Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Training Children in Godliness ~ Building a Godly Appetite

We got back from the Family Economics Conference Sunday afternoon.  We were able to attend church on the campus of Southeastern Seminary and then Scott Brown's church fed all those in attendance.  It was a wonderful time in the Lord and the conference was especially good.  We were strengthened in our resolve to build a strong Godly family for the Lord and given a vision of what it looks like to have an entrepreneurial mindset for whole families.  We are now praying for God to use the things He has taught us to either redirect us, or to help us to place that vision in our own children. 
The pictures are various shots of the family while we were there.  Once we got home, Monday I was faced with about seven loads of laundry and a little girl who started showing signs of being sick.  Today, my youngest son has come down with the virus and it has hit him especially hard with a high fever and he is, as I type, asleep on the couch.  Since today is Wednesday when I usually post on training children, I wanted to introduce you to a concept that you may have not thought about before.  What kind of appetite are you building in your children? 
By appetite, I do not mean what they are eating.  I mean what desires are you helping to cultivate in your home and interaction with your children that will either bring them closer to the Lord, or further away.  I think many times as parents we do not give this much thought.  I plan to get more specific with this at a later date, but before you plan any activity, watch any movie, buy any video game, read aloud any book, take any vacation...ask yourself, "Will this build my children up in the faith, or could it be a potential to ensnare them when they have families of their own?"
I was always a big proponent of Walt Disney World.  That was my dream vacation.  I had gone there a couple of times as a young girl and had grown up with Disney movies.  After I got married and started having children, some movies that I watched before all of a sudden took on a different meaning.  I began seeing themes in the movies that did not match up to a Biblical worldview.  For instance, Little Mermaid was rebellious against her father.  Beauty, in Beauty and the Beast, was a daughter that tired of her home life and sought great adventure somewhere else.  Pocahontas, besides being historically inaccurate, had mysticism in it...and the list goes on. 
When we started getting the mindset of having multiple children for the glory of God, all of a sudden places like Walt Disney World were unaffordable.  Then we began to wonder, "If we want our children to love children and desire many of them, would taking them to a place that is so costly be the wisest use of our time?"  I don't know about you, but when I went to Walt Disney World, coming back home was always a downer.  The real world can never compete with the fantasy world.  Now, before you think that I am saying going to Walt Disney World is a sin...please understand...that is not what I am saying at all.  We just decided that it did not fit the goals and appetites we wanted to place into the lives of our children.  Instead, we have found that going away to mountain getaways and Godly conferences such as the one we just got back from have built a desire for such things in our children.
Our children would much rather go to a homeschool conference, or a spiritual conference of some other kind than an amusement park.  And rather than feeling let down when they come back to their "normal" life, they have gained a greater sense of the vision that God has for their lives. 
I have seen great strides in spiritual maturity with my almost 15 year old daughter just from attending these spiritual conferences.
Being among Godly, like-minded people brings a refreshment like no other.
Pouring over the Word of life brings true joy and contentment...much more than a roller coaster could ever do.
So, the next time you making a decision about anything...yes, and even where to vacation.
Ask yourself what will bring an eternal difference in the lives of your children, because even God cares where you take your vacations.
Our time to raise our children in Godly character is so very short.
Let's take every opportunity to give them ways to grow for the glory of God.  Those are moments you will never regret.
May the Lord give us wisdom to do all for His glory!
This final picture is our family with some of our very best friends in the world.  They are more like our family than just friends.  They too were at the conference and the Lord greatly blessed our time together.  Until next time my friends...keep pressing toward the mark for Christ's sake!


Chelle said...

Glad you had a good time.

Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

You are very blessed to have a husband that has the same vision as you. Do not take that for granted!

It looks like such a wonderful time together as a family. You are doing a wonderful job raising them up in the admonition of the Lord.

Camille said...

How wonderful that you were able to go to this conference Jackie! What a blessing! I's important to ask these questions of ourselves as we seek to raise up the next generation for HIS glory! And to seek HIM and follow HIM throughout their lives.

Many blessings,

P.S. I enjoyed all the photos of this post. :)

Mrs. Trixi said...

Great post. We, like you, love our homeschool conference and fellowshipping with likeminded believers!

His bondservant said...

Wish you could have been there with us.

I am very thankful that my husband and I are like-minded on many things, but just to keep things totally real...we have differed greatly on some of our visions for our family. We have had to discuss and hash out things just like every other couple. We are still sinful at times and have to go to Christ and give it all to Him. We are committed to one another regardless of our differences, and I believe God has honored that. But, it has not always been easy. Take care my friend.

Thank you for your kind words. I have to give the photo taking credit totally to my oldest daughter. If it were not for her...I don't know if we would have had pictures from this conference!

Sounds like we have a lot in common! God bless you!

Christie Elkins said...

Jackie, just wanted to let you know I read your article in the latest "Above Rubies" magazine and it was such a blessing! I noticed your blog address at the end of the article and decided to check it out. I am a young stay at home mother to a 3.5 year old girl, a one year old son, and our third child is due in June. I have so much to learn, but thankful to hear of great homeschool testimonies like those of your family. Thanks for sharing!

The Adventures of a Simple Life said...

I completely agree with your post! Our parenting thoughts are so like-minded!
We rather take our kids to see God's beautiful creation by camping or something than going to Disney World. It is so worldly. There is nothing left (including money) when you leave.
Though I do not judge others who go there and places like that, it is not for our family.
We also do a lot of conferences. Though my children don't always like them. They get bored, but we pray what they hear will be true to their hearts one day.

Visions are big. But as you said in a comment...we in our marriages grow at different times. As wives, we need to submit to our husbands, even if we THINK we know better (unless it is sin). Let the Lord work it out and in HIS time these matters will be resolved. It teaches patience also.

Thanks for the post full of wisdom!


Sarah said...

I am so glad that you all had a wonderful time! Thank you also for sharing about building the right kind of appetites in our children.

I have not yet received my Above Rubies magazine...but I am so excited to read your article!

God Bless

His bondservant said...

I know what you mean about little ones. My youngest get tired at conferences, but they still have a good time. They also come back with more than I thought when I hear them talk about it. And yes, it is good to submit as the Lord says and the leave the changing to Him. Thanks for the encouragement in your comments. We indeed do seem to have much in common. God bless you!

I got mine the other day and have been enjoying reading all the articles by the other ladies. I just hope God uses my testimony to help others out. If He can change me...He can change anybody!
In Him,