Laying a Foundation in your Family

There’s nothing more important than raising up the next generation to know & follow Jesus - and no one has more potential to influence a child’s relationship with God than a parent! We might know that - but what does it look like to lay a foundation of faith in your family? Throughout the Bible, parents are instructed to ‘train up a child in the way he should go…’ (Proverbs 22:6) and to ‘impress (God’s commandments) on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.’ (Deuteronomy 6:6-9)

In other words, not just when you’re at church - but all the time! In those ‘teachable moments’ along the way as well as intentional times of family worship & devotions at home. Getting started can be hard, a little awkward, slightly less than perfect, and a lot shorter than you’d like - but don’t get discouraged and don’t give up! You’re taking an important first step that will reap benefits for years… and generations to come. Here are some practical tools to help along the way!

IT STARTS WITH YOU
We can only give away what we've already received from God. Make sure you are spending time with God daily and living a life worth imitating!

INVEST IN RELATIONSHIPS
Set aside a day, evening, or even an hour for family time each week, a date with your spouse if you're married, play time, sabbath rest, church community, and other important practices and rhythms. Kids learn the most by watching the important people in their life and by participating in what's really important to your family! At the Kubiak house, Gwyn & I have a date night every Tuesday (even if it's at home), Wednesdays or Thursdays we're with our church family (they look forward to it!), Friday nights are family night, Saturdays are sabbath rest and Sundays we're at church. Make time for what's important in your family!

SET A TIME
I’ve found that what doesn’t make it on the calendar rarely gets done around our house. Intentionally set aside time to teach, train and disciple your family in God’s Word. Family Worship looks different for every family and happens at a time and frequency that works for your family. Some families might have devotions every day, others once a week, and others are just getting started!

At the Kubiak home, we do this for 15 minutes or so over breakfast in the morning. In other seasons, we have done our Family Time in the 15 minutes before bed. Find a time that works for your family.

HAVE A PLAN
Keep it simple and remember that doing something is better than being overwhelmed about trying to do everything and ending up doing nothing. At the Kubiak home, our time together looks something like this…

1 | Worship. We put on a worship song (sometimes a ‘kid’ song, other times a song they might have heard at church) and share what we’re thankful for or excited about that day. We also try to pick one thing about God to thank Him for. We might even clap or shout it out loud!
(Example: ‘God, thank you that you are so GOOD! Woohoo!) 
Recommended Resource: Antioch Shoreline Spotify

2 | Declarations. We prayerfully decide on a short statement that we are believing for/would like to see growth in for each of our kids. This is speaking truth & identity over your child. As Romans 4:17 says, God ‘calls those things which do not exist as though they did.’ We usually all cheer together ‘YES, YOU ARE!’ afterward. (Example: ‘I am a man of God who listens to obey.’)

3 | Scripture Memory. We sing or say a memory verse together each day. This is often the verse they are memorizing at Antioch Kids each week, but we have also selected verses for our family is focusing on for a week or even a month. You might even use flash cards!
Recommended Resource: Seeds Family Worship

4 | Read the Bible & Talk. Read a short section of the Bible or a page from a Children’s Bible together. Many provide questions to discuss together. We often ask ‘Discovery Bible Study’ questions (What is the main point? What do we learn about God? People/Ourselves? What will we do today?) Our kids often have questions of their own. Go with those!
Recommended Resource: The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones

5 | Pray & Bless. Ask your kids how you can pray for the and share how they can pray for you. Pray for others. Ask if anyone feels like God is saying anything today. Most importantly, actually pray together!
Recommended Resource: Antioch Daily Prayer Guide

That’s It! Pretty simple, huh? 1 Corinthians 3:6 #plantseeds

OTHER RESOURCES
Parenting Without Regret by Jimmy & Laura Seibert
Right Now Media - Absolutely free access to the biggest video Bible Study library in the world. It even includes family-friendly shows like Veggie Tales & more!