Labor Really Begins After Birth

 Oh, my dear children! I feel as if I’m going through labor pains for you again, and they will continue until Christ is fully developed in your lives.
Galatians 4:19

Paul told the Galatians that he was laboring as in birth to see that they fully know Christ. It is imperative that we as parents follow his example.  We are well aware of the labor of childbirth to bring about physical birth, but are we aware that the labor doesn’t stop there?  The labor in childbirth brings forth the physical body which is only temporal, but our child has a spirit as well which is eternal.  Therefore, shouldn’t there be more labor in spiritual training than in physical ?

It takes time and effort to see that Christ is developed in our child.  Susanna Wesley knew this very well.   She spent an hour a week individually with each of her 10 children, helping he or she to be totally submitted to God.  When asked about her method of preparing her children for spiritual maturity she replied:

“No one can, without renouncing the world, in the most literal sense, observe my method; and there are few, if any, that would entirely devote above twenty years of the prime of life in hopes to save the souls of their children, which they think may be saved without so much ado; for that was my principal intention, however unskillfully and unsuccessfully managed.”

So exactly what is involved in this labor?

The labor actually begins when we start to discipline the child.  Even as infants, children do not wish to be disciplined.  As we try to get our child to obey, we begin to feel the pain of the child pulling away from any restrictions we put on him..  If we tell a 2 year old to pick up his toys, he is going to see if we really mean it. If  we have reached the teen years and still haven’t dealt with the issue of obedience, it is not too late, but the labor is going to be more intense. It would be much less painful for us just to let the 2 year old’s disobedience go unpunished, or to not put our teenager on restriction. But when we realize we are training our child’s spirit which is the way he or she will respond to God, we should be willing to labor in disciplining.

Next, there is much effort and time that must be spent in teaching the Word to the child.  Deuteronomy 11:19 says: “And you shall teach them your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” 

That’s a plethora of teaching and it will take preparation on our part to study the Word so we can teach it as we go on our way with our children; as we have times of teaching as we sit in our house; when we tuck our children in at night; and when we get them up in the mornings.

Also included in this labor is time spent in earnest prayer.  It is important to pray about each issue in our child’s life, no matter what age they are or how large or small the situation.  An old preacher named Oliver Price once said,  “God works in the child’s life through the parent and the parent works in the child’s life through prayer.”   Job got up early in the morning to pray for his children as recorded in Job 1:5 “…Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said it may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts.  Thus did Job continually.”

As I read the Bible, I like to find verses to pray for my children.  An example is 1 Peter 3:11 – pray that he or she will “turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it.”

We can prepare our children for living in these troubled days and it is imperative that we do.  This is the most important labor you will ever do.  Trust me, it is worth it!!!  God will not forget your labor of love with your children.  Afterwards you will realize a peaceful harvest of right living for your children; see God’s Word prospering in them; realize answers to your earnest prayers for them, and you will have no greater joy than hearing your children are walking in the Truth.

Hebrews 6:10
For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown in his name, having helped the saints.

Hebrews 12:11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening–it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.

Isaiah 55:11 It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.

James 5:16 The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.

3 John 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in truth.

 

 

 

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Christ is Risen!!

IT’S SUNDAY MORNING!

“Low in the grave He lay, Jesus my Savior,
waiting the coming day, Jesus my Lord!
Vainly they watch his bed, Jesus my Savior,
vainly they seal the dead, Jesus my Lord!
Death cannot keep its prey, Jesus my Savior;
He tore the bars away, Jesus my Lord!”
Up from the grave He arose;
with a mighty triumph o’er his foes;
He arose a victor from the dark domain,
and He lives forever, with His saints to reign.
He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!”


I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me—that Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, as the Scriptures said.

1 Cor. 15:3-4

Rejoice for this validates everything that Jesus did and said! It also grants us a confirmed hope! We who are alive in Christ will one day be reunited with those who are asleep in Christ!

The sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over us, but all who receive God’s wonderful, gracious gift of righteousness will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:17

Make Easter a family time of worshiping together and thinking about the risen Lord:

  • Start the morning with Resurrection Rolls and notice they are empty on the inside like the tomb!
  • Watch the sunrise and think on that first Easter sunrise when The Son rose!!
  • Read the Easter story together from Matthew 27-28, Mark 15 – 16, or Luke 23-24.
  • Sing praises together.  Hooray is one song that children really love about the empty tomb.  It is from Every Song a Bible Story from Maranatha Music.

Happy Easter from my family to yours!

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Day Seven of Keeping Christ in Easter

He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.
Matthew 28:6


Read about what was happening on Day Seven of Passion Week. It was a dark day for Jesus’ disciples – they thought He was in the tomb, but they could not imagine what He was actually up to during their darkest moments!!

Emphasize all day that when things look dark in our lives, God is busy at work, taking care of the things that concern us, even though we can’t see it.


Make an empty tomb with just a paper plate cut in half.  Color back side of one half of the plate brown. Color the top side of the other black which will be the inside of the tomb.  Cut a stone out of the brown side.  Staple the two sides together.  You can crumple a piece of brown paper for the stone.

Get complete instructions here to make an Easter Garden.

Tell the Easter Story with this Easter Cookie recipe. This is complete instructions with scriptures to share as you make the cookies.   When done, the cookies are empty just like the tomb.

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Day Six of Keeping Christ in Easter

picture from Read and Share Bible

I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me—that Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said.  He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, as the Scriptures said.
1 Cor. 15:3-4

Day Six of Passion Week is the day that Jesus was put on the cross.  It is  the most crucial focal point in history. Think with your children about the agony He went through  – betrayal, arrest, false accusations, abandonment, beatings, harassment, and finally being nailed to a cross. –  all this for someone else’s sins.   It’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming is a video that depicts some of what was happening.

Resurrection Eggs is a wonderful teaching aid for helping your children visualize what Jesus was going through.  Each egg contains a different symbol such as 3 coins, leather strip, crown of thorns, 3 nails, etc.   It comes with a booklet telling the story related to each symbol and can be purchased at most Christian book stores.  Click here for excellent instructions on making your own!

Save your colored egg shells to make a cross like the one in this picture.  Cut a cross out of cardboard; cover it in glue; then sprinkle the crushed egg shells on it.  Share with your children as you are making this that just as these egg shells are broken to make a beautiful picture, Jesus’ body was broken for us us to make our lives beautiful and free from the punishment for sin.

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Day Five of Keeping Christ in Easter

“If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.”
Mark 9:35

Read about the full day Jesus had as His impending death was fast approaching on Day Five of Passion Week.

During His Last Supper that evening, His disciples were arguing about who would have the greatest positions.  He settled the argument by washing their feet and demonstrating that the greatest among them truly was the Servant of all.  (We might use this the next time there’s an argument over who gets to sit where, etc.  Say, ‘the one with the servant attitude will have the favor’)

Read the story from a children’s Bible.  This picture is taken from My Awesome God Bible Storybook .

Act out the story.

Follow Jesus’ example. Wash each other’s feet.  All day long talk about and look for ways to serve one another.

Color Eggs. Tell your children you are serving them by boiling the eggs for them to color.  Then as you color them, talk about why eggs are colored at Easter time.

  • Eggs represent new life which can remind us of the new life Christ Jesus gives us by what He did on the Cross for us.   Share this scripture: When someone becomes a Christian, he becomes a brand new person inside. He is not the same anymore. A new life has begun! – 2 Cor. 5:17 (Living)
  • The colored eggs remind us of how beautiful our world is as the earth comes back to life again with colorful flowers, new leaves, and green grass in the Spring as all creation seems to rejoice that Jesus is alive (Matt. 28:6)! Share these scripture:
    Jesus makes all things new.
    Revelation 21:5
    God gives us all things to enjoy. 1 Tim. 6:17
    All Your works shall praise You, O Lord . . . Psalm 145:10

 

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