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August 31, 2020 2:00 am
No one should say they are not mature enough to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with another person, according to Holly Melton. Author of the book "Praying With Your Kids Before School." Holly says it's never too early (or late) for a parent to begin talking to their children about faith in God. She describes the many creative ways to engage children with biblical principles at an early age and to be intentional about praying with them before school.
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After you've done your morning routine.
You got the kids ready for school.
You have breakfast. Whatever goes on at your house Holly.
Milton says there's an additional activity you need to incorporate.
You need to be praying together with your kids to start the day when I tell people if this is five minutes of your day that you must crucial five minutes in the day because when we start our day with God our perspective and everything that working at experience. I think the change in cell anchors can't wait Five or 10 minutes earlier. Even if you're not a morning person and pray that you are filled with the spirit as you try to do this with your children and he will give you the strength to have the patient to be able to do this.
This is family life today.
Our hosts are Dave and Ann Wilson on Bob's opinion. You can find the sum on the family life today.com back to school probably looks a lot different for all of us this year, but there are some things that ought not be different to talk about those today stay with us and welcome to family life today. Thanks for joining us. I think just about every mom I've ever known.
Who's got kids at home has in her a desire to want to plant deep in the heart of her kids spiritual truth.
It's just how I do that that is the obstacle you have that passion normally. She had have any, but I didn't grow up in a Christian home. I had never seen it done in my heart I want to do this. I want to do this. How do I do this I had no idea. I think you're right that I think winning when you love Jesus, you want to impart that into your kids that you're not always sure how it's crazy you don't have a plan and citing for looking for that plan. And this is one of those times of the year when I think beginning of the new year and the beginning of the school year are the true times in the year where we all can go. Okay, we can start some new patterns, new habits of new disciplines and course this is kind of the weirdest back to school time ever, but you can establish some new rhythm some new patterns and that's part of what we want to talk about today might help us and you have somebody in mind I think somebody ceasing across the table how Milton is here in the book of praying with your kids before school highly welcome. Thank you thank you honey and she's been on cruise staff.
I don't know how many years 21 years 21, and what have you done on cruise staff how I have gotten that travel the world to help missionaries that are inching conflict on the world have been actually 30 countries to serve in East Asia. Some revival have been there served up at UC Berkeley I and a national director with Krill but now unhappily on a staff team quietly in Phoenix Arizona while I'm raising my kids and continuing to write and speak on the side and your kids are what ages five and six so you're right at the beginning edge of this journey. But God's put a burden in your heart to want to really plant truth in their hearts and to point them to Jesus everyday.
Yes, it's always been my passion might grant his marriage and family therapy but then I went into college ministry.
After I saw vampire came to Christ, which is another story. I dropped their real vampires. He had led someone to Christ this year. The story okay well I was just a college student now is on my first summer mission clear out. I'm just singing sans on the boardwalk and this girl approached me very awkwardly and uncomfortably, and she said I'm a vampire I'm afraid of me thinks that they're a vampire like really lay before twilight and vampire diaries on my this is really weird so I said sure. I'll talk with a vampire. Why did she pick you got off. Larry got any teeth in 19 fat in a different dyed black hair, black lipstick, black outfit and sit down with her.
She says nothing, and it's completely awkward so this is when I start to pray my guy, you gotta show me because you know my training is you sure testimony or the knowing I personally track booklet. The crew had you know does not work with a vampire, so the Holy Spirit was saying you ask her what she said and I think all of us can get to know somebody and ask questions to learn who they are, no matter what what their background is, and she says well I have tried to kill myself three times and haven't been able to die, she does. I actually drank a lot of animals I sacrifice and I believe that's what makes me clean and I just thought a Lord this is getting crazier and crazier.
I have no clue how to be able to reach her SI like quite in the training manual for the so then as I got what's another question.
