Fighting for our family started with aligning ourselves with a faith community who spurred us on to love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24). We needed Christ following friends who told us the hard truths that weren’t pop-psychology (which changes with the wind) or worldly suggestions but instead held us accountable to the eternal commands of God which are absolute truth.
“Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children—Dt. 4:9
I walked into this giant church twenty-one years ago overwhelmed with all of the people and found myself not knowing the words to the songs that they seemed to know by heart.
I had been in church my whole life, but had anxiety if I was called on to read in Sunday school, because I didn’t know how to turn to the chapter and verse quickly and still got confused between all of those Old and New Testament characters.
The Lord had put the desire in my heart to want to grow in my faith, but I was uncertain on how to do that. What I didn’t realize then, was the first step was being in the presence of others who were sharper than me in their walk with the Lord.
I hadn’t yet memorized and applied the verse: “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” Proverbs 27:17
I found myself at Bellevue a little like Dorothy from “The Wizard of Oz.” Each person on my journey through each season enriched my life in immeasurable and eternal ways. I didn’t find all the answers overnight, but through the guidance of many I found my way home.
There was Rob the college minister who cared enough to take Zach and I under his wing, make us feel welcome, and by his example led us to want more of what he had, joy and peace in the Lord.
Then there was Dale and Tori, our teachers as young marrieds, who opened their dinner table to us and challenged us to read authors like Andrew Murray who’s words stretched us out of our comfort zone.
Then Donna Gaines, Jean Stockdale, and Iva May impacted my life personally as an expecting mom who wanted nothing more than to be able to answer my kids’ questions about God and His word someday. Their love for His word and intentional, steadfast, and daily study of God’s Word inspired me to live more like them.
•Mrs. Donna’s stories of being in the word while her kids were little motivated me to aim to get up before my babies each day to start my day with God.
•Jean’s wisdom on godly parenting and how to reach their hearts at every age inspired me to start very early planting seeds of faith. I remember reading Jean’s Bible Study on Ruth out loud to Jonah in his highchair as I was studying it. 😀 Her humorous stories helped me remember that she made mistakes, but allowed the Lord to redeem them while at the same time modeling forgiveness and a humble heart to her boys.
•Iva’s passion for knowing God’s story and teaching others to do the same was contagious. I’ve never gotten over it and I pray that my kids will take what I’ve learned from her and passed on to them and fight for their faith with the belt of truth.
Mike challenged us to focus more on God’s Kingdom than materialism and more on eternal treasure than the American Dream. The effects from his weekly pouring out truth from His quiet time is still having ripple effects on our financial and familial decisions.
There were numerous women in our various small groups who I looked up to as an example for godly motherhood: Dorie, Tanya, Jennie C., Leah, Ashley A., Melanie W., Kress S., Kristi H., Jennie M., Courtney N., Lindsey W., Virginia R., y’all there are so many I’ll have to stop there.
I copied their ideas, prayed for qualities I saw in their lives, and was daily inspired by the fruit I saw in their personal lives and families.
Zach would have his own list of godly male influences as well.
We taught alongside Dee and Andy and I soaked up every way Dee taught preschoolers. We served with Ken Hindman and took in how he made the pages of the Bible come to life through biblical drama for kids. At Camp Outrageous we were inspired to take what we learned and bring it to our own community in a weekly Summer Bible Ministry on our square.
The devil has thrown his fair share of darts at our family. My kids have witnessed us living through attacks, tragedies, and my own personal health difficulties that made it hard for me to have the energy to just keep going some days. They’ve seen first hand how we’ve had to cling to Him in prayer, lean on Him for strength, and persevere with His power.
Our children will face their own share of difficulties living in this world and it’s our responsibility to give them the tools they need to walk victoriously with their faith firmly in Jesus.
The first step in fighting for our family as parents is to be faithful, available, and teachable. The 1,001 decisions on behalf of our children that come after that step will be much easier to make when we are leaning on the Lord to lead us.
and that their children, who have not known it, may hear and learn to fear the Lord your God, as long as you live in the land.”Dt. 31:13
Our church starts a series on “Fighting for Your Family” starting this weekend. We’d love to have you join us and learn how to grow the faith of your family. Our church has equipped us extremely well and I know that the information we glean from this study will help us even more.
Fight For Your Family is a 10-week discipleship journey focused on equipping parents to engage their children with biblical truth. What you need to know:
• Each week, this webpage will be loaded with viewable and downloadable content that can guide what and how you teach your kids.
• You will be resourced with one age-appropriate biblical concept per week to teach your kids over a family meal. These biblical concepts follow the “Levels of Biblical Learning” framework to help each child be taught according to their age-level.
•Recognize that there is a battle going on in your homes today, and God has given you everything you need to lay a strong foundation of God’s Word in the hearts and minds of your children.
Register today, and beginning the week of September 12, you’ll receive the weekly resources geared toward the specific ages of your children.