Bible Memory Verses- Level Two

After our most simple verses were memorized, I started adding these one at a time.  Both my 5 and my 7-year-old now have 196 verses memorized!  Not because I’m so great or because they’re such geniuses but because we practice, we sing, we repeat over and over again, and we keep them out and handy or on our walls.  You child can do it too, one verse at a time!

Click here for 11 Tips on How to Teach Your Child to Memorize Bible Verses

Click here to see my list of Beginner Bible Verses for Age Two and Up.
Little children, keep yourself from idols. 1 John 5:21

Let us not love in word… but in deed 1 John 3:18

Give me now wisdom and knowledge… 2 Chronicles 1:10a

All unrighteousness is sin. 1John 5:17

…ye are the temple of the living God… 2 Corinthians 6:16

And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. 1 Timothy 6:8

Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Romans 12:9b

Be ye thankful . Colossians 3:15b

God is light and in him is no darkness at all 1John 1:5

The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. Psalm 33:5

We love him, because he first loved us. 1John 4:19

Wisdom is better than strength Ecclesiastes 9:16a

It is his (the wise man’s) glory to pass over a transgression. (to overlook someone’s wrongdoing to you) Proverbs 19:11

There is none righteous, no not one. Romans 3:10

Great is our Lord, and of great power. Psalm 147:5

Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath James 1:29b

Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27b

Charity shall cover the multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8b

God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. James 4:6b

Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself Mark 12:31a

And the Lord gave Solomon wisdom 1 Kings 5:12

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made Psalm 139:14a

If ye love me, keep my commandments John 14:15

Abstain from all appearance of evil 1 Thessalonians 5:22

If any would not work, neither should he eat. 2 Thessalonians 3:10b

…let us love one another: for love is of God 1John 4:7

In God have I put my trust Psalm 56:11a

O Praise the Lord, all ye nations: praise him all ye people. Psalm 117:1

He that hath an ear, let him hear Revelation 2:7

Be content with such things as ye have. Hebrews 13:5

Follow me, and I will make you fisthers of men Matthew 4:19

Keep they heart with all diligence Proverbs 4:23

As for God, his way is perfect 2 Samuel 22:31a

As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me. Psalm 55:16

He must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:30

We ought to obey God rather than men Acts 5:29b

But godliness with contentment is great gain. 1 Timothy 6:6

Be ye holy; for I am holy. 1 Peter 1:16

A wise man is strong Proverbs 24:5

God is my strength and power; and he maketh my way perfect. 2 Samuel 22:33

Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near Isaiah 55:6


Notes from Homeschool Conference

I recently went to a homeschool conference and got to hear some great speakers!  Here are some of my random notes!…

Below are my notes from Carol Barnier, who is HILARIOUS!  She had me crackin’ up!  Her website devoted to helping families with a distractable child (including ADHD and children on the autism spectrum) is here.

—“If you want to thrill me on our anniversary, don’t take me on a cruise, bring me home a quality microscope or a fetal pig floating in formaldehyde.”

—“Elimination diet- we tried it and the only thing it eliminated was family harmony!”

—“When we married, we were shallow and materialistic. We only cared about a nice car, big house, and stuff. We practically fell into homeschooling, kicking and screaming.”

—“When people ask, “Why do you have so many children?” Pull out a hole-punch card and say, “Doctor says if we get to 11, the 12th one is free, Daddy loves a deal!”

—“If you’re going to choose to homeschool…
-Say goodbye to your dust rag
-Purchase at least one denim jumper- the homeschoolers uniform
-Put an ABC chart in your minivan because you will homeschool there.”

—“If you put two homeschoolers in a room, you’re going to get three opinions.”

—“There’s pressure in the homeschool community to have quiet, calm, perfectly-behaved children. Be set free from this pressure!! Don’t react harshly to your child because you’re worried about how YOU look to others- that’s called pride.”

—“There is no second-class status in God’s family.  You don’t have to feel inferior to someone who seemingly is a spiritual giant.”

—“Just like you don’t criticize a work of art before it’s completed, don’t criticize your child- God’s not done with them yet either.”

—“There are many advantages homeschoolers have over public school children.  For one, we don’t have to deal with our children being bullied on the school bus. 160,000 kids miss the bus daily to avoid bullying.  Truly an issue we don’t have to deal with.”

—“Don’t feel bad for your child if they are a sibling of a special needs child.  They have it easier than your child with special needs, they are the ones at an advantage even if you feel like you spend all your time on your SN child.  The sibling advantages:
-Less judgmental of others, they don’t think mom has to perpetually entertain them, they are more considerate of others that don’t fit in, they are independent creators that will grow up to do really neat things.”

—“You will always need patience, the need doesn’t go away, there will always be challenges that require patience.”

—“Your children are not really yours. It will change how you parent and homeschool when you realize you need to carry out GOD’S plan for your child, instead of your own.”

Notes from Todd Friel:

—“God is more interested in your holiness than in your comforts.”

