Our firstborn turned six years old and started kindergarten, both this week. Needless to say, I’ve been a bit teary-eyed at times about my baby boy growing up. His growth and health are good things. I know. And I’m grateful to the Lord for our son’s life and for the opportunity we have to be his mommy and daddy.
With opportunity comes responsibility – the huge responsibility (and privilege) of pointing him to Christ every day of his life. To do so some days is easier than others. There are days when my own sin rears it ugly head, and I mess up – big time. Then I am reminded of God’s grace, His gift of repentance, and his promise in Lamentations 3:22-23: “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
And I say thank you! Thank you, Lord, for being faithful even when I’m an unfaithful mess.
As I was putting our son to bed last night after a full day of celebrating his birthday, I was wondering if I had shown him more of Christ in my life in the past year of his life, and what I could do to help him know Christ more by his next birthday.
Those are weighty thoughts to ponder at bedtime. But necessary ones in the lives of parents who seek to raise their children to love the Lord.
In the upcoming October 2016 issue of AFA Journal (which will be available in print and online mid-September), Teddy James discusses various tools and resources that parents can use to teach their children biblical doctrine and theology. The resources are easy to understand and use and parents usually end up learning from them too. I’ve used several of them with our children already, and they are excellent. You can preview two of the tools here and here. Then visit afajournal.org in September to get the full story.
In the meantime, I encourage you to check out Fruit-Full Kids. I was recently introduced to this business that seeks to “make family mealtime more meaningful” with BPA-free, dishwasher safe, non-breakable plates that feature Scripture verses and kid-friendly designs. Created by a mother of four, the plates can be used to foster teachable moments about Christian character at the dinner table.
“Our products resonate with families who are looking for simple, fun ways to be intentional about their parenting,” said Fruit-Full Kids founder Laurie Canata.
I do need to make a disclaimer, though. The Fruit-Full Kids website encourages using the plates as rewards for good Christian character displayed in your children. They were actually created as an incentive for children to “be good” and “do good.” While rewarding good behavior is appropriate at times, I think there is a greater responsibility here to use the plates as conversation starters for discussions about biblical truth.
I always want to be cautious and careful not to teach my children a works-based salvation. Salvation is not the reward of good works but instead it is the result of personally trusting in the finished work of Christ on the cross. My goal is not to raise good children but godly children.
That being said, the plates will grab your children’s attention and create an opportunity for you teach them the Word of God and even talk to them about the importance of giving to others.
Fruit-Full Kids pledges 10% of net sales to Samaritan’s Purse Fruit Tree Program, which provides needy villages with fruit tree seedlings that, when planted and matured, produce fruit for the village families to eat, sell, and/or trade.
Canata wrote on the company’s website: “Our company strives to inspire fruitful lives, and this partnership allows us to be fruitful – literally – around the world.”
Editor’s Note: Fruit-Full Kids has 16 plate designs, including all nine fruit of the Spirit, three bonus designs, a birthday plate, and several upcoming holiday designs including Thanksgiving and Christmas plates. Individual plates can be purchased for $6.95 each or a set of three plates for $19.95. For more information or to place an order, click here or call 855-743-7848.