More than I can Handle

Today holds a little bit more than this girl feels like she can handle in one day. I have three guests arriving in two hours with video cameras, lights, electrical smetrical gadgets and interview questions! Matt Markins from the D6 Family ministry is flying in from Nashville, TN today. He’s bringing a video/camera guy to my house to capture some conversations on film to use in promotions for the D6 conference I’ll be part of September 23-25, 2009 in Dallas, TX.

My wonderful friend and speaking assistant, Leah DiPascal, will be here too. She’ll be smiling and encouraging and calming – like she always is!! She’ll be reminding me that this is God’s assignment and that He’s given me all I need to fulfill it. She’s so much like Elizabeth, how she encouraged Mary to keep believing and focusing her eyes on the one who called her and promised to supply all that she needed!

So, about those interviews we’ll be doing. Matt wants me to share why it’s important for parents to be involved in their children’s spiritual growth. He’s has asked me to share a D6 story about a time with my kids where life and God’s truths intersected. I plan to share about Joshua’s incredible insight after my mom’s tinted sunglasses moment and how it opened the door for a very meaningful conversation about how we can see things through God’s perspective. The term D6 comes from God’s clear, powerful and practical commands for parents found in Deuteronomy 6:4-9.

We’ll also be talking about why this conference is needed at a time when mom’s are being pulled in every direction and overwhelmed, but longing for encouragement and ideas to connect with their kids spiritually.

Then tonight I fly out to Houston, Texas with Lysa to meet with KSBJ tomorrow about our Girl’s Night out with Proverbs 31 Ministries, Kate Gosselin from TLC’s Jon and Kate + 8, and Ayiesha Woods in Houston on January 22, 2009.

It’s the week before Christmas. This is crazy isn’t it? What was I thinking? Honestly, I wasn’t. This wasn’t on my calendar until two weeks ago. But I have come to believe that long, long ago it was on God’s calendar. He just happened to insert these plans it into mine when all the details, and promotions deadlines came together. Sometimes, God’s timing doesn’t make sense but if it did I wouldn’t have to depend on Him so much. Today, I definitely do. It might be more than I can handle, but He can more than handle all of it!

You know, there are days when parenting two boys feels like more than I can handle, too. That’s why I need conferences like these and encouragement from others. So, I’d love to hear your thoughts about what we’re discussing today: Why do you think it is important for parents to be involved in their children’s spiritual growth, rather than just taking them to Sunday school and youth group?

I’ll be doing a drawing sponsored by the D6 conference and P31 this Wednesday, giving away a copy of George Barna’s, Revolutionary Parenting, and Lysa TerKeurst’s, The Bathtub is Overflowing but I feel Drained . For a chance to win, please share your thoughts below in the comments section. And the winner of my Friday Christmas give-away is Chef Diane!!

About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.

Comments

  1. That sounds like a great conference! I guess if we want our kids to be serious about their spiritual life, we need to be as well. My oldest is almost 6 and I am amazed at what he remembers and understands, my last post was all about this – it’s titled “My Little Theologian.” Really God can speak to us thru them as well, so it is important to build them up and teach them as much as possible. My spiritual background pretty much consisted of church and Sunday school and being good, so as J.D. grows it’s amazing to see him witnessing to my family memebers – at times I’m ashamed that he does a better job than me. Faith of a child is an amazing thing and if we want it to grow as parents of children we have a critical role. Pray you have peace as you sense God handling all that you cannot. Blessings, Jill

  2. What a great topic! I try to be involved in my children’s spiritual teaching because I think they need to hear about it more than just on Sunday! Sometimes it’s more formal than others, but often it is just in the fairly simple things we do as we live out our lives… things like praying with each other in the car on the way to school each morning, lighting our own advent candles at home this season, and including God in discussions about books and TV shows and everyday events.

  3. This is so important! Our children catch so much more from us by the way we live compared to the words that we say, and that is why our own relationship with Him is crucial. Thank you for getting this message out there.

  4. I agree with Julie. Living it and not just saying it. We grew up just going on Sunday and I have absolutely no knowledge of the bible at all. We didn’t pick up the bible or pray besides when we ate. I’m working so hard at changing that for my 9 year old. We recently began our journey and I’m passionate about making sure my son knows Jesus and has a close relationship with him. I’m trying to develop that as well and just want to say thank you for all these opportunities to read all the postings. They are so inspirational to me and hope to be like so many of these incredible women someday

  5. We are taking Growing Kids God’s Way and one thing they is you have to live what you say. You can’t tell your kids to read the Bible and expect them to do it if they don’t see that it is important to you. If you make it an important part of your life I think that they will see it and want it to be a part of their life. They are only going to do what you say for so long then they will do what you do.

  6. I grew up in a Christian home, but I never felt as though my parents were in love with Jesus. With that as an example, I grew up prayerful and knew that salvation was utmost, but I didn’t walk with Jesus daily or have an intimate relationship with Him. I am 23 now and trying to change this because I know now that He is the only way to get through this crazy life!