—“God doesn’t say, ‘Oh, you’re a homeschool family, I’ll make your children behave perfectly.'”

Notes from Crystal Paine, Money Saving Mom:

—“Train your children so well at chores that they work you out of a job.”

—“Step back and look at all the work that needs to be done and realize your children are your God-given, built-in servants!  Homeschooling is a full-time job in and of itself, let your children do the chores.”  It is one of the best gifts her parents gave her, a strong work ethic.

—“It’s just a couch, it’s not worth anger or frustration or cutting into your daughter’s heart (young daughter put 5 cuts in the new couch using scissors).”

—“At the store when your children ask for something, simply say, “Did you bring your money?” If they have enough for something, let them buy most anything they choose. Later, when they get home and that $3 toy breaks, discuss the lessons of that.”  You don’t have to feel pressured to make a decision at the store whether or not to buy it, you ask them how much money they have.

—“It’s powerful for your kids to make a meal sacrifice (beans and rice for dinner) and give that money to children in absolute poverty.”

—“Shave 1-3% on your grocery bill next month. That’s do-able, achievable.”  Keep doing that until you reach a number that works well for your family.

—“To save money, just use less.  Use less meat, use it as a condiment instead of as a main (meat in a casserole/ soup instead of an entire meatloaf).  Use less laundry soap, dish soap, shampoo, etc.  I don’t know who writes those bottle instructions, but you do not need that much soap!  Try running a load of laundry with no soap and you’ll probably still see suds because of all the extra soap lining your washing machine from previous loads.”

“If you get a foaming hand soap bottle (must be this kind), you can forever make your own foaming hand soap for pennies.  Put a little CLEAR liquid soap in the bottom, fill the rest with water.  Wa-lah, foaming hand soap!  You can even add a few drops essential oil if you want it scented.”  (I’m going to try this with my Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds!)

Quotes from Michael Farris

I recently read a book by Michael Farris, president of Home School Legal Defense Association.  Although the book was for Dads, it intrigued me so I jumped in.  He covered a wide variety of subjects and had some really good points that are worth repeating.

Quotes from “The Homeschooling Father” by Michael Farris:

“Let me say that I am all for a liberal arts education. I believe that this part of a home schooled child’s education should be fully completed by his or her parents before he or she leaves home.”  (Get your ‘liberal arts’ education at home, not by paying big bucks at college for it).

“I do not believe that college should be used as a substitute for a proper education in childhood. Build a base that is deep and wide at home and then use college primarily as preparation for a career. And pursue college alternatives that are available for the career path you have chosen.”

“If you were to choose only one method (college or apprenticeship), apprenticeship will beat classroom instruction every time.”

“When we talked and planned in the 1950s and 1960s we never dreamed that secular humanism, New Age curriculum, or condoms would be the subjects of instruction in the public schools.”

“Don’t just pay big money for college and assume you did what was best for your child. That same $50,000 could start up your child’s small business instead of buying English literature. Don’t pay extra so your children can learn philosophy and a Christian world-view, those should be taught at home. If you want your children to have supplemental, specialized training in developing a Christian worldview, send them to the two-week program offered by Summit Ministries. If you want them to spend some time getting well rounded and enlarging their frame of reference, send them on a short-term missions project to another culture.”

“I am simply urging that the majority of the time and expense of college should be spent for career preparation, not personal enrichment.”

“The vast majority of people engage in dating based on the criteria that the other person is interesting and attractive. We teach our daughters to only pursue a relationship when both the young man and the daughter are prepared for marriage and that he appears to meet the spiritual standards the parents and daughter have agreed upon for a husband. Dads, your first job in this area is to secure your children’s commitment to following these principles in relations with the opposite sex. Don’t wait until they are 16-17. You will have waited far too long.”  (Talk to your children about purity from very young ages and repeat many times over).

“By the time I was in junior high, some of my friends were engaging in sexual intercourse. After all, they had been “going with girls” for years and were tired of waiting for “the real thing.”

“The vast majority of parents want their children to abstain from sexual relationships until marriage. However, we have failed to see that abstinence should include emotional abstinence as well. In other words, if we permit our children to develop boyfriend-girlfriend relationships before they are ready to get married, we are simply asking for sexual temptation.”

“We can’t ask our children to stay sexually pure while allowing them to be engaged in emotional romance and playing the boyfriend/ girlfriend game in elementary and junior high schools.”

“Preparing your sons for marriage: A man is not ready for marriage until he is ready to work and take care of his family’s finances.”

We Didn’t Celebrate “Easter”

Realizing more fully this year that Resurrection Sunday has absolutely nothing to do with bunnies, eggs, chicks, or colorful grass, we celebrated totally different!  And will continue for all the years here on out!  We focused on the Resurrection of Jesus!!  Not on candy or toys or egg dyes.  But on the fact that Christ defeated death… forever!!

