During All the Gift Giving and Receiving This Christmas, Please Remember the Greatest Gift of All!

“Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift.”

2 Corinthians 9:15

While we are all busy giving and receiving gifts this year, we can easily get caught up in the material aspect of Christmas.  As Christians though, it is critical that we remember and celebrate the greatest gift that was ever given to us.  God gave His only Son to us as a special gift!  The scripture verse at 2 Corinthians 9:15 succinctly sums up the reason for the season. 

From my family to yours, Merry Christmas!

Who Are Your Children’s Role Models? Part 1

CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE

The Meriam-Webster dictionary defines “role model” as a person whose behavior is imitated by others.  The entertainment media is constantly providing us with information about the so-called “stars” and role models - whether they are actors, musicians, singers, or other public figures.  Often, we see children and youth emulating the dress and behavior of these “stars”.   As Christians, we should have our own “stars” for our children – persons who are different, yet extraordinary role models.  And, these “stars” must start at home.  This week’s blog centers on the role models whom our children should have in their every-day lives.

            When I found this image for this week’s blog, I was very impressed and happy.  It says a tremendous amount in very few words, and I encourage you to  take your time to read it and talk about it with your spouse and other family members.  Please set aside some time to do so.  As people who are not Christians look to the world’s “stars” to give them inspiration for living, we Christians must choose a different standard – one that glorifies God. 

Dress Modestly According to God’s Will

“… I want women to adorn themselves modestly and appropriately and discreetly in proper clothing ….”
1 Timothy 2:9 (AMP)

During this festive holiday season, it is the perfect time to dress up and have fun going to family and friends’ gatherings and parties.  In dressing up, please pay attention to modesty.  Yes … it is a subject that is often misconstrued but is of importance to Christians.  Importantly, it is not meant to shame young women and girls for their God-given bodies or even for appreciating the way they look.  Instead, it shows exactly who and what should be most important in our lives and who we represent - Jesus.  

The following is taken from an article about modesty and I could not say it any better.  It describes very well what modesty for a Christian is all about:

Modesty in the way we dress is not just for church; it is to be the standard for all Christians at all times. The key to understanding what constitutes modesty in dress is to examine the attitudes and intents of the heart. Those whose hearts are inclined toward God will make every effort to dress modestly, decently, and appropriately. Those whose hearts are inclined toward self will dress in a manner designed to draw attention to themselves with little or no regard for the consequences to themselves or others.

A godly woman endeavors to do everything with a “God-ward” perspective. She knows that God wants His people to be concerned for His glory and the spiritual state of their brothers and sisters in Christ. If a woman professes to be a Christian yet she dresses in a way that will unduly draw attention to her body, she is a poor witness of the One who bought her soul by dying for her on the cross. She is forgetting that her body has been redeemed by Christ and is now the temple of the Holy Spirit (
1 Corinthians 6:19–20). She is telling the world that she determines her own worth on a purely physical basis and that her attractiveness depends on how much of her body she reveals to them. Further, by dressing in an immodest fashion, displaying her body for men to lust after, she causes her brothers in Christ to sin, something condemned by God (Matthew 5:27–29). Proverbs 7:10 mentions a woman “dressed like a prostitute and with crafty intent”—here, the woman’s heart condition is displayed by her manner of dress.

The Scripture says that we are to dress modestly, but what exactly does that mean in modern society? Does a woman have to be covered from head to toe? There are cults and religions in the world that demand this of women. But is that the biblical meaning of modesty? Again, we have to go back to the matter of the attitudes of the heart. If a woman’s heart is inclined toward godliness, she will wear clothing that is neither provocative nor revealing in public, clothing that does not reflect negatively upon her personal testimony as a child of God. Everyone else in her circle may be dressing immodestly, but she resists the temptation to go along with the crowd. She avoids clothing designed to draw attention to her body and cause men to lust, for she is wise enough to know that type of attention only cheapens her. The idea of causing men to sin against God because of her dress is abhorrent to her because she seeks to love and honor God and wants others to do the same.