  7. That sounds like a great conference! I guess if we want our kids to be serious about their spiritual life, we need to be as well. My oldest is almost 6 and I am amazed at what he remembers and understands, my last post was all about this – it’s titled “My Little Theologian.” Really God can speak to us thru them as well, so it is important to build them up and teach them as much as possible. My spiritual background pretty much consisted of church and Sunday school and being good, so as J.D. grows it’s amazing to see him witnessing to my family memebers – at times I’m ashamed that he does a better job than me. Faith of a child is an amazing thing and if we want it to grow as parents of children we have a critical role. Pray you have peace as you sense God handling all that you cannot. Blessings, Jill

  8. Do we really want to leave our children’s spiritual growth up to anyone else? It’s WAY too important not to be right there in the thick if things, ready to answer questions or help them as much as we can. So much of the world right now is anti-Jesus that it’s important for us to show how much He loves us. If we’re really trying to live as we should, then we can’t NOT share our faith with those around us, and that includes our kids. Having other sources of information, like P31 and Bible study groups, where we can grow in our own faith and get new ideas for ways to share our faith with our families is very helpful, though. Thanks for all that you do!

  9. “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6

    Training our children spiritually is the best, most important training they will receive. Not only will it make a huge impact on their life now, but generations yet to come will be changed because of our committment to be obedient to teach our children as we walk along the way and as we sit at the table.

    My Pastor shared just yesterday that the full measure of life is most often based upon it’s contribution to the future. It’s part of the legacy we leave.

    Our children need to see Christ lived out day by day, moment by moment. On Sunday’s, Christ in us, is usually displayed on His best behavior, but what about Monday to Saturday? Our children need to see how Christ in us reacts to disappointment, frustration, how to be angry and sin not, how to turn the other cheek, how to love your neighbour as yourself etc… When we need to ask the Lord for forgiveness we need to share that with our children and model repentance. These lessons are taught on Sunday, but they are caught by little eyes during the week as our children learn how to follow Christ by watching and listening to us. Someday they will leave home – our time with them is so short – if only we could grasp that and pour into them now while we can. We want them to be equipped to make godly decisions and be grounded in the faith so that when they are out on their own they will KNOW they are not alone.

    We must be intentional with our training. Does it take time and effort? Yes! It means seizing teachable moments. It might mean turning off the TV or computer to have a time of Bible reading together as a family. Our children need to see consistancy and know that Jesus works. He is more than a Sunday Savior.

    Praying for your week my friend. May God be your strength!
    Love ya,
    Joy

  10. Happy Four says:

    Seeing my parents live out their Christian walk made all the difference for me growing up. Also, seeing them as human was helpful too!

    Thanks for including me in your drawing and enjoy the flight to Houston and time with Lysa.

    Merry Christmas!

    Caroline

    thegrossmans(at)carolina(dot)rr(dot)com

  11. I think being involved in my children’s spritual teaching is extremely important. I want my kids to see that faith is something that needs to be a part of everyday life, not just Sunday mornings. I think this paves the way for the kids to ask questions about faith too. I would rather that my children would come to DH and/or I with questions than go to the world.

  12. wow, what a very important and timely topic.
    I try so hard to find creative ways to put Jesus into our every day lives so at 4, it becomes natural for my daughter all ready

  13. Chef Diane says:

    Renee,
    I feel you girlfriend. Although my struggles are different than yours. I have three boys, not two. My struggles get to be to be too much for my life. God knows this and He has it under control.
    I am going through a divorce and having been in my son’s spiritual lives I believe has made such a difference. It has given them a soft place to fall in hard times. Not just this one time, but time and time again. THey have also be able to celebrate before Him as well. I say stay plugged in to them. The coolest thing I have found is that my boys have not missed one night at Sunday night or youth group since my husband left in April.
    God Bless ya,
    Diane

  14. wow, what a very important and timely topic.
    I try so hard to find creative ways to put Jesus into our every day lives so at 4, it becomes natural for my daughter all ready

  15. Hope you have a great time in Houston. You’ve got to have some beef faijitas from Pappasitos. It’s a must. If not this trip, then definitely in January. Ask for the pineapple butter to go with it.

    The D6 conference sounds amazing. I can’t wait for more details.

  16. Wrinkled Shirt Ministries says:

    Hope you have a great time in Houston. You’ve got to have some beef faijitas from Pappasitos. It’s a must. If not this trip, then definitely in January. Ask for the pineapple butter to go with it.

    The D6 conference sounds amazing. I can’t wait for more details.

