Growing Closer to God: The Power of Praying Together as a Family

As parents, we want to raise our children in a way that nurtures their spiritual growth and deepens their relationship with God. One powerful tool we have at our disposal is the act of coming together as a family to pray. In this blog post, I’ll explore the significance of family prayer. Continue to read as I share with you the power of praying together as a family.

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The Power of Praying Together as a Family

Creating a Habit of Family Prayer

The first step in embracing family prayer is to make it a regular part of our daily lives.

In our daily lives, it’s easy to get caught up in the busyness and overlook the importance of prayer. However, setting aside dedicated time for prayer is important for deepening our relationship with God and nurturing our family’s faith.

Establishing a prayer routine that works for your family’s schedule may seem challenging at first, but with a little intentionality and creativity, it can become a meaningful and cherished practice.

A picture of The Family Devotions starter kit. A downloadable bundle containing tips, and resources for starting and maintaining family devotional practice.

Teaching the Purpose of Prayer

Understanding the purpose of prayer is essential for children to engage with it wholeheartedly.

Prayer is a special way for us to connect with God and share our hearts with Him. It’s like having a conversation with our Heavenly Father, who loves and cares for us deeply. The purpose of prayer is to build a relationship with God, seek His guidance, express our gratitude, share our worries and joys, and find comfort in His presence.

When we pray, we open our hearts and minds to God. We talk to Him, just like we talk to a close friend or a loving parent. We can tell Him about our dreams, hopes, and fears.

We can ask Him for help when we feel confused or need strength. We can thank Him for all the good things in our lives, like family, friends, and the beautiful world around us.

Prayer also helps us grow closer to God. It’s a way to show Him that we trust Him and rely on Him. It’s a way to invite His wisdom and guidance into our lives.

When we pray, we listen to God too. Sometimes, He may speak to our hearts and give us comfort or direction. He loves us so much and wants us to know Him better through prayer.

Prayer is not about saying fancy words or having all the answers. It’s about being honest and sincere with God.

We can pray anytime and anywhere, whether it’s in the morning, before bed, or even during the day when we need His help or want to share something special with Him.

So, remember, the purpose of prayer is to connect with God, share our hearts, seek His guidance, express gratitude, and find comfort in His loving presence. It’s a beautiful way to grow closer to Him and experience His love and care in our lives.

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Encourage family Participation

Prayer should be inclusive and allow each family member to have a voice.

Including your children in prayer is a wonderful way to help them grow in their faith and develop a personal relationship with God.

By involving them in prayer, you teach them that their voices and thoughts matter to God.

Encourage your children to join in family prayers and express their own prayers.

Let them know that they can talk to God about anything on their hearts, whether it’s thanking Him for blessings, asking for guidance, or sharing their worries and joys.

By including your children in prayer, you create a loving and safe space where they feel valued and connected to God. It’s a beautiful opportunity for them to learn and grow in their spiritual journey while strengthening the bond within your family.

Praying for Others

Praying for others as a family is a powerful and meaningful way to show love and support to those around us. It teaches our children the importance of caring for others and demonstrates the power of prayer in making a positive impact.

When we pray for others, we lift them up to God, asking Him to provide comfort, healing, guidance, and blessings in their lives. It helps us develop empathy and compassion as we become more aware of the needs and struggles of others.

Praying for others as a family also strengthens the bond within our own family, as we come together in unity, seeking God’s intervention and expressing our love for those in need. I

It’s a beautiful way to teach our children the value of selflessness and cultivate a heart of service.

Why is praying together as a family so important? 

  • Teaching and Role Modeling: Praying together allows parents to teach and model important values and principles to their children. It helps instill a sense of reverence, gratitude, and humility. Children learn from their parent’s example and guidance, and family prayer provides a platform to demonstrate the importance of prayer, faith, and reliance on a higher power.
  • Unity and Bonding: Praying together creates a sense of unity and bonding within the family. It provides an opportunity for family members to connect on a deeper level, share their joys and struggles, and seek solace and guidance together. Praying as a family helps build trust, compassion, and empathy among family members, strengthening the overall family dynamic.
  • Building a Foundation for Life: Praying together as a family establishes a strong foundation for life. Regular family prayer fosters a lifelong habit of turning to prayer in times.

