak your statement, then frame it in your home. Here is an example of one family’s mission statement.

 

So you have your purpose statement. What else can you do to be intentional about raising spiritually minded children? Join me at Arabah Joy next Monday for Way #2: The Replacement List

ArabahJoy

Arabah Joy and her family have served as missionaries to East Asia for the past ten years. She has been married to Jackson for the past eighteen years and they have four children, both adopted and biological. She has also authored a guide on how to increase energy and has recently released an eBook on living Complete in Christ. Mostly though, she is a broken woman redeemed. She writes about God's sufficiency to transform at Arabah .

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{ 1 comment }

Marie Viljoen February 4, 2014

A great post Arabah Joy! I have mission statements and corresponding scripture on pieces of paper and in a few notebooks laying around. You’ve given in incentive to get it all down in one place, share it and display it. I look forward to the next post.

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