I wouldn’t say I’m a model parent.
Nope. Not even close.
There are Moms who run a crack ship and whose children never have knots in their disheveled hair.
I am not one of those Moms.
Kerr’s tend to follow a more…. “relaxed” approach to parenthood. We like to go with the flow. Jeff says that if you’re going to choose to have four kids, you’re going to either have to become an organized genius… or lower your standards.
We’ve gone with the latter.
A few years ago God really challenged my heart that I was failing miserably at a really important part of my children’s upbringing. Although I was diligent about making them do homework, making sure they were emotionally safe and secure, and that they were well fed and healthy… I was not doing a very good job at challenging them SPRITUALLY. Their physical, emotional, and intellectual development was getting all the attention. And although I was deeply invested in their spiritual growth… I didn’t have a lot of structure or tools to help me .
So I got some.
So, I thought I would share with you a few things that the Kerr’s have found helpful in investing in our kids spiritual lives.
First – it seems simple enough but we started having our kids read the Bible. We use a couple cool tools to help us with this.
My favorite app for this is the NIV Adventure Bible app by ZonderKids. It has a verse of the day… and we pull it up in the mornings and we all practice repeating it together while we eat breakfast or sit in the carpool lane. (Side note… this has been GREAT to help ME memorize scripture as well. This ole mind ain’t what it used to be… my memorization skills are definitely at an elementary school level.)
Another one of my FAVORITE new tools is a book by Sarah Young called The Jesus Calling Storybook. It’s one of the best overviews of all the stories in the Bible that I have ever read. Short and sweet (no need to skip pages J ) we use it at night before bed. She does a great job of making practical connections from the stories in the Bible to the kids everyday lives. It. Is. Fantastic.
And then lastly – this might seem like a no-brainer – but we have our kids read the Bible. Like the real deal with pages and stuff. I’m pretty purposeful about this because I realized that my kids were learning scriptures on the big screens at church and on the phone or ipad– but they were never looking up verses in the actual Bible. They weren’t learning how to navigate the scriptures by learning were the books of the Bible were in context. I needed to teach them HOW to study the Word of God. So – I give them scriptures to look up and a journal to write down what they read and one thing they learned from the passage. If we want our kids to grow up knowing what the Bible says – we have to TEACH them how to navigate it.
We have also become really purposeful about praying together. We say “Family Prayers” at night before bed most evenings. (Now – before you start thinking we’re all “Leave it to Beaver” about this… please know that there are nights when I shoo my children off to bed with a dismissive “Go away… its time for me to be done with you…” cause my goose is cooked.) But on the days I’m still conscious at 8:30pm… we gather and have the kids pray for people who are sick or sad and any other needs we can think of. It’s good for them to think about their friends and family who are in need and its good for them to practice praying out loud in front of other people.
We also are quick to pray in everyday circumstances. When they’re fighting with their friends… we stop and pray for wisdom and grace. When they’re sick or hurt… we stop and pray for healing. When they’re overwhelmed or scared… we stop and pray for bravery and courage. I really hope to teach them that in ALL things in life… our very first course of action is to run to Jesus with our need. If I can teach them that… well… then I guess that’s really the whole ball game.
I know it can seem overwhelming to add more stuff into schedules and days that are already jam packed full. And believe me… I know how frustrating it is to try and start to implement things only to be met with resistance and the discouragement that comes when you inadvertently forget to do any of the above for six days in a row. But can I encourage you today – do something. Start somewhere. Find something small and manageable and do your very best to work it into your lives.
When it comes to your kids… it’s the very best gift you could ever give them.