The Women Who Walked With Jesus

 

Today I have the awesome privilege of writing a guest post for a series called Biblical Women of Influence at Angel Penn‘s blog at www.angelpenn.com.

 

So Many Mary’s!

Can you imagine walking with Jesus when He lived on earth? I would have loved that! I should have been named Mary.

I could have been Mary, the mother of Jesus. Now there’s a woman who played no small part in Jesus’ life. She carried Him in her womb, gave birth to Him, nourished Him, and taught Him to walk and talk and use good manners. She probably taught Him to pray and instructed Him in the ways of God and told Him about the things God did for the children of Israel. She may have led Him to faith in God!

There’s no doubt that she had a great influence on the greatest Man who ever lived.

For instance, there’s the time that Mary insisted that Jesus do a miracle at the Wedding at Cana when they ran out of wine. That turned out to be a good thing – the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry.

She had a mother’s influence over her son. I’m sure she loved Him as no other. Her love probably gave Him strength and courage to endure all that He went through in His life. His mother had extravagant love for Him.

To read the rest of this post please go to Angel Penn’s blog at www.angelpenn.com

10 Commandments of Raising Kids Who Love God

1. Treat kids like people, not your possessions.

Treat them with dignity and respect. Be kind and gentle to them. Be as nice to them as you are to your friends and to strangers. Don’t take out your frustrations on them. Don’t talk down to them or be condescending.

2. Give kids freedom to explore and play.

Let them use their imagination. Charlotte Mason calls it Masterly Inactivity. If you haven’t heard of Charlotte Mason, you can google her name and find out lots of great information about her and her philosophy of raising and educating children.

Let them come up with their own ideas of things to do. Don’t call them away from something they are enjoying and using their imagination for to do a workbook or something you had planned. Unless you know for sure that the other thing is better for them than what they are doing. Let them spend a lot of time outside. They process the things they learn from books and what you teach them during their down time. They make connections. They think more deeply about things. They make the knowledge and information their own. It sticks better.

3. Let them be who they are.

Don’t try to make them act and think just like you.

4. Pray with them about using their talents and gifts to glorify God from the time they are young.

Practice prophetic parenting. Help them find their purpose. Be led by the Spirit and follow your intuition when it comes to the best way to relate to your children.

5. Bless them and speak well of them to themselves.

Tell them how glad you are that God gave them to you. Tell them what you see in them, their strengths and abilities. Make sure you have their hearts. Keep the connection strong. Spend time with them. Make good memories with them.

6. Give them a strong family identity to feel proud of and tell them that they have an important role in the family.

Their prayers matter. Build up their sense of security and confidence.

7. Show them unconditional love.

Do everything you do for them out of love for them, not to get your own needs met. Don’t try to control them. Correct the discipline with grace. Disciple them. Communicate clearly and lovingly. Don’t assume that you know their motives. Let them tell you what they think and feel. Show lots of affection. Spend one on one time with them. Find out what is going on with them, especially when there’s conflict or they seem out of sorts. When they are acting most unlovable pull them close and show the most love.

8. Give them attention and encourage their efforts.

Encourage their imagination. Spend time with them. Let them interrupt you to show you something they did or saw or want to talk about that was interesting to them. Listen to them. Show interest in what they are interested in. Don’t talk at them and dominate the conversation. Let them talk.

9. Point them to God as their Father who will always be there for them to love them and take care of them.

Teach them to put God first in their lives and to ask Him to fill them with His Spirit. Teach them to go to Him to get every need met. Teach them how to hear God’s voice.

10. Teach them to pray and believe and trust God and expect Him to answer their prayers.

https://www.periscope.tv/penneymaried/1LyGBROgLwjGN

Why Ninja Sheep Should Educate Their Children at Home

This post addresses the 7 Mountain Paradigm that Lance Wallnau teaches about and how we should go secretly into the Education mountain and gain influence over it.

How do ninjas train? Do they go to a large, public institution to be trained? I don’t think so. We are supposed to be ninja sheep, right? So shouldn’t we be trained in a private, separate school instead of a large, public school that happens to be in our neighborhood paid for by taxpayers?

Shouldn’t we have specialized training in spiritual warfare, biblical wisdom, and godly character? And shouldn’t parents be mentors to their own children to help them discover their gifts and talents and callings and election and help them get the training and instruction they need to increase their skills and knowledge in whatever God is calling them to do?

This would be a mini-church in the home. Training the next generation in specialized training centers called home. With mentors called Mom and Dad.