Modesty in dress reveals a modesty and godliness of the heart, attitudes that should be the desire of all women (and men) who live to please and honor God.


https://www.gotquestions.org/dress-modestly.html

Recommended Resource: A Woman After God's Own Heart by Elizabeth George

How to Choose a Bible for Your Children

Do you have a Bible for your children?  Many parents buy story books for their children with stories out of the Bible because they do not believe that their children will be able to understand the Bible.  I continue to encourage parents to buy an actual Bible for their children so that they can begin to read God’s Word for themselves.

In the online article Choosing a Child’s Bible, writer T. Capps provides some excellent guidance in selecting the right Bible for your children.  Important considerations are:

1. Make sure that you purchase a Bible that is the right reading level for your child.

2. Buy a Bible that is the complete Bible, and not just one part.  That way, your children learn from young about the Old and New Testaments.

3.  If the Bible has pictures, ensure that they are accurate and not cartoon characters or scary.  The Bible is not a cartoon book, and children should not think of it as such.

4. Purchase a Bible that has maps and other information to help your children learn more about the time periods.  Maps, timelines, etc., offer assistance to children and make the Bible more understandable.

5. Make sure that the Bible is durable and further consider a cover for it so that it can last many years.

The author makes many more helpful suggestions.  Spend time considering what Bible to purchase as it will be a prized possession for your children for many years. To read the entire article, click here.

The Importance of Speaking Blessings Every Day Over Your Children

"Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit."

Proverbs 18:21

One of my favorite Bible verses is this Proverbs 18:21 verse.  It essentially means that the words we speak each and every day are critical forces in our lives and in our children’s lives.   The power of a parent giving a child a blessing can be seen early in the Bible in Genesis 27.  Isaac gave his son Jacob profound blessings of riches and power.   

The blessings set forth in Numbers 6:24-26 are an excellent example of blessings that you can speak over your children: "The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace."  The blessings contained in this short verse are extremely powerful because they establish God’s love, protection, favor, grace, and peace upon your children.

Also, put your hands on your children when you bless them.  Make the times of blessings affectionate and loving times, ones that your children will always remember and pass down to the next generation. 

As Christian Parents, Should We Allow Our Children To Go On Sleepovers?

Soraya Diase Coffelt Author As the Stars Children's Books Blog

As a mother of two boys, I know all about sleepovers.  You have a house full of kids, who don’t want to sleep and who eat continuously through the day and night.  Sleepovers are fun times for children. But, be cautioned.  You need to protect your children from other children and even their parents who may have a bad influence on them as well as anyone else who may be in the home when your children are there for the sleepover.

I did not welcome invitations from parents whom I didn’t know. Random sleepovers were not permitted.  If I knew the parents and children, I would inquire as to what types of activities were planned; who would be supervising the children; what would they be eating and drinking; and what types of games were they going to play.

    Even after so much scrutiny and diligence though, something slipped by.  I remember picking up my oldest son from a sleepover late one morning.  He was about 10 years old at the time.  As I arrived at the house, I walked in the front door to the living room.  I then observed my son playing a video game with another boy.  As I looked closely, to my shock and dismay, the video game involved hitting and kicking women all over their bodies (including their heads, stomachs, and private parts) in fight scenes.  This was a family who attended church regularly, but the parents were not monitoring the types of video games in their house.  On the drive home, I explained to my son about the problem with that video game and that men should not hit women.  During the following week at church, I even spoke with the parents about the game.    When I observed their nonchalant attitude, I knew my son was not going to spend time there again.

Helping Our Children Choose Their Friends

Do not be misled: bad company corrupts good character.
— 1 Corinthians 15:33 (NIV)
Soraya Coffelt

    As a parent, have you ever thought about helping your children choose their friends?  You may think – that’s not my role as a parent or my child should be able to choose his/her own friends.  In my humble opinion, I think that parents should play a huge role in who their children consider as friends and spend time with. 