Thanks to this family’s e-book, I was inspired to celebrate this way…

We started preparing for our feast on Saturday.  On Sunday we went to church and heard the wonderful account of what Jesus actually did for us through His life, death, and Resurrection.  Then we came home and had a lovely (and healthy!) feast to celebrate!  We had grass-fed roasted lamb and veggies, regular hummus, roasted red pepper hummus, pita bread, mediterranean pasta salad, greek salad, and garlic roasted potatoes!  So yummy!
DSCN8375 DSCN8372 DSCN8373DSCN8374Later, hubby read us verses in the Bible about Jesus’ empty tomb and Him appearing to many!  Then we had family communion time, so precious and meaningful.

Then we got a basin of hot water and washed each others feet, as Jesus did his disciples.  What a beautiful act of serving!  We washed the person who was the next in line younger than us.  So at the end of the line was our 2-year-old baby girl and she got to start back at the top of the line and wash Dada’s feet.  Oh my, it was so precious!!  Then she put oil on her hands and rubbed oil into his clean feet.  Treasured, sweet moment.

So fun and meaningful to CELEBRATE that Jesus is our LIVING Savior!!  We didn’t even miss the bunnies and eggs and toys that we’re used to every year!

I’m still in awe that Jesus lay dead, then one morning literally got up and walked out of his very own tomb!!  Can you even imagine what that day was like?  Wowzers! 

From NoGreaterJoyDad

What’s the difference between Christianity and all other religions?

Three words…




Beginner Bible Verses for Ages 2 and Up

Here are some simple Bible verses you can have your child start to memorize!  Start with just one at a time and keep adding as they are ready for more!

  • If sinners entice thee, consent thou not. Proverbs 1:10
  • Let all your things be done with charity. 1 Corinthians 16:14
  • He that hath the son, hath life. 1 John 5:12
  • Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near. Isiah 55:6
  • Hear instruction, and be wise. Proverbs 8:33
  • Honor thy father and thy mother. Deuteronomy 5:16a
  • For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin. Psalm 38:18
  • The joy of the Lord is my strength. Nehemiah 8:10b
  • Seek and ye shall find. Matthew 7:7
  • Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above. James 1:17a
  • A wise man will hear and learn. Proverbs 1:5a
  • A wholesome tongue is a tree of life. Proverbs 15:4a
  • Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Psalm 119:105
  • And God said, let there be light: and there was light. Genesis 1:3
  • Be ye kind one to another tenderhearted, forgiving one another. Ephesians 4:32
  • But with God all things are possible. Matthew 19:26b
  • I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ. Romans 1:16
  • Trust in the Lord with all thine heart. Proverbs 3:5a
  • It is more blessed to give than to receive. Acts 20:35b
  • For whatsoever a man soeth, that shall he also reap. Galations 6:7
  • But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering (patience), gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance (self-control). Galations 5:22-23
  • Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. Ecclesiastes 12:13b
  • Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice,… and shout for joy. Psalm 32:11a
  • And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. 1 Timothy 6:8
  • O taste and see that the Lord is good. Psalm 34:8a
  • Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart. Psalm 31:24a
  • The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. Proverbs 1:7
  • Depart from evil, and do good. Psalm 37:27a
  • Create in me a clean heart, O God. Psalm 51:10a
  • All things work together for good to them that love God. Romans 8:28
  • For the Earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. 1 Corinthians 10:26
  • In the beginning God created the heaven and the Earth. Genesis 1:1
  • The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Proverbs 9:10a
  • All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. Isaiah 64:6

Click here for 11 Tips on How to Teach Your Child to Memorize Bible Verses

11 Tips for Hiding God’s Word in Your Child’s Heart!

I remember the first Bible verse I gave my son to see if he could say it… “Seek, and ye shall find.” (Matthew 7:7).

It was right when he was learning to talk in phrases, right around age two. Little fella impressed me big time, he had it memorized and walked around saying it in no time.

He’s now 6 ½ years old at about 165 verses memorized! My four year old knows pretty much all those same ones also! I don’t think I ever realized the potential for young children to learn so much and memorize so much! Wow! And truth be told, it’s been a piece of cake to help them memorize all these verses! Children absorb so much if you just teach them!

How have they done it? How do you teach your children to memorize Bible verses?

1). Start when they are young! Two-year-olds can start to learn very simple, short verses/ excerpts.

2). I don’t make them memorize the location where it’s found in the Bible. That’s just not as important to me as them knowing the actual Scripture words themselves.

3). Introduce the verse by telling them it’s a brand new one, to listen well. Have them repeat it after you, only 2-3 words at a time. Once they are comfortable with that, have them repeat it after you 4-5 words at a time. Then see if you can start the verse and they finish the whole thing. Continue to say this verse over and over for the next 1-3 days or until they know it well.

4). Only add one verse at a time and each week review ones your child already knows. So there are never any “old” verses, they stay fresh in their memory from the time they learn them until the time they leave home! Keep reviewing ones they know! Never stop!