Then we won’t lose so many of our children to liberal, secular humanistic thought. They won’t turn against their parents’ ideas and teaching and beliefs. They won’t be turned into socialists because of being exposed to that teaching day in and day out and propagandized and indoctrinated by professors of socialistic, liberal, humanistic thought. They won’t be swayed or persuaded by professors that ridicule the beliefs of their parents and the generations that came before them. They will be grounded in the faith of their fathers. Or at least they will be more likely to if the groundwork of faith in God has been laid in their hearts by their mothers and fathers every day at home. They will have a foundation to stand on that includes the word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit in their hearts.

We can train them up in the way that they should go. We can teach them God’s ways and principles. Then when they are older and mature enough to stand against false teaching and temptations of the enemy, we can send them out as arrows aimed at the target that God has set for them. We can shoot them toward the mountain that God has called them to, and they will be more likely to hit the mark than those that have been trained by godless teachers who mock and criticize God and their parents and tell them that their parents are old-fashioned fuddy duddies with outmoded, outdated, obsolete beliefs that are no longer relevant.

This is a summary of my reasons for believing that homeschooling is the best form of education for Christian parents to provide for their ninja sheep children.

A Homeschooler Speaks About What He Really Thinks About Homeschooling

My oldest son, Shawn (25), talks about his thoughts and feelings about homeschooling. He was homeschooled from beginning to end. He self-directed his education through high school, and he discusses how homeschooling shaped his way of thinking that enabled him to do what he is doing and helped him to adapt to any situation or environment he finds himself in.

Watch this Periscope video we made together as I interviewed him about what he thinks about homeschooling:

 

https://www.periscope.tv/penneymaried/1yoKMraMAZOGQ?

Homeschoolers: Get Your Kids Ready for Real Life From Real Life

camping-family

As homeschoolers, our main goal should be to get our kids ready for real life. That is the goal of education of any sort: Preparing students to succeed in life. Our definitions of success may vary, and that is something that some of us may still need to determine.

I define success as: having a vibrant personal relationship with God; having good relationships within your family and with others; basically doing what God put you here to do – fulfilling God’s purpose and calling for your life; and being able to provide for yourself and your family, preferably through doing something that you enjoy.

Your definition may be different, but these basic ideals are the foundation for the way I have chosen to build my homeschool and family life. It’s a good idea for us to think through these issues and decide what is most important to us and how we can aim toward these priorities as we plan and live out our homeschool days and daily lives in general.

Relationship with God

To me, this is the most important goal for keeping my children at home to learn and grow and develop. I know that, ultimately, they will choose whether to follow God or not, but I intend to give them every opportunity and incentive to get to know God for themselves and develop a close, intimate relationship with Him.

There are some things we can do as parents to lead our children to Jesus. One is to consecrate our children and turn their education and training and discipline over to His leadership and control. We need to realize that they are God’s children and He has given us the privilege of loving them and guiding them through their lives, according to His will and direction for them.

As such, we should pray about everything that concerns them. He is their Father, and some day He will be the One they obey and get direction and instruction from, with just friendly advice from us. We should teach them the Word of God, speak His words of life over them, and teach them the two Greatest Commandments: to love God and love our neighbors. We should teach them to listen for what God is saying to them. We should model for them how to put God first in all things. We should pray together as a family. And we should ask our kids what God is saying to them and share with them what He is speaking to us about. We can teach them how to pray effectively.

We should teach them the Bible and biblical principles that we need to live a godly life. Encourage them to pray on their own and develop their own relationship with God. Teach and model for them praying for their own needs and needs of others.

And teach them to praise and worship God. Show them that it is possible to get to know God.

A book I’m reading right now is helping our older children get closer to God. It is called “Translating God” and is written by Shawn Bolz.

Relationship skills should be an important part of our “curriculum”.

Teach your children to:

Do everything out of love. Protect the connection between yourself and the other person. Choose to walk in love toward that person no matter what. A great tip I learned from Danny Silk is: “Without the foundation of unconditional love and acceptance in a relationship, we simply cannot be free to be ourselves. It’s only when we remove the option of distance and disconnection from our relationships that we create a safe space to be ourselves. We cast out fear, inviting each other to bring our best selves forward.” This is from his book, “Keep Your Love On”.

Build good relationships. A very important skill that we all need to have in life, for the sake of our family life, our job success, our level of contentment in life and many of our interactions with others is our ability to build good relationships.

Always forgive. It never does any good to hold things against another person. If you hold unforgiveness, you keep thinking about it, you develop negative feelings and bitterness, you are miserable, and the person who offended you is not affected or hurt at all! It is worthless and futile to think that you are accomplishing anything by holding unforgiveness against someone. So don’t do it. Teach this to your children.