The question in my mind is what brings you purpose or significance and life and she said I've actually bought 12 women into being vampires with me that had no home, no community, no friends, and so we have a family and I thought okay is one little thing I can connect with is caring for women in community because even in college I was doing a women's Bible study discipling cement so you're looking for, and by trying like what is something we can relate to and again on my God. I do not know how I would share the gospel with this vampire so I thought the Holy Spirit gave me a contrary idea and how I was raised because I was raised in the apologetics generation where you just send the truth and I felt like the Holy Spirit's idea was a firm, partial truths to create common ground which felt a little sacrilegious but I was going to try so I said I say Chrissy you know I think you're right, we are in mortal thing is life after death implied if necessary sacrifice is essential and we were made for community. You are right but I don't think you know the whole story do I have permission to share with you the whole story and she said yes and I'm like okay got what I say next part was pretty genius was totally the Holy Spirit. I didn't think that up until like now what I said I was watching myself as God was just speaking through me and so all of a sudden I'm showing how Jesus is the Lamb of God, and he is the final sacrifice that will take away the sins of the world that no more animals need to be sacrificed and I got to share how he wants communion with us in community with us and so I go through the whole gospel. I am so convinced she's going to say yes and she is now. I don't need Jesus. And so she then says it is now two in the morning just but the bus is to stop working.
Can you give me a ride home and I'm thinking who wants to give vampire ride home at two in the morning not to bring a friend. So he was driving.
I'm in the front seat. She's in the back riding on a deserted highway and all of a sudden in the back. She just starts knocking on the window like this constant dear Enoch, and I'm just like what is going on and this is what I learned from this always pushed through awkwardness.
God will use us only push through awkward situations and again asked the question and I said Christie why are you knocking on the window and she said I feel like something is knocking at my heart. I don't know what it is, no way. That's Revelation 320 behold, I said at the door and knock. Jesus is saying anyone opens the door. I'll come in I will dine with them. I will be his friend.
I want fellowship. I say Chrissy I believe that's Jesus he wants in your life.
And then she says I'm hungry and thirsty for something I don't know what college did versus but I know worship songs.
I was an alto on the worship team. So I told her the verse I go I want to thirst no more hunger no more.
Know that Jesus is my Lord Jesus, will you sing it for me at 230 in the morning you're missing you. Okay so on. Awkwardly now, singing a song to her in the car.
No, we got our song. She goes pullover on the side of the road right now, in case I die before I get home I want Jesus in my life. I thought the roads deserted you think you could die two hours ago you thought you were immortal and so I get a taxi. I pull out a tract; what I really said to you a few hours ago. She was no no get to the end. I want Jesus in my life like like praise and I'm like honestly in my heart I was doubtful because I just thought, okay, is she a little off, you know she drives. I don't say say Chrissy if this is real meeting at noon tomorrow to talk about what this means and I thought okay because vampires are not in a shop in the middle of the day right so we will now so the next day at noon. She showed up and she's like walking toward me and she's like, find a way.
You probably shouldn't say hi yet she starts screaming Holly Holly I want to learn how to share my faith like you shared with me while Chris only want to get out so I said well let's go on the boardwalk and let's go see what God's let's go do this with God. We approach a 15-year-old blonde surfer dude named Mark and he asked a great question. He said how you know you're different. When you become a Christian.
My command, my testimony has saved as a little kid how to answer that she and her absences will mark yesterday.
Vampire am a born again Christian. Boy do I see the difference is Mark. Did you know that were more immortal.
Did you know that blood is necessary sacrifice is essential and we were made for community can I tell you how and she proceeded to say to share with him the same presentation I shared the night before that I thought was only contextualized for a vampire praise and receives Christ right there on the boardwalk same area. She did and she was not even a 12 hour night convicts me.
No one should say they're not mature enough in Christ to be able to share Christ with someone else and it shows me that none of us may be prepared to share the gospel.