5). Make them visible. All of my children’s memory verses are on index cards taped to our wall! I know that if I put them away, we won’t say them nearly as much. You might find your child just standing at the wall one day by himself reading them without being asked! It will melt your heart!

6). Start with easy ones. (See My Post:   “Beginner Bible Verses for Ages 2 and Up”)

7). Practice them anytime, anywhere.  Say the newest verse(s) as well as a few review ones every single day, whether in the car, at the store, at bedtime, during play time, at the park, etc.

8). Make songs out of them. A LOT of my children’s memory verses have some kind of rhythm to them that we created ourselves! Singing makes them more fun and easier to remember! These ones are my children’s favorites!

9). Keep it fun. I let my boys jump on our rebounder (indoor trampoline) while saying their verses. Or I give them a jar of marbles and for each verse they say, they get to take one marble out of my jar and fill up their empty jar. Or they get to jump off the couch each time they say a verse. Make games so that practicing is fun!

10). Keep growing and adding and challenging your child to learn more and more! What a precious gift to give your child!  Before they leave your care for an adult life of their own, they can have 100 – 1,000 verses of Scripture hidden in their heart! Wow! If you do nothing else as a parent, this alone is an amazing gift to give!

11). Lastly, don’t forget to discuss the verses and what they mean. Give real examples and break them down so they understand them well. When you experience something in life that could tie in with a verse that they know, talk about it! SHOW them the application.

***An added bonus is that YOU will learn all of these incredible verses and they’ll be hidden in YOUR heart too!!  Shhhh… That’s been my most favorite part of teaching my children Bible verses!

Praying With Your Children

By reading the Bible you’ll get many ideas on things to pray for.  There are specific things the Bible tells us to pray for.  There are also many other wise things that the Bible mentions, things that would also be good to pray for.

We have a prayer wall going up our stairs where we have people’s specific names so that we remember to pray for them  (friends, family, missionaries, ministries, ministry leaders, etc).  Specific prayer requests we receive get written on an index card and added to our wall!  When I tell someone we’ll pray for them, I want to be dependable and not forget.  This is our way of remembering.  Every time we go up or down our stairs, we are reminded of who/ what to pray for.  We also have pictures and names of specific orphans so that we can pray for them.
DSCN8241Besides specific people and their needs, here are some of the things I pray with my children (we have most of these items written on paper cut-outs of hot air balloons- a fun children’s way of showing how our prayers are being lifted up!)…

-We pray that God would help us to love Him with our whole heart, mind, soul, and strength, the greatest commandment of all.

-We pray that God would help us to love our neighbor as much as we love ourselves, the second greatest commandment of all.

-We pray for the fatherless and widows.

-We pray for wisdom, knowledge, and spiritual understanding. (Proverbs)

-We pray a prayer from one of our children’s books, Trusty Tried and True“If someone’s in need today, please send us their way.”  Praying for God to use us that day.

-We pray through the armor of God.  That we would be strong warriors for Christ.  That we would have on all of God’s armor.  (Ephesians 6:11-18)

-We pray that we would have the fruits of the Spirit:  love, joy, peace, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness (humbleness), and temperance (self-control).  Each one of these items are very important so usually we will just pray for 1-2 at a time.

-We pray that God would help us to obey.  Obedience is a big deal!

-We pray that God would help us to be content with such things as we have. (Hebrews 13:5)

-We pray that God would grow us in character (initiative, diligence, being dependable, truthful, hard working, kindness, etc).

-We pray through the Beatitudes.  We pray that we would hunger and thirst after righteousness, be merciful, pure in heart, peacemakers, etc.  (Matthew 5:1-12)

-We pray through Philippians 4:8- that God would help us only think on things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy.

-We pray that all people in all nations would learn about Jesus and the Gospel message.

-We have our children pray for their future spouse, the he or she would learn young to love God with their whole heart, that they would grow in character and be kept pure.

-We pray that we would have fruitful works.  (Colossians 1:10)

-We pray that many people would answer God’s call and be a laborer for Christ.  (Luke 10:2)

What about you?  What things do you teach your children to pray for specifically?! 

Final Post on Talking With Your Children About Sex

Instead of dividing this up into two more posts, here’s a long one.  This is just such an important topic and I didn’t want to leave anything out!  I hope this series has inspired you to be open and honest with your children.  To build a close-knit relationship with them so that they will feel comfortable asking you about anything.  Click here to start on Part One of this series.

The following quotes are from Raising Real Men by Hal and Melanie Young:

“We need to help equip our sons to keep their thoughts away from sexual sin, and that will mean training them to keep their eyes away from the imagery that surrounds them.  Job the righteous said, “I have made a covenant with my eyes; how can I look on a maiden?”  (Job 3:11)  Fathers will need to be diligent to do the same; if Dad is ogling the young woman sunning herself on the beach, how can his teenaged son (who at least still has the moral right to marry her!) be expected to discreetly watch for shrimp boats on the horizon instead?”