A picture of The Family Devotions starter kit. A downloadable bundle containing tips, and resources for starting and maintaining family devotional practice.

Praying together as a family Teaches our children about God:

When prayers are answered, it becomes a powerful teaching moment for children to learn about God and His presence in their lives.

Here are some ways in which answered prayers can teach children about God.

A: Faith and Trust:

Answered prayers teach children the importance of faith and trust in God. When they see that their prayers are being heard and answered, it strengthens their belief that God is faithful and reliable.

It encourages them to continue seeking God’s guidance and relying on Him in all aspects of their lives.

B: God’s Timing and Wisdom:

Sometimes prayers are answered in unexpected ways or at a different time than expected. This teaches children that God’s wisdom surpasses their own understanding.

They learn that God knows what is best for them and that His timing is perfect. It helps them develop patience, resilience, and a willingness to surrender their desires to God’s greater plan.

C: Gratitude and Thankfulness:

When a prayer is answered, it instills a sense of gratitude and thankfulness in children. They learn to recognize and appreciate God’s blessings in their lives.

Expressing gratitude for answered prayers cultivates a humble and appreciative heart, teaching children to acknowledge God’s goodness and faithfulness.

D: Helps deepen their Relationship with God:

Answered prayers deepen a child’s relationship with God. They learn that prayer is not just a one-sided conversation but a genuine dialogue with their Heavenly Father.

It encourages children to continue seeking God’s guidance, sharing their joys, concerns and desires with Him. This personal connection with God forms the foundation for a lifelong relationship built on trust, love, and open communication.

Conclusion:

Praying together as a family is an important part of raising godly children. By cultivating a habit of family prayer, we create a spiritual bond that strengthens our family and nurtures our children’s faith.

In the comments below, share a story about a time you saw the power of praying together as a family.

A picture of The Family Devotions starter kit. A downloadable bundle containing tips, and resources for starting and maintaining family devotional practice.

10 Parenting Tips for Raising Godly Children

We know what an amazing and important role we have in nurturing our children’s spiritual growth. It’s a journey filled with love and joy. We also have the privilege of helping our children become people who love and honour God. To help you with this task, I’m sharing 10 Christian Parenting tips for raising Godly Children. 

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Time Stamps

  • [00:02:09] Be a living example to your children
  • [00:06:03] Read different versions of scripture to gain understanding
  • [00:12:28] Allow children to take control of their faith journey
  • [00:21:23] Balance boundaries and generosity, be generous with time and resources.
  • [00:27:47] Practicing gratitude leads to health and happiness
  • [00:29:08] Demonstrate gratitude and encourage open communication.
  • [00:32:03] Teaching forgiveness to children through our actions
  • [00:33:35] Trust in the Lord for guidance and instilling Christian values

10 Parenting Tips for Raising Godly Children

1. Lead by Example

When it comes to raising Godly children, one of the most powerful ways we can teach them is by setting a good example through our own faith. Kids are like little sponges, soaking up everything they see and hear. If we want them to develop a strong relationship with God, we must show them what it looks like in our own lives.

Being a role model means living out our faith authentically and consistently. It means demonstrating love, kindness, honesty, and integrity in our daily interactions. 

Our children are always watching, whether we realize it or not. So, let’s make sure we’re showing them what it means to follow Jesus with our words and actions.

A picture of The Family Devotions starter kit.  A downloadable bundle containing tips, and resources for starting and maintaining family devotional practice.

2. Teach and Discuss Scripture

In our journey of raising Godly children, one of the key ways we can teach them about God is to read and talk about The Bible. 

The Bible is filled with wisdom, guidance, and stories that can shape our children’s hearts and minds. 

When reading the Bible with our children, it’s important to explain the context and background of the passages. This can bring the stories to life and help them connect with the characters and events. 

We can encourage their curiosity by asking open-ended questions. This allows them to express their thoughts, share their insights, and develop a deeper understanding of the Scriptures.

A picture of a family looking into the sun set. Under the picture are the words, 10 parenting tips for raising Godly children. www.onedeterminedlife.com

3. Pray Together

Another thing you can do for raising Godly children is to pray together as a family. This is a great way to deepen our relationship with one another and with God. 

It doesn’t have to be complicated or lengthy – it’s simply about coming