Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Raise them Right!

I may be a bit biased, but I think my parents are the best. The principles they instilled in us as we were growing up are still ones that I live by to this day. Sure, they disciplined us and set rules for us, but they taught us to love Jesus and live our lives for Him.

You've heard me talk about my seeing my parent doing their own devotions each morning. But somehow, they taught us to get to know Jesus ourselves.

I started to think about ways that they instilled these Biblical truths - and I came up with a list. This is by no means all inclusive, but it is just a few of the things my parents did to raise us to love the Lord.

1. Church was a priority. Sure, you can say that we HAD to go because my dad was a pastor. But going to church was not an issue - it was something we did as a family. We've joked before that you went to church no matter what unless you were throwing up. And then, after you threw up, you would probably feel well enough to go ahead and go. ha. But seriously, I NEVER heard my parents trying to decide whether or not we were going to church. And so, we never even considered asking, "Do I have to go to church this time?" It was just what we did!

We were involved - Sunday School, Sunday morning church, Sunday evening church and the kid's program on Wednesday nights. As a result, our closest friends were those whose parent's also made church a priority. My best friend in high school went to a public school (while I went to the Christian school). However, she was just as involved as I was. And so, we became very close. Lisa is who I sat with at Sunday night church - she went to the youth activities - she was always at Sunday School - she sang in the youth choir - we had similar goals and became great friends.

So, parents, if you want your kids to pick the right friends...get them hanging around the right people! (And it probably will help them date the right people, as well. It worked for Amy and I). I am also thankful that my in-laws raised Jeremiah in the same way. It sure makes it a lot easier to decide how we will raise Hudson.

If you are going to church as a family and doing more as a family, you're going to be closer as a family.

2. We listened to Christian Radio. Each morning, as we got ready for school, we listened to Christian radio. In fact, that is the only radio station we were ever tuned to. Music was a big influence in our family's lives. We played instruments and sang. Christian radio provided another avenue for truth to be instilled in us.

I can remember a little song we used to listen to as kids. "Input. Output. What goes in is what comes out. Input. Output. That is what it's all about....Daily you must choose." The more good influences our parents surrounded us with, the more we loved Jesus.

We supported Christian radio financially as well. I can remember "pledging" at sharathons as a kid. In doing so, my parents were teaching us the importance of supporting the right things.

3. Family Devotions.  Each morning before school, we would have family devotions. It may have only been about 10 minutes long, but it was a great way to start our day right.

Sometimes, if we were running late, it may have just been a prayer time. We would each take the time to pray - teaching us the importance of prayer and the power behind it.

Other times we would use a devotional book. One that we regularly used was Keys for Kids. My sister just reminded me of this little book. You can still get it sent to you for free through the mail. Or you can listen to/read them online. We would also listen to Uncle Charlie on the radio. However, these daily devotionals were great for our family devo time. It would just be a short story and a Bible verse. Amy and I would try to guess the "key" for each day based on the subject matter of the story and verse.

4. Adventures in Odyssey. We listened to this A LOT.

And still, to this day, I tune in to listen online from time to time. I can remember it coming on the radio on Saturday mornings - mom would have us cleaning our rooms as the same time. Even last week on Saturday morning, I listened to an online episode while doing a little house cleaning. You can listen too here.

5. Feature Films for Families.  I respect the fact that what my parents wanted us to watch is what they watched. I can remember having a huge selection of movies for Feature Films for Families. Did anyone else watch "The ButterCream Gang" or "Rigoletto" when they were younger? I could probably still sing all the songs from Rigoletto. They are still quality family movies - I am glad that my parents were selective in what we watched.

I'm sure there were many other ways I can list. I am hoping to be able to raise Hudson as my parents raised me. Even now, I read from one of his Bible story books each morning. He seems to love this time. He just stares up into my face. I know that he isn't taking in every word I read, however, I don't think it is ever too early to begin to share God's Word with my son. I guess he can say he's had "daily devotions" since he came home from the hospital. ha.

My dad is currently doing a message series on parenting. You can follow along on his blog here. Although my parents aren't perfect, I sure am proud to say they are my mom and dad. I have a huge sense of Covey Pride. And I think that is largely due to the fact that my parents invested in us and taught us to love Jesus.

Here are his sermons so far in this series. You can either read it or listen to the audio.
Raising a 21st Century Child - Parenting is Spiritual
Instilling God's Wisdom in your Child's Heart

What did you parents do to help raise you to love the Lord? 


  1. My mom also ordered the featured films for families movies. Rigoletto was one of my favorites!

  2. I love the blog post! I am so thankful and proud of you both. Thankful that God has the best plan for raising a family. I am also so glad that I had ears to hear and a heart to obey as a young mother. God is so good!

    Love, Mom

  3. #2...I TOTALLY know what cassette tape that song is from! It was a Gaither Kids tape! That was a huge favorite.

    And Keys for Kids is based out of Grand Rapids, MI. I saw Uncle Charlie at a convention 2 years was awesome :)

  4. What a truly beautiful gift your parents gave you that you can now pass on...