“First, it is clear that sexual immorality is sin, and indulging in lustful thoughts is sin as well.  It’s a basic rule but in our culture it has to be taught explicitly.”

“We’ve also taught our boys the Golden Rule applies here- we do to to others as we would want them to do to us.  Any young lady they meet is almost certainly going to be someone else’s wife (since only one will ultimately be their own).  How would they want someone to treat their future wife?  They shouldn’t do anything toward that young lady that they wouldn’t want to hear about their bride’s past.  That really clarifies it for a young man!”

“The Bible teaches us not to defraud one another in relationships.  Fraud is the practice of persuading someone to believe you have promised a thing which in fact you are unable or unwilling to deliver.  how about winning the heart and affections of someone that you are not seriously considering for marriage?  Isn’t this what happens in the usual teenage dating situation?  We teach our sons that the Biblical pattern expects them to be able to support a wife before they go out seeking one, which means they won’t be “going steady” as 14-year-olds.  They have a responsibility to guard the hearts of the young ladies they know, and not entangle them in a romantic web which frankly means very different things to a girl than it does to a boy.”

“A barber once asked one of our middle-schoolers, “Do you have a girlfriend?”  Our son answered with mild surprise, “No, I can’t support a wife yet!”  We’ve taught our boys that the Bible places responsibility on the man to support his family, and the Biblical counsel is, Prepare your outside work, Make it fit for yourself in the field; And afterward build your house.  (1 Timothy 5:8; Proverbs 24:27)  Don’t go building romantic attachments when marriage is still well out of the question.”

And the final notes from Straight Talk by Josh McDowell…

“Speak up.  If you don’t like a TV show, CD, video, pair of jeans, or doll, say why.  A conversation with her will be more effective than simply saying, “No, you can’t buy it or you can’t watch it.”  Support campaigns, companies, and products that promote positive images of girls.  Complain to manufacturers, advertisers, television and movie producers, and retail stores when products sexualize girls.”

“Use teachable moments in your daily life.  Something on TV, seeing a pregnant woman, hearing real stories about real people, seeing nude pictures, wanted posters, homosexuals you see in public, discovering a condom, sex misinformation, wedding albums, animal behavior at the zoo or elsewhere, school assemblies, sporting events, practice, school plays, and music.  Instead of dismissing negative information, make a conversation out of it and use it as an opportunity to teach and mold your childWhen you see something that doesn’t uphold your values, point it out to your child.  Make it a conversation.  Be your child’s cultural interpreter.”

“For example say, “I feel sad about some news I just heard.  My cousin’s son has to drop out of school to get a job.  He and his girlfriend had sex, and now she’s pregnant.  He will have to work and pay child support instead of finishing his education.  What do you think about that?”  These real stories provide excellent teachable moments.”

“In January 2012 the lives of Melissa, Tom, and their children changed forever.  The police showed up at their house to interview their oldest son, 13-year-old Kyle.  Under questioning, Kyle admitted to being addicted to pornography and to have crossed sexual boundaries with two of his siblings and a little boy who visited their house often.  Melissa and Tom were utterly shocked.  Their son was taken from their house that day and put into juvenile detention.  He was charged with three counts of sexual abuse, one of them a felony.”  It happened to their family and unless you are a super-involved, proactive parent, it can happen to yours.

“Definitely monitor all of your child’s internet usage.  But do it with them, not sneaking behind their backs.  Make it a relationship instead of a rule.”

“You must buy a quality internet filter for every internet device your family owns.  It is unwise to have Internet access without some form of blocking and filtering device.  Consider putting every single family member (including both parents!) on an “accountability program” where emails of inappropriate usage gets emailed to the accountability partner.”

“Choices have consequences.  And when your kids choose not to have sex before marriage and then remain faithful in marriage, they thankfully miss out on a lot of pain and heartache.”

“Does it concern you that so many young people lack sexual boundaries?  Have you been in a mall and watched how some 12-, 13-, or 14-year-old kids act?  It’s as if no one has taught them moral boundaries or how a boy should treat a girl?  The most effective way to communicate how your son or daughter should treat the opposite sex is by modeling love and respect within your own marriage.”

“One of the best ways to teach your young daughter how to respect and treat the opposite sex is for her dad to take her on dates.  This will also help her know what standards to expect.  Tell your daughter, “If a young man doesn’t treat you this way, then you need to walk away from him.”  Open the door for your daughter, dress up, be very polite, talk kindly, and model the way that a man should respect a young woman.  This will set the bar high for her future dates.  Dates with your daughter can be a behind the scenes way of making sure your daughter doesn’t feel pressed to do anything that she isn’t comfortable with and to help her avoid the pressure to cross her boundaries.  The same holds true for sons.  Moms can take them out and model how a lady acts.”