I was not prepared to share the gospel and yet that is what transformed my life to be passionate about and you find out some about her dead daughter. Her dad ended up he was a Christian I was at the airport flying back home and I met a kind one and she was asking that my summer. I told her the story of what I call Christie the vampire, she brings her husband over and he says what's her name and I said, Christie, Danny, and he says her father goes to our church. We had been praying for her for five years and we have not been able to get her into a church, and now that we know she's a believer working to disciple her and follow her up and what's amazing is this pastor and his wife took her in because she ended up sharing the gospel with those 12 women, to the point where the head leader said if you do this anymore. I will take your life, and he was threatening her life that she literally moved in with the pastor and his wife that I met at the airport for her protection and for her discipleship and I just said God I've never seen someone go from darkness to light, to full transformation I want to do nothing else with my life, but share Jesus with.
See what you to law school would be pretty boring after about that.
I can also see as you talk about her dead in the pastor praying in their sooner prayers answered me is five years. At some point even give up. You know, but there's a dad there's a pastor there's probably community which sounds weird to prefer vampire daughter and you and I asked earlier. Why did she walk up, you know, we know was providential.
She walked up to you. You listen to the Jesus, the Holy Spirit spoken to her and so there's obviously as now as a mom and angst in your soul about praying right especially pray for your kids so that tells what you wrote a book about yes what I think there's two verses in the Bible that really have hit my heart on this and one is Proverbs 22, six, and it says train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.
I think about what you just said about Christie's father and how she did some kind of spiritual training and yet this verse is not meant to necessarily be a full on promise that as much as we are faithful to invest in our children spiritually. Some might become prodigal's and we need to trust God with those particles that we need to think about our responsibility as parents. Our responsibility is to train. We cannot control the outcome of our children's faith that we can control our intentionality with them and if there's one thing I'm very passionate about it that God wants us to be intentional people in all areas of our life. The second verse in the Bible that really impacted me is Deuteronomy 6, five and seven and it says this it says you shall love the Lord God with all of your heart and with all of your soul and with all of your might. In these words I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk to them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way, when you lied down and when you rise and so I started praying how I live this out practically what I wanted to really meditate on this verse and be proactive and the first thing that really stuck out to me in this verse is we are responsible to love God with all our heart. If we're not walking with the Lord. If were not being in his word and being obedient to him. We cannot impact train and disciple and influence our children second and said to teach them diligently and I believe that means we need to help them understand the word even when they're very young. My personal opinion. And yes, I only have two young kids is when they can start to walk which is about one 1 1/2 when they can start to walk. We can start to talk to them about God.
We can already have conversations before they can speak back about God saying Jesus, our need for a Savior to fully grasp it, but we begin the conversation and then we need to talk when we are at home to be a safe place right for our children. We live in a fast-paced culture and were rushing from one thing to the next and we become more task oriented than people oriented wedded that look like for you in terms of care. You are a young mom, you have little kids eat there only a year apart and it's crazy moms listen like I have hardly time to eat, let alone disciple my kids and so even for your own personal time that can be hard. How do you get that that's in the bathroom yeah like to look like because before you had kids you had time to read your Bible, and then you have kids and it's a lot tougher. We know in their firstborn. Yes, you don't get your normal quiet time if you're used to that.
So I would take a proverb a day literally one verse and say I'm in meditate on this while I'm in my tired state for the first three months of a child's life. But I do think there has to be at some point where we continue a spiritual discipline. Even with young children and so once they got on the sleep schedule, I really started to make it the norm that they weren't gonna be coming downstairs until 7 AM. We got one of those lights that light up at 7 o'clock they know they can come downstairs. I can condition them to do that.
So even at five and six. They will stay in the room and at a young age, I decided to start giving them resources to have a quiet time like mommy so they can't read yet and I got a Bible it's called my own keepsake Bible. It's a kids Bible story book to color and it's not coloring buckets and actual Bible but so many of the pages they can color and so there quiet time is coloring and then I read them the story after they color the picture so they started have their own quiet time or once my son start to learn how to read. They could read the word God. So he started to highlight the word God.
