Thursday, March 31, 2011

Am I Charlie Brown's Mother? oh, and Family Worship

A few months ago, my hubby and I attended a Ted Tripp conference.  He is the author of
Shepherding A Child's Heart and Instructing A Child's Heart.

We visited the church of a friend before my first son was born and a gentleman gave us a copy of Shepherding A Child's Heart.  I tell you that  it was one of the best gifts I have ever received.  If you haven't read it, you must.  Then you need to read Ginger Plowman's take on Shepherding and read "Don't Make Me Count To Three".  And then you absolutely have to read Instructing A Child's Heart.

These books encourage and teach Heart Oriented Discipline, focusing on a child's heart, not just changing behavior!

Back to what I am supposed to be blogging about.

I left the conference so very encouraged and even more convicted about our responsibility in raising our boys. 

I felt convicted to pray for and with my boys each morning when they wake up.   We pray that God will help them to obey and be respectful (things we are focusing on) because we know that these glorify Him.  I can honestly tell you that doing this helps us all to start the day with "happy hearts". 

I felt encouraged to focus more on Formative Instruction.  In other words, teaching Micah what is expected before the problem, influencing him rather than exuding authority, explaining in ways that make sense to him.  Ted reminded me that I sound like Charlie Brown's mother "whah, whah, whah, whah" when I wait to try to explain/teach when I am disciplining Micah.  He doesn't care what I am saying, he just wants to know what his consequence is. Ah Hah!!!!  So that's what the glazed over eyes, looking through me, gone to your happy place face is!

My husband talked on the way home and the BIGGEST thing we BOTH felt convicted was obvious that God was laying it on our hearts together...was our lack of Family Worship!

Let me just tell you that when Mr. Tripp was talking about this, I felt really silly when I thought about what it must look like.  I know that is terrible but I am being honest here.  It sounded a little hokey.  I admitted this to my hubby and instead of thinking bad of me he explained that it was probably going to feel weird at first.  Since it was something we had NEVER tried.  We vowed to make it work for us, we knew the benefits would outweigh the "feeling silly" and ultimately it would glorify God.

You see, one thing that really struck me.  One thing that pricked my heart. Made it heavy. Then turned it warm and content was my prayer over this:  "If you are not impressed with God, if you are not in His word....your children will not be!"  "Show your children life, through the lens of God's Word, and God's Ways!!!"

I know this is getting long so I will wrap it up.  This is what works for us.  It may not work for you, but I pray that you will find something that does.  It felt silly at first, but it is just part of our nightly routine now.  Some nights we don't do it, and that is ok.  We are trying.  I have seen my boy settle, be still, listen.  I see a love for singing and praying to the Lord.  It has changed my own heart.  I have learned.  I have been more focused on Him.
Our "ingredients"
1. Daddy opens us in prayer. We settle down.
2.  Micah's bible. We read a bible lesson.
3.  Seeds Family Worship CD  "Songs of Faith". We sing one of these, for a whole week. Micah plays his play guitar.
4.  Weekly church bulletin.  We sing the childrens song from this.  We sing the same song for a whole week.  Micah plays his play guitar some more.
5.  Prayer.  We take turns praying for what God has laid on our hearts.

Please leave a comment and tell me about your family worship.  It doesn't have to look like mine.  If you don't do a family worship, I encourage you to give it a try, even one night a week.  I never saw myself doing this, but I am so glad we tried it!


LB said...

I totally get the feeling silly thing!! We read Jesus story book Bible every night and then Scott and I pray. Ada never wants to pray and so far we have opted not to make her. We don't sing mainly because of feeling weird. You have encouraged me to do it anyway:)

Jessica said...

this is such an encouraging post friend...and...i like what you said about addressing the issue before they are actually beind disciplined for it! that is helpful..thanks for spurring me on!

LB, if you read this..a worship song that my kids LOVE which is kind of silly in a way is Praise Ye the Lord, Hallelujah! Grant LOVES it. We sing sometimes and it has gotten less weird.

Mary said...

I know what you mean about the feeling weird thing, too. I think most everyone would feel that way at first because it goes against our nature to lay down all pretense and honestly worship God in front of others, especially our kids! Our family worship is VERY sporadic, but like you said, we are trying! In the morning we read a chapter of "something", a devotional or right now that Genesis commentary I posted about. I would like to get to the point to where we just read the Word, but right now I would lose them with that. We do a hymn from Hymns for a Kids heart, or sometimes they just pick any song they want, but we do the same one all week, and then we pray just short prayer. Then at night we have read-aloud (for fun)books (Reading The Silver Chair now) and then a short section of something "spiritual"-ish (right now reading Heaven, for Kids by Randy Alcorn.) And pray longer than in the morning, taking turns for whatever is on everyone's heart / mind. There are so many days when I skip it at night because I am so tired. Or I skip it in the morning because we are running late and have "other stuff to do" Thanks for the encouragement to be more faithful in it, it matters, and it makes such a difference!!