    I was always on the look out for good friends for my sons.  Since I volunteered in the children’s ministry at my church, I had special insight into the children who attended.  I closely observed the child’s and parents’ demeanors.  Did the parents bring their children to church every Sunday or just once in a while?  Were they on time?  Were the children clean and fed?  Did they have good manners?  Did the parents and/or children use bad words?   Did the children tell lies?  What did the family do over the weekend?  Was reading and doing well in school important to the child and parents? 

    I took the scripture verse in 1 Corinthians 15:33 very seriously because I knew that bad company has a very negative effect on good character.  I wanted to raise two sons who would be Godly young men.  Yes, I was called a strict parent, but what is the alternative?  I encourage you to play a very active role in your children’s lives rather than just being a spectator. 

Author Soraya Diase Coffelt

The Greatest Christmas Gift of All Time

As we are busy making our plans and buying gifts for our friends and loved ones for Christmas, let us not lose focus about why we celebrate Christmas in the first place.   As Christians, we believe that Jesus was the greatest gift ever given to mankind.  God gave us His only son Jesus so that we could have eternal life.  Why did God do this for us?  John 3:16 gives us the answer: because of His immense love for us.  

The true meaning of Christmas is found in its name: “Christ”, who is Jesus and “mas” which is a celebration.  Christmas is an extremely special day for us.  I encourage you to spend time worshiping Jesus and thanking Him for all that He has done for you and your loved ones.   From my family to yours - have a blessed and peaceful Christmas!

Author Soraya Diase Coffelt

Good Manners Don’t Fall from a Tree- You must Teach Them to Your Children

I sincerely believe that Christians should have the best mannered children.  Why?  Because we are to be an example to the world in every way, including how we raise our children.  

Of course, good manners start at home.  In her book “Taming the Family Zoo: Six Weeks to Raising a Well Mannered Child”, author Donna Jones gives many ways to teach our children good manners.  Here are some of them:

  1. Teach the magic words.  Children need to know why “thank you”, “please” and all the other magic words are very important to their vocabulary.  Once they practice them at home, your children will have mastered their use, so using them in public will be natural to them.
  2. Teach wise behavior in public.  Children need to know that they shouldn’t be running around in public, climbing on chairs, raising their voices, cutting in lines, etc.  Proper public behavior starts at home.  If you allow them to do these or similar things at home, they will do them in public.  
  3. Teach good table manners.  Start at home of course.  Don’t allow your children to talk with their mouths full of food.  Show them how to place napkins in their laps and to keep their elbows off the table.  Don’t let them reach over someone else to get food.  Once they learn their manners at home, they will use them naturally at a public dining place or at a friend’s house. 

Read the entire article on her book by clicking here.

Author Soraya Diase Coffelt

What Does the Bible Have to Say About Good Manners?

Actually, the Bible has a lot to say about good manners. In fact, at this site you can find 23 Bible verses about manners.  Voted the most popular Bible verse on manners is Luke 6:31, “And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.” (ESV)

I live in the U.S. Virgin Islands which is a part of the West Indies.  We West Indians are known for being very polite people.  We always greet another person, whether we know the person or not, with “Good morning” or “Good afternoon”, or whatever the time of day or night. As a matter of fact, if we do not greet a person that way from the beginning of the contact, the person immediately believes that we have no manners and would consider us to be rude.

I believe that good manners are just not being emphasized by parents any more.  We tend to excuse the child saying such things as “He’s just shy” or “She’s just tired today” or “He’s having a bad day”, or “She’s just a child-when she grows up, she’ll know better”, etc., etc.  Importantly, however, good manners should be ingrained in children, so that as your children grow up, good manners are such an integral part of them, that they automatically respond with good manners in every situation.  

Author Soraya Diase Coffelt