All throughout the Bible because mommy highlights in her Bible so I'm just going to give them principles as little kids to help them even think about what would it look like to have a quiet time like mommy and daddy I'm just amazed they don't come down to 70 so I do have I am more of a structured. Yes, one of the things a true passion about is playing with your kids getting them in this practice and what you developed in the book is outlined a map that moms and dads can follow so that this can become a regular practice in their home. Yes, it was literally the week before school started. This past year that God gave me this idea. Let's be intentional to pray with them his now both my kids into preschool and kindergarten site and by the 18 of my friends to join me. I said you want to join me this year and pray through a verse every day with your child before they go to school so I kinda had my tribe to figure this out with me and then I started to ask God what topics that children need to think about as they go to school. Topics like authority, respect, friends, anxiety, fear being courageous on that first week, and I looked up all the verses on that word and I chose five that I thought most would relate to the child as they go to school and then I have two verses one is the actual verse in the Bible for an older child and then they get to pray through that verse and then I paraphrase the verse in the Bible for younger child like mine that might not know some bigger words so that they too could start to understand principles in the Bible, but maybe not the exact first and so my friends and I did this for a whole year and it became very very impactful. Not my children's life, but their children's lives as well and we decided maybe this would be helpful for other families to start implementing so what does this look like, what the ghost releases at the breakfast table in the morning on the way to school with you doing and how are you doing it just give us a picture. When I try to encourage people as this is five minutes of your day, but it can be the most crucial five minutes of the day because when we start our day with God. Our perspective on everything that were gonna experience that they could change and so I encourage parents wake up five or 10 minutes earlier. Even if you're not a morning person and pray that you are filled with the spirit as you try to do this with your children and he will give you the strength to have the patience to be able to do this and then some of my friends would do this at the breakfast table before they start homeschooling some of my friends would literally do it standing up at the front door and they would then lay their hands on the kids and commission them off to school as if they are being sent ones to school every single day and then I myself would drive my children to school about 10 minutes to school and so we would read it and pray as we are heading to school in the car so I think any idea would work.
It's just as you have being intentional and being consistent with your kids.
You get them buckle with him and before you start the car. I presume you're not reading the Bible verses that you're driving you read these Bible verses and then would you pray I made pray is up how it will vote if you want yes, we would all three pray and you know mostly with little kids are any age they might start to feel like I don't want to pray today. I like oh that robots and then I just do it and so there were some days that became the discipleship moment assembled. Let's talk about that what you think we want to pray to God before we go to school honey think that would help us and that's your choice. I'm not as apparent in a force you to pray but I know my life changes when I get to pray to God before I start my day or I would ask the other child to pray first and then that the second okay I want to pray and so sometimes it even just getting into the rhythm armor then became so much so that a few weeks and I forgot the paper at home and my son said mommy did you forget the Bible verse for the day and the next mommy comforted by verse next mommy. Don't forget the Bible verse and start happen is on our evening prayers with our family summits are to pray God help me to obey the Bible verse tomorrow.
She knew a Bible verse is coming, and his heart was turning change. Help me obey the Bible verse tomorrow. What I liked about it too is since it was a theme for the week.
It gave us context to talk about a bigger topic in the Bible over the week not just a verse for the day and then tomorrow versus a different topic, so we got to focus on something which really help them grow in that area. So the theme would be, let's say, is courage. The theme of the week is courage. So each morning you have a different verse on courage. Yes, that's interesting how they pray through it.
Yeah, you think the big head is the first week because their meeting new teachers, new friends, new school, maybe this year it's gonna be a new situation. Yeah so yeah it's helping them be courageous is the mothers or families that are teenagers how they go for them stories.
How did I will leave them nameless, but I had 1/6 grader come seminar pool just two weeks ago and he said his mom said this is the one that wrote all those prayers for that devotional because wow he goes. Those were really good.