“The relationship you have with your kids is one of the most important keys to helping them say no to sexual involvement.  If the relationship is good, if you really connect with them lovingly, your kids are far more likely to have a healthy self-image and realize the boundaries you set for them are to provide for and protect them.  When you instruct your kids within the context of a loving relationship you are helping them develop a healthy self-image and giving them added strength to stand strong in the midst of a destructive culture.”

“As much as this might get our stomachs flipping, being available for any question your child asks is important.  If your children are asking you the questions, then you are in a position to guide them.  They key here is to be as calm as possible with any questions you kids might ask and be honest and candid with your answers.”

“Be an askable parent.  Let your children know they can talk to you about anything, anytime.  Even if you feel uncomfortable with the questions, try to not let your kids sense it.”

“Be a “Listening” Parent  When we listen to our children, it tells them they are important and we want to hear what they have to say.  Many parents say they want to be good listeners, but their kids just don’t talk a lot to them.  This is where asking them questions can get them talking.  Asking them questions can show them respect and confirm that you value their input.  It can let you know how much they know or don’t know about a subject, help to clarify statements, and help you evaluate your child’s maturity.”

“Be a Parent With Values.  Your kids make decisions about their sexual behavior based on their values and by and large, they get their values from you.  The following is just a list of possible value areas to consider in your family and discuss…
sex in marriage,
children are a gift from the Lord,
created in the image of God,
the Bible is God’s truth for us,
sex is beautiful,
dating or courtship,
how we dress,
God is love,
love one another,
love people vs. loving things,
a wedding.”

“Be a Parent Who Befriends Your Kids’ Friends.  How do you want to be remembered by your children’s friends?  Get involved with your kids’ friends and choose to have a positive impact.  As you do, it can 1) make a statement to your child that people who are important to them are important to you.  2) It will put you in a position where your kids and their friends will want to communicate with you and listen to your opinions, which will most likely reduce negative peer pressure that your child’s friends will have on him or her.”

“Be a hero to your kids’ friends.  Take the time to talk to your child’s friends, let them know you care.  Take the time to get to know each child on your child’s sports teams and let them know you’ll be rooting for them.”

“Be a Parent Who Dreams with Your Kids.  Kids who feel they have a promising future are the most deliberate in preventing pregnancy… Hope is a great contraception.  When we champion our kids and dream their dreams it raises them to a whole new level of hope and they end up wanting to live up to high expectations.”

“Dream with your children and enter their worlds.  The sky is the limit in creative ways to communicate your unshakable support.”

The following notes are from How and When to Tell Your Kids About Sex by Stan and Brenna Jones:

“Sex education is never done.  You will think that you have already covered something, but if your child was not ready to hear it, it is as if you never said it.  Kids need to hear the most important lessons over and over again.  Repetition is critical.”

12 Principles of this book:

“Sex education  is the shaping of character.”

“Parents are the principal sex educators.”

“First messages are the most potent.”

“We should seize those teachable moments and become askable parents.”

“Stories are powerful teaching tools.”

“Accurate and direct, truthful messages are best.”

“Positive messages are more powerful than negative messages.”

“We must inoculate our children against destructive moral messages by teaching them.”

“Repetition is critical; repetition is really, really important.”

“Close, positive parent-child relationships are crucial.”

“Sexuality is not the most important thing in life.”

“Our God can forgive, heal, and redeem anything.”

Pray with your children.  Pray through the Ephesians 6:13-17 list of the armor of God, beseeching God to equip your kids.  Pray through Galatians 5:22-23, the fruit of the Spirit.  Pray through Matthew 5:1-12, the beatitudes of our Lord.  Such prayer can have a profound impact.  God works through prayer both to impact our children and to impact us.”

“You, the parents, are the most important influence on your child’s character.  Either you will be a haphazard and thoughtless teacher who gives little thought to what you are doing in your parenting, or you will be a prepared, thoughtful, responsible teacher.”

“We want our children to believe the following:”

-“They are loved.”

-“Their choices matter, they make a difference.  They are responsible for their actions and for the consequences.  We teach them this by the way we respect them and discipline them.”

-“The goal of life is not necessarily to be happy, but to love God and to become good in the way God intended.”

-“They are children of God, made in His image, and their sexuality is His gift to them, meant to serve beautiful and wonderful purposes.”

“How to handle sexual curiosity:  How do we respond when we find our children playing with their private areas, or playing this way with another child(ren)?  The most important principle is not to exaggerate the importance of the incident, but instead to use it as a teaching opportunity about the privacy of your child’s body and what a blessed gift and miracle that body is.  If you handle such an incident in a calm, positive, and reasonable fashion, it can be a constructive experience.  If you overreact, you run the danger of instilling in your children a deep sense of guilt or the sense that sexual interests and feelings are bad, and of pushing them away from you when they have questions or concerns about sexuality.”

“If your child doesn’t want to sit on Uncle Bob’s lap or hug an older cousin, stand behind them.  Praise the child for being polite but assertive.”

“Continue to remind your children that there are to be no secrets where their bodies are concerned.  Their bodies are private, a special gift from God.”