  17. We have to live our lives out in front of our children because that’s what they will follow. I could teach my children everything the Bible says but if I’m not living what I say, I’ve wasted my words. I was blessed to be raised in a home where this was taught to me.
    It can be very convicting when I see my children do something displeasing and realize it was a behavior picked up from me. Yikes! God has taught me so much about himself and His Word from being a parent. I love that He uses the relationships we have here to teach us. God is good.
    Have a Merry Christmas.
    Tammy

  18. I agree with Carol.. .the kids are watching more than we sometimes want to realize. They see how you are handling all the stressors in your life from taping of television shows to just getting the dishwasher emptied and kitchen cleaned up. We teach them as the old testament says as we walk along the way whether freshly waxed church floors or a dirty kitchen floor at home.

  19. Every since I heard a feature on my radio station last week, I’ve been brainstorming ways to bring God into our family’s everyday routine. It sounds like a great conference – I wish I was closer!

  20. Joanie Butler says:

    My sweet sister, this is the exact perfect time for “lights, camera, action” at the Swope house. I know that you have your house all decked out for the holidays and it, like you will shine for the Lord.

    As for your question. . .
    I can’t even imagine leaving my son’s spiritual training to others. This one area of his life is the most important job that God has ever assigned us to, and the most rewarding when they start to get those principles that we are trying to instill. To hear my 4-year-old tell others that we celebrate Christmas because Jesus is the Light of the World, is such a blessing to my heart. My prayer is that I will be strengthened by the Holy Spirit to be strong enough for the job of always letting my son see Jesus through me.

    Blessings and I’ll be praying for your nerves to be calm during the interview and that the Holy Spirit will use you to reach many.

  21. I can honestly say that my relationship with Jesus birthed into a whole new level of intimacy with the birth of each of my two boys. They have taught me so much about simple faith, true geniune love, praying, and just asking for God whenever they need Him. I praise God that He knew I needed each one of them!

  22. Beehind Thyme says:

    Good December Morn., Renee…

    My son, Isaac is an '18' year old… he is a young, christian gentleman. I have tried my best to be involved in his everyday spiritual walk with the Lord. Encouraging him when life itself throws curve balls that he didn't see. At a young age, with not alot of experience with the outside, sometime cruel world they are more naive to things. We as parents need to be there for them to help direct in making the right decisions & stand as an example to them… As my son leaves in the mornings for school… I yell out the front door… "Don't let anyone steal your joy… show them you have Jesus"… now at the age he is.. he laughs and goes on, but in my heart, I know that was enbedded in his heart & mind for the day.
    Well… he has just been accepted to Liberty University in Virginia, to major in Pastoral Counseling amongst another major. His goal is to become a paster & counselor. He speaks at churche in crowds w/ hundreds… goes on the mission field of spreading the news to people in the dangerous city streets… I am sooooooo proud to know that we have shared a spiritual walk together w/ the Lord. He knows where I stand… and through great prayer he has had God's outstretched arms wrapped all around him… He is from a family that parents are divorced when he was 9, but he didn't let that stop him in fulfilling God's purpose for his life… Parents stay close by your childs side…

    Thank you for doing all that you do… Renee. I visit here often & get my daily dose of spiritual feeding.

    Many blessings to you & your family… With Warm Hugs, Pamela in Good Ole Kentucky.

  23. I think that if we are not involved with our kids, someone else will be, and then what will they be taught. Then again it isn’t always taught, it needs to be caught…I need to remember what I am doing also. This is our future generation. If they are not spirituality at home, to live out for the rest of their lives, it won’t become a way of life for them. Great topic

    Shannon
    smarklow@gmail.com

  24. elaine @ peace for the journey says:

    Because it is our sacred privilege to do so. God has given us a sacred trust to parent our children into adulthood and beyond. As I said in my recent post, “what roots us, moves us.” We must walk the journey as authentic before our children. We must. It’s their best opportunity for having the necessary seeds embedded within that God, through the power of his Spirit, will grow.

    Love you, friend.

    peace~elaine

  25. Yeah, I won. Thanks, Renee
    Diane

  26. I THINK IT’S IMPORTANT ON SO MANY LEVELS.. AND ONE THAT GLOWS FOR ME, IS THAT IF WE TEACH OUR CHILDREN ON A DAILY LEVEL THEY COME TO SEE IT’S SUCH AN EVERDAY FACT.. KIND OF LIKE BREATHING.. IT JUST IS.. IF WE DON’T THEN IT LEAVES ROOM FOR DOUBT..AS THEY WILL GET PREASURE FROM PEERS “YOU’RE ONE OF THOSE GOD FREAKS”.. THEY’LL BE BETTER EQUIPPED WITH ANSWERING THESE TYPE OF QUESTIONS.

  27. As one of God’s children, everyday I am on my own path of spiritual growth. My two boys watch, listen, observe and experience a lot of my life. If I will openly immerse my heart to growing closer to God each day, I think my children will see the struggles and the triumphs of a Christian who desires to be like Jesus. My prayer is that they will take this first-hand experience and adopt it in their own lives. Thanks for asking. JD

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