He goes better than my dad children's pastor well tell your dad that I think encourage because it's a different age group. Then my little children, you know, and it seemed that he, as a boy sixth-grader really enjoyed it so and then I know I have another woman that her daughter who is 11. Look forward to every day.
She had bullying happening in her school. She had a deal with a lot of really hard situations and her mom said that going through these prayers helped give her a foundation before she went into some very difficult situations for the year. I can imagine US what teenagers do. Like, I can imagine with younger kids. There is some excitement and anticipation them in those years. They are hanging on every word we say you start doing this with a 14-year-old. You know you haven't done this since I start praying on the way to school about a Bible verse and acrylic whatever and roll their eyes to the purchase power through that and keep going. Yes I think so.
I think it's never too late to encourage spiritual disciplines with our children and to model them ourselves and so what I would do if you have like a middle school or are a highschooler saying make an exciting thing like I want to grow in God together. I want us to be united in doing something that will help us both understand the Bible and live it out. Can we please try this, let's try it for a month and let's see if this impacts our life, so you don't have to commit them or for some to do it for a year, but they can we try this together and see if this only bonds us but helps us to become greater influences around us to get caught in it together. I'm imagining and will some hearing this conversation back a few years ago when you still had kids at home and I'm getting five copies of that book.
I totally would because I was doing it on the fly. But I what I've seen to with high school middle school kids are still soaking it in. Then he rolled her eyes sometimes or generally quiet but what I found was in high school are going to hard things middle school is rough and it's interesting because they are so desperate that they'll take God's word, and they're kinda clinging to it. So one of our sons was going through some stuff and I would take these little flat rocks that I found and I would write a Bible verse on it and he would have it in his pocket out all day and I to hate when it gets rough pull that verse out. Lord help me remind this is what's going on like pray this verse.
This maybe will help you. So then income the next week or something else was going on he say Katie had another rock like what so she said my friend in track needs one is really stressing about the meat tonight and so I'd write this little verse on this rock I saw that guy have a couple years ago when he was 27 and he said Mrs. Wilson, I want to tell you that Scripture you put on that rock was like my lifeline for the year and so we think kids are interested at that age does kids are going through rough stuff and God's word is a comfort and a stabilizer to their souls and to have a play on prepared for.
That's the part that so good it's done for us already.
All you have to do is just going to follow the instructions of the spiritual cookbook with her kids. Here's the recipe again due to your point, there's no guarantee that the cakes could've turned out the what you want at the turnout there is not a promise from Proverbs but there is a principal here in Proverbs that when we train up a child in the way you should go. That's our job and God is good to meet us there.
And thanks for the intentionality.
It's a tool that helps parents. It may be our necessarily intentional to be intentional. Go follow the plan heart is Evans who will guide us in the moms and dads who are just like in Wilson 15 copies of the book go to our website. Family life today.com order copies infected were doing this week or to send you a copy. Any family like today listener who can make a donation to help support the ongoing work of this ministry.
Holly's book, playing with your kids before school is our gift to you our way of saying thank you for your support of this ministry. So here's the deal, you're helping reach hundreds of thousands of people every day with practical biblical help and hope for the marriage and family by supporting family life today and as a thank you gift to get Holly's book, playing with your kids before school family life today.com to my, donation or call one 800 FL today donate over the phone again. The website is family life today.com if you'd like to donate online or to donate by phone, call one 803 586-329-1800 F as in family L as in life and them the word today, tomorrow, or to continue talking about ways we can engage with our kids and get them focused looking in the right direction.
Think about the right thing before we send them off to school wherever were sending them this or that looks like for you Holly. Milton joins us again tomorrow.
Hope you can join us as well like our engineer today.
Keith Lynch along with our entire broadcast production team on behalf of our hosts David and Wilson Bob Lapine see you back next time for another edition of family life today.
Family life today is a production of family life of Little Rock, Arkansas crew ministry help for today hope for tomorrow