Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Children With An Outward Focus
Narcissism runs rampant in our culture---unfortunately we are so entrenched that we don't realize just how much our lives are inwardly focused. Not only that, but we teach our children those very same values unwittingly. I was thinking about that the other day and here are a couple ideas I thought of that would help to steer the children's minds into having a more outward focus---
We will be thinking MISSIONALLY---we are planning to use a map and write out all the different countries that we see, pull their names from a jar and we will pray for people to get saved in this country, that God will send out missionaries there and relieve those that are being persecuted and suffering for Him.
We are also going to start 'prayer-walking' the neighborhood. I have done some of this already but recently I have been taking Janai on my walks with me for discipleship purposes. We will have to take time out of our exciting conversation to pray for those lost in our area.
We'd like to be a blessing to our neighbors. We will probably try our hand at some baking/desserts to bless them with. I am also throwing around the idea of a block party to get to know everyone----has anyone ever done this? I'd like to hear your ideas.
And here's something me and the children have been planning all week which I think is totally exciting: They will be supporting Christian organizations throughout the world financially and through prayer. Here is an example...
Stephen, 8, loves Billy Graham---last year he sent him a birthday card and they sent him back various materials on the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Stephen sent some of his hard-earned dollars to this ministry and began supporting them. They in turn sent back materials on how to pray, etc. Stephen prizes all the things he gets in the mail from 'Billy Graham' and often reviews them and copies verses from there in his copywork binder. He knows he is impacting the world through supporting this ministry. We have just gotten wind that James MacDonald's 'Walk In the Word' radio ministry is in need of financial help. Stephen wants to support that as well.
Janai, 15, recently got to meet local distributor's of 'Voice of the Martyrs' magazine. We now receive them and have been inspired by stories brimming over of terrible persecution of the saints all around the world. She loves reading the stories to our family out loud. Our family wholeheartedly agrees that this ministry is worth supporting.
Naomi, 10, loves reading Above Rubies magazines---a ministry devoted to encouraging mothers. She is going to support this ministry that has been pivotal even in her own mother's life. Although, she must admit that she is having a tough time deciding because she would also like to support Vision Forum, who focus on resurrecting the Biblical family.
Ravi, 7, wants to support Acts 29, an international church-planting ministry. I am so excited about this one---just think---my little Ravi, having a hand in church planting all around the world!!!! Does it get any more exciting than this? It probably does, but right now, that really stirs my heart as a mother.
See, mothers, our children can already make a huge difference in the world. They do not have to wait until they are twenty to begin an outward focus. We must teach them when they are young. They must see that there is more to the world than just their comforts and recreation. They must be challenged to stretch and grow and love their neighbors---and to have compassion on those they will never meet. This is how we raise the next generation for Christ--by teaching them to look outward unto their brothers and see their burdens as their own.