“How much information do you give your child?  Err on the side of providing too much information.  And give detailed, clear, and direct information.  We don’t mean indiscreet or lewd.  Avoid using language that is figurative, too technical, or obscure.  Typically, little damage is done by giving too much information if the information is true, sensitively described, and offered in a positive spirit.”

“Kids wonder what a penis is even for?  What is a vagina used for?  What do they do?  They are curious and they want to know the answer.  Talking about sex with your kids isn’t something you need to feel embarrassed or shy about.  A simple, “Sex is when the man’s penis fits inside the woman’s vagina.”  They may say, “Gross!” and that’s okay.”

“The parent can say, “You know what?  I like talking to you about this, and I’m glad that you want to know.  Would you please tell me when you have more questions so that I can talk more about it with you?  Sex is very beautiful, but a lot of people believe the wrong things about it, so you will hear other kids telling you really dumb and wrong stuff.  And TV shows many people who have the wrong ideas about sex.  I want to talk with you about it so that you will know God’s truth about sex.”

“Talk to your children early about sex- early elementary school- and then repeat and repeat the message in new forms as they move toward and through puberty.”

“You can tell your child, “A baseball glove is used to play baseball.  If you use it to go down to the pond and scoop mud, you are not using the glove very well.  And it is that way with God.  He gave sex to us as a gift.  If we don’t use the gift the way He wants, it’s like we are telling God we don’t like His gift, like we don’t love Him enough to use it just the way He wants us to.”

“The world will be repeating its messages about sexuality over and over to our children in movie after movie, joke after joke, television program and commercial after program and commercial.  On and on the sexual messages of the world will come at our children.  Our lessons cannot be offered to our children once for all, but must be renewed, revisited, and repeated over and over again.”

“One of the great dangers of the busyness of our lives, of our investment in careers, church, and everywhere but the family, is that we simply will not be there for our children, available to be close to them and enjoy them.  Build a relationship with your child that is grounded on encouragement and praise.  Mindful of their fragile sense of self at their pre-puberty age, take every opportunity to build your children up; communicate your confidence in them and your excited expectation for what life has in store for them.  It’s easy to let your child slip away in their late elementary years as they want to spend more time with friends, be more independent, and more difficult to communicate with.  To continue to build a close relationship, put effort and creative energy into the relationship.  Think of good opportunities to spend time with your child.”

“Praise your children when they ask questions, any questions, but especially questions about sexuality and relationships.  Acknowledge how threatening it can be to talk about such things.”

“Restrain your impatience to jump in and talk; give them time to develop their questions.  Attempt to provide a good answer to any question a child asks, regardless of how confusing the question is.  Often our discomfort leads us to hurry the child or demand clarification that the child cannot provide; this comes across as rejection or other negative reactions.”

Discourage early romance.  Given the realities today of when marriage tends to occur, parents should discourage early involvement in romance.  There is strong evidence that adolescents who start dating early are more likely to begin having sexual intercourse early.  Those who mature early are more likely to get into trouble with premarital sex than are “late bloomers.”  Because of the influence of peers, kids who are in groups that start dating early are at greater risk.  Early dating is not harmless.  (Elementary and middle school dating is not harmless).”

“Tell your stories.  Remember the power of stories.  One of the most helpful things you can do as a parent is to tell your stories to your kids.  Tell them of the ups and downs you experienced.  Tell them what the power of infatuation felt like when you were sure it was lifelong love.  Tell them about the obsessive way you wrote your flame’s name over and over, the way your whole day revolved around when he would call you, or the way you got an electric thrill to see her smile at you.  Tell them about your confusion and pain as a relationship died a lingering death.  Tell them about the agony of betrayal.  Tell them how your powerful feelings blinded you to his flaws and led you to exaggerate his perfections.  Do all this to give your children a wider range of experiences, namely your experiences, to serve as vantage points from which they can see their own experiences more clearly.”

“In their relationships with the other sex, teens will experience feelings of sexual attraction and have opportunities to learn how to handle those feelings rightly and glorify God in the process.  It’s a normal and good thing for them to feel sexual excitement for someone they care for.  But we must also tell them, again, that sexual purity requires discipline.”

Whew, you made it through this long series!  Any thoughts/ comments??

Straight Talk: Part Four

Are you enjoying all these notes on how/ why to talk to your children about sex?  I have learned so much!  Here are some more great tidbits from the McDowell’s book, Straight Talk With Your Kids About Sex.

“Sexual issues are not learned in a “big talk.”  It is, instead, an unfolding process with information given out in little chunks at a time.  Deal with issues and opportunities as they arise.  The best sex education is 30 seconds here, 1 minute there, 10 seconds here, 2 minutes and 45 seconds there, and so on, starting as young as possible.  When something comes up- step in, address it, and step back.  Don’t make a big deal out of it.  In our family, about half of all conversations we had with our children about sex were no more than about two minutes each time.”

