Monday, October 15, 2012

Day 15 ~ Building Hope in Your Children

Let’s face it, when you and I were kids, the world seemed to be a better place. Not as violent. Not as immoral. Not as threatening to children. I’m sure this is no news flash to you. So how do we build hope in our children when the world we live in keeps getting worse?

We build it on the sure foundation of Christ.

I remember singing a hymn called “The Solid Rock” as a child. The lyrics started out: “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.”

Isn’t that where we should start with our kids? By teaching them that their hope cannot be based on circumstances or people, but on the promises of God and who they are in Christ?

The song "In Christ Alone" would be a great one to listen to, or better yet, learn together. Even simple songs like “Jesus Loves Me” and “Amazing Grace” can instill hope in a child’s heart at a very young age.

Memorizing scripture is another way to build hope in your children. Right now, our family is trying to commit Psalm 139 to memory. What better way to reinforce the fact that God made us for a specific purpose as he “knit us together” in our mother’s womb! How can you read the words of this beautiful psalm and NOT feel hope?

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.

If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
Psalm 139:7-14 (NIV)

Sometimes I can’t remember my own cell phone number, but the verses I memorized as a child have been seared into my memory forever! And those same verses have given me hope many times just when I needed it. Never underestimate the power of God’s Word to build hope in your children.

Be open with your children about the world we live in. Let them know that the only One who can change this world and offer hope is Jesus. Pray with them when they voice fears and concerns about the future, always pointing them to the Source of true hope.

Even in today’s world, it’s possible to instill hope in your children. The words of Jesus in John 16:33 assure us of true hope: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

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