May 21/2017

The Family Kitchen Table

a moment for families and couples


What do I do if our children question their faith?

When we have prayed over, and for, our children and have done all we can to ensure that they have every chance to grow in their faith, it can be unsettling when our children challenge the values and faith you worked so diligently to instill. These doubts can scare us, and cause us to worry that our children are walking away from their faith. However, doubt can be an important step towards a deeper faith, if we use those doubts to wrestle with God. The Psalms are full of verses that talk openly about doubt and struggle. It is when we reach this point of honesty in our walk with the Lord, that the richness of relationship with Him is experienced. It is better to move forward exploring the things we don’t fully understand this side of heaven instead of brushing off doubts as something bad. If we are not allowed to question, then our faith will never grown roots. It is in pouring out our doubts and concerns to God that we find God faithful. As we search for God and ask for answers is when we find Him and will be drawn back into relationship.

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” ~Jeremiah 29:13 (NIV)

May 14/2017

The Family Kitchen Table

a moment for families and couples

“Get Outside and stay out!” How many of us remember our moms telling us that or how many of us have actually said that to our kids. With great weather upon us let’s enjoy the benefits of spending time with our families outside. Here are some benefits. (Adapted from Family Fire)

Outdoor time blesses our health. Fresh air, sunshine, and exercise are good for the body. Childhood obesity is a national concern and active playtime is part of the answer. Our best source of Vitamin D, which strengthens immune systems and helps fight disease, is the sun--and only 10 minutes of sunlight per day gives us more than our bodies can use! Parents worry, plan healthy meals, and try to make their kids exercise when many of their health concerns can be alleviated through regular outdoor play.

Outdoor time builds self-esteem. Parents fearing for the safety of their children sometimes opt to keep them close. This hovering can cause children to be uncertain of their own capabilities. Many children do not have a comfort level outdoors. Because they do not interact with nature on a regular basis, they are unsure about climbing a tree, catching a frog, jumping in the mud. The wildness of it feels more like an episode of River Monsters and less like a scene from Little House on the Prairie. It is unknown, unexplored, uncertain. As children grow in their ability to master new situations, confidence grows.

Outdoor time introduces us to God. If we read through the beginning of Genesis, we find that God rejoiced in the wonder of his creation. He was excited for people to subdue the earth, to revel in it, to eat of it and to live freely and confidently in it. God’s creativity and thoughtfulness shine through the details around us. Psalm 19:1 says, " The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork." When we walk through creation, we catch a glimpse of God's mind, of his dreams. We see what God himself thinks is good. Living into the direction he gave us, surrounded by his creation, can bring us closer to him.

Outdoor time blesses us with adventure. Imagine sitting down with your children for dinner and asking them about their time outside. Imagine the ways they would be able to reflect, not only on the fun and exercise they enjoyed, but on the many ways they saw God’s work around them and got to participate in his world. It is time to do more than open the windows. It is time to venture back outside to play in creation again!


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