“It’s not that we talked about it all the time in our family, but when it came up at the dinner table or in the car or before bed we simply talked about it.  It was just like other topics- just a normal part of our conversation.  This creates an environment where kids feel comfortable coming to the parents with questions and they can be the source of information.”

“The Bible is clear about the most effective way to teach truth to our children- Deuteronomy 6:7- teach them when you walk by the way, when you lie down, when you rise up.”

“You would never consider waiting to talk to your children about your faith in only “one big talk.”  You would lovingly and intentionally be sharing things about the Bible and God over time.  It is similar regarding sex.  We shouldn’t assume that “one big talk” will answer every question our children have about the subject.  Sex is a subject that must be examined early, often, and with honesty.”

“Pure and simple, if you don’t talk to your kids about sex, someone else will.  Your kids will gain an understanding about sex one way or another.  And the misinformation they receive can range from the unfortunate to the tragic.”

“Not talking to your kids about sex means they will learn it from other sources.  And if that source is the Internet, that opens them up to the over 5 million pornographic websites that are out there.”

“If we are the ones who reach our kids first with God’s design for sex, it will go a long way in insulating them from the negative impact of pornography, perverted morality, and the misinformation about sex.”

“Children by nature are curious- some more than others.  And there is something fascinating, mysterious, and intriguing about sex.  So the issue isn’t with our kids being too curious.  The problem occurs when their curiosity isn’t satisfied.”

“It is completely normal and natural for our kids to wonder about sex and want to have answers to their questions.  There is a real danger if we don’t respond to their curiosity.  Remember, they will get answers from somewhere or someone.  Curiosity about sex will not go away if it is never discussed.  In fact, avoiding the subject can make sex seem even more mysterious and exciting.  How a child’s curiosity is satisfied from 4 to 12 years of age often determines their sexuality from 12 to 18 years old.”

“When I (Dottie) would bathe my young children, I would routinely refer to body parts with their correct descriptions.  I made it a point to talk about private parts as calmly and deliberately as I did fingers, toes, and ankles.  This was an intentional decision to communicate a natural comfort level when discussing our bodies.  This honesty early on set the stage for relaxed discussions later.”

“A preschooler is content with vague sexual information such as “Babies grow inside mommies.”  But later on, there will be questions and curiosity about how the baby gets inside the mom’s tummy.  They may ask questions like “Does Mommy vomit up the baby?” Or “Does Daddy unzip Mommy’s tummy?”  Or “Does Mommy poop the baby out?”  The child is looking for simple, honest explanations.  One little boy believed that if a girl kissed him, that would make him pregnant.  He was so afraid of his great aunt!  Some pre-teens think that when you have sex you will pee out semen.  Some teens think you can get pregnant by having oral sex.  They need honest explanations from their parents.”

“Just because a teen or pre-teen has questions about how a girl gets pregnant, what condoms are for, or what oral sex is, that doesn’t mean they are planning to become sexually active.  It’s best to answer their questions without assuming that curiosity is a danger sign.  The danger sign is in not satisfying their curiosity with honest answers.”

“What About Using “Nicknames” for Body Parts?  When you use correct words like penis, testicles, vulva, or vagina, explain not only what they are but also what they do.  Your kids will find out sooner or later, and it’s becoming much sooner now because of the Internet.  You will want to become your child’s authority on what body parts he or she has and what they are called.  You don’t want it to be the Internet.”

“One of the top three things parents can do to help their children say “no” to sexual pressure is to not just share information or knowledge, but share accurate knowledge.”

“Research actually suggests that young people who are knowledgeable about sexuality and reproductive health are less likely to engage in early sexual activity.”

“If our children find that we as parents are not honest and accurate, they will lose trust in us and we will lose influence.  And count on it- our kids will often “Google” their questions on the Internet and compare the answers with the ones we give them.”

“Shouldn’t Certain Issues Be Off-Limits?  Some of the material our kids are seeing and reading is horrific.  Much of it is horrible and makes us uncomfortable.  Yet from the moment our children are born, we need to create an atmosphere of openness and approachability that makes any and all questions from them acceptable.  If you act repulsed or surprised or appear uncomfortable about your child’s question, it may be the last question he or she will ask.  No question should be off-limits.“

“The attitude that no questions are taboo will have a tremendous impact on your child’s understanding and behavior.  But you need to verbalize your openness.  Let them know they can ask you anything.”

“Children are very perceptive, and they will be able to tell if their parents are uncomfortable with the topic of sex.  If children sense that their parents are uncomfortable, they will be less likely to come to their parents with problems and questions later on.  Children might also be led to believe that sex is bad or wrong, or a taboo subject.”

“How Often Should I Talk to My Kids About Sex?  Since most young children can only take in small bits of information at any one time, it’s important to let a little time pass between discussions.  Ask your child what they remember about the previous discussion, this will help you correct any misconceptions and fill in missing facts.”

Straight Talk:  Final Post, Part Five