October has become a month that glorifies fear and death. No matter where you land on the Halloween debate, you’d have to admit that things get dark and devilish this time of year. We humans have a dark-side. Ever since Adam and Eve turning away from God in the Garden of Eden, we have been walking away from God’s heart and his ways. Genesis 5 chronicles the descendants of Adam all the way to Noah. It was during these generations that society became darker and more devilish than ever before. But in the middle of all the evil, there was a man that stood out. His name was Enoch.
In Genesis 5:21-24 (NLT), it says, “When Enoch was 65 years old, he became the father of Methuselah. After the birth of Methuselah, Enoch lived in close fellowship with God for another 300 years, and he had other sons and daughters. Enoch lived 365 years, walking in close fellowship with God. Then one day he disappeared, because God took him.”
There are many things that stand out in these verses – like the how long Enoch lived and that God spared him from experiencing death. However, there is one phrase that must not be overlooked – “Enoch lived in close fellowship with God”! In the midst of a culture that was obsessed with darkness and evil, Enoch walked with God. So, it the middle of this Halloween season, be encouraged by Enoch and “live in close fellowship with God”. For you, this might mean instead of carving a pumpkin, you carve out some extended time to spend with God.
As the weather cools and the leaves begin to fall, we are reminded that another summer is behind us. The busyness of summer activities has quickly been replaced by the busyness of school activities. It sometimes seems like life never slows down. I am reminded how time flies every time my son asks for the car keys. We truly have our children for a short season. Wherever you are in the season of parenthood, let me encourage you to make the most of the time you have.
Sometimes, it’s the little things that can have the biggest impact. I believe our greatest influence should be directed toward our children’s spiritual development. In the end, it will be our child’s relationship with Jesus that will determine the quality of their future. Sadly, this is the area where many parents feel ill-equipped.
But, what if there was something SUPER SIMPLE every parent could do that would greatly impact their child’s spiritual development? There is! Below are four simple steps to nurture your child’s friendship with Jesus. To help you remember it, it spells out the word PALS…
P – Pray for your child
Your children are on loan from God. We get the privilege of raising them, but it is God who has planned out their future before they ever were born and placed into our arms. We must pray that God would protect them and that he would bring us opportunities to help them experience his love for them. Everyone can pray and it’s easy.
A – Ask your child questions about what they learned at church
I believe that we’ll have the greatest impact on our children when the church partner with parents. You bring your children to church to learn valuable spiritual lessons. Unfortunately, those lessons won’t take root in your child’s life unless they are reinforced during the week. The easiest and most effective way to do this is simply asking your child questions. To help with this, many churches provide Take Home Sheet with highlights from the lesson. On the way home from church, grab that sheet and ask away!
L – Look and Listen for God to bring teachable moments.
God answers sincere prayers! If you’ve prayed for God to bring opportunities to help your child experience his love, then definitely keep your eyes and ears open throughout your week. God is faithful in bringing us many teachable moments with our children. These are golden opportunities where we simply get to reinforce what our child has just learned at church. Head knowledge can fade away; but when this knowledge is backed by real, every day experiences, it shapes their souls!
S – Share what God is doing in your own life.
God is not only at work in our children’s lives, but he is very interested in shaping our lives too. After all, we are also his beloved child. God is a master at using our children to expose our areas of need. As you engage in what God is teaching your children, you may very well discover that God is also teaching you. By sharing how God is working in your own life, you will help your child form a picture of what a real relationship with Jesus looks like.
We are all in this together! I am praying that we would all maximize the little time we have with our children so they grow big hearts for God.