Repent quickly. Humble yourself to admit when you have done something wrong. Tell the person you have wronged that you are sorry. Resolve not to do it again. And make it a point to try really hard to restrain yourself from ever doing it again.

Teach them to communicate. Clarity is essential. Cloudy, unclear communication or lack of communication leads to lots of misunderstandings and lots of problems. It is my job to communicate clearly to you. It is not the job of the listener to try to figure out what I’m thinking or feeling or saying. And the goal of communication is to make sure that my listener understands what I’m saying or feeling, not to convince or force them to see things my way. In everything we do, we should convey love – not control, manipulation or trying to get our own needs met. We need to do whatever it takes to protect the connection between ourselves and those that we live with and encounter along life’s path.

Establish good boundaries. This is something that I think many of us struggle with. The book, Keep Your Love On, specifically chapter 9, spells out so clearly how we should set good boundaries. In how we spend our time and how we communicate, it all comes down to taking care of ourselves. If we don’t take care of ourselves we can’t take good care of anyone else. When experiencing conflict with another person, the way to keep it from deteriorating into something toxic is to say to them, “I’ll be glad to have this conversation as long as it stays respectful.” And then make sure that you follow through with it. If the person you have conflict with becomes abusive in any way, in language or actions, walk away from him.

I read “Keep Your Love On” by Danny Silk, and it helped me so much in many of my relationships and my satisfaction with the way I deal with other people, that I can’t recommend it highly enough. I think we should read it aloud to our children when they get old enough to really understand and process these concepts. And all through their training years, we should model and talk about the principles laid out in this book.

Have a Mindset of “We are Building a Strong Family”

In all of your plans and activities, one of the primary goals should be to build a strong family. If our children have a strong sense of belonging and security, they are far less likely to go looking for love, affection or comfort from the wrong sources like immature friends who are seeking a family and have no foundation or anchor of morality.

One way to do this is to develop a family mission statement. I have written about this Family Mission Statement.

We should do things that make good memories with our children. And we should do things within our family in such a way that we build a strong family identity – like this is what the Douglas family does – and a family culture based on good practices like reading aloud every day. Or something that your family enjoys doing together that encourages interaction and communication with each other.

Family vacations and trips would be good, too, if you can afford such things, as long as good relationship skills are practiced during these times together.

Getting Down to the Nitty Gritty

And now I invite you to think with me about basic skills. Basic skills are the building blocks of all of the learning that happens later on. We must teach our children how to read and write and do arithmetic. Many of these skills can be taught and reinforced through workbooks, real life activities, games, and for those who have learning differences, we may have to use specialized tools and techniques. Charlotte Mason methods of narration, dictation, and copywork are some of my favorite ways to teach reading and writing. And real life math using cooking and grocery shopping give meaning to the numbers and concepts we are trying to teach our kids. Many children naturally learn many skills because of things they want to do themselves, such as make a list of things they want for Christmas or a letter they want to write to a friend or relative, or a video game they want to play that involves reading or some kind of math. So real life can help them learn basic skills, and many times that kind of learning sticks better than what they learn from a workbook. And has direct application to real life occupations they will choose later on.

After our children have learned the basic skills until they are automatic (mastered), we can let them move on to bigger and better things like science, history, geography, government, finances, economics, world affairs, current events, advanced math, multiple sciences, worldviews, psychology, philosophy, arts, and more. From this point on, I think we should let them help decide what they want to learn more about. I believe that we should pray with them about what their God-given gifts, talents and interests are. We should choose books and subjects with an eye toward preparing them for the future that God has for them. And I think it’s important to take into account their learning styles and the ways that they are smart.

All along the way, we should spread a feast for them of living books, paintings and art, music, and exposure to great artists, composers, and authors. We feed their souls by letting them feed on great ideas and by letting them interact mind to mind with great thinkers and authors throughout the centuries by reading the Classics with them.

We should also let them specialize in subjects that they have more interest in. We should encourage them to dig deeper into subjects that excite and inspire them. We should provide resources for them to study and activities that we can afford to provide for them.

There is more I would like to cover, but this post has gotten longer than I intended when I started writing. I will continue to write about this topic in a future post. Future being the operative word here. Our kids’ future is important, and we need to keep it in mind as we educate and prepare them for what lies ahead. Let’s make sure we don’t get bogged down by details of how old they are when they learn to read or whether they do things according to our plans or expectations or in a way that is convenient to us, and really take care of the biggest needs of our children. The needs of their hearts and skills they need to do life well.