Are you as overwhelmed as I am with what’s going on in our country and our world right now? The brokenness that surrounds us grieves me deeply. And I think about what my kids will experience as they grow up and all I want to do is shield them from it all. Seriously, can we all just wake up in heaven tomorrow?
My kids are still very young so there is a lot of shielding still happening around here. But we are also aware that we need to be preparing them to survive in this broken reality. I don’t want them adding to the pain that surrounds us, but be a part of the healing change that this world so desperately needs. But that’s a big task as parents…so we take it one bite at a time. One teaching moment at a time.
And yesterday was one of those sweet teaching moments that I wanted to share. And don’t get me wrong, they haven’t mastered it all of a sudden. This is one of those things we will probably have to repeat 20 million times for the kids to actually retain it. But it’s a work in progress!
Years ago, I created a list of character qualities based on the alphabet that I wanted to see my kids embrace and live out. And there is a Bible verse that goes with each one too. The “Megan of today” is definitely reaping the benefits of the overly organized and intentional “Megan of years ago” that wrote this!! But I’m so grateful that God used me in that season for my family now.
So each week we go through one letter of the alphabet with a character quality and a verse. We write it on the chalkboard in our kitchen and we talk about it…all week. We memorize the verse and we even have a journal so the kids can draw about it too. Here are some of their drawings…
Now, we have definitely had those times where a quality stayed on the board a little longer. So far, CONTENT holds the record for the longest on the board. That’s a big one for my kids to learn (and me too!). Last week we talked about DO. “Whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God.” We had some great conversations about how we can glorify God in our actions.
And this week we got to the letter E…ENCOURAGE. Hebrews 3:13 says, “Encourage one another daily.” I thought this was a perfect verse that spoke directly to my grieving heart about everything going on around us today. If my kids can learn how to encourage others, then they’ll be able to rise above tragedies that strike our world and be a voice of healing to others.
Now if you know my husband at all, you know he’s a great teacher. He can make complicated things seem easy and understandable. So it was no big thing for him to take a few minutes to teach the kids about encouragement. Remember, one teaching moment at a time is how we do this as parents. But I love what he shared with the kids…the word “encourage” means “to pour courage into”. When we encourage another person we are filling their heart and soul with courage to accomplish the daunting task in front of them. Seasons of emotional emptiness and despair can fall upon anyone and Hebrews 3:13 charges us to let our daily speech and actions pour courage into those whose strength is fading. I’m sure you can think of someone right now who needs a little courage. Maybe it’s even you.
Well, I just so happened to catch Ben sharing this on video too! If you have five minutes, you can see the object lesson he used to illustrate this to the kids…
But can you imagine what our world would look like if we all took the time to pour courage into someone else? Well, it would look a little more like heaven every day! And it doesn’t have to be big. Like Ben mentioned to the kids in the video, it can be serving someone around you to help make the load lighter for them. It can be a hug or a handwritten note to someone who is walking through a valley in life. Just yesterday on the news, I saw how people were outside of police stations to shake hands and give cookies to thank the police for their service (who isn’t encouraged by cookies?!). That’s pouring courage into someone.
So that’s what we will focus on as a family this week. We will be intentional in loving others. We will #PourCourage into the people around us and post about it. Want to join us?
PS…We are working on creating a resource to share the ABC’s of Character with you!