A while back a friend of mine got a dog to help her adjust to the empty nest of the school year, with her last child going off to elementary school. To say a few things changed when Marley arrived is an understatement.
Here’s a series of Facebook posts that followed in the days after Marley’s arrival:
“Welcome to the family! We rescued Marley yesterday, and the kids could not be happier!”
“Seriously… Was last night like the coldest night of the year? Seems cruel for my first night of dog walking!”
“Crate training day 1: Me 0 Marley 1.”
“Trying to get used to the fact that I am now being followed 24/7.”
The last comment makes me laugh. It seems my friend has found a lifetime buddy and will not lack companionship during the day while her kids are at school.
Just like sweet little Marley hates to be separated from his new mom, God hates to be separated from us. He desires for us to abide in Him. When we abide in Him, He abides with us.
If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. John 15:7
The definition of abide is to remain; continue; staying. This indicates continuing action.
So how do we do that? And how do we teach our kids to abide in Him?
Don’t worry, this scripture does not suggest that we should always be on our knees praying or at church every day. After all, we have jobs to do, families to take care of, and school to attend. Instead, we can build simple practices into our day that keep us connected to our Heavenly Father.
Here are just a few ways we can abide in Christ, and show our kids how to remain in Him too
1.Take 5 to 10 minutes a day to read your Bible and a devotional for yourself, and one that is age-appropriate with our children. If your kids are between 4 – 8 years, I suggest you check out The Purpose Driven Life 100 Illustrated Devotions for Children by Rick Warren. Adapted from the #1 international bestseller, The Purpose Driven Life, it helps little ones grow confident of their value in God
2.Choose a challenging life circumstance where you need God’s help and find scripture on that topic. Memorize the verse and pray it specifically for this situation. Parents can make it easy for children by writing the scripture on a card so they can take it with them wherever they go.
3.Pray regularly. We don’t have to wait for dinner or bedtime to offer up thanks and share troubles with God. He is just as approachable and accessible as a good friend.
4.Write in a journal, and as your kids get older they can start one too. They can record their responses to the scripture verses they read, make a list of the things they are thankful for, and keep track of ways God has answered their prayers.
Consistency is the key to cultivate any relationship, especially the way we abide in God. It’s that consistency that opens up the line of communication between us and our Father in Heaven. This makes a way for God to reaffirm our value in Him.
I rarely see Facebook updates about my friend’s dog anymore. My friend is accustomed to the fact that she will never again be alone in her house. And you are never alone either. God is always with God you.
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How does it encourage you to know that when you abide with God, He abides with you? In what areas of your life do you long for more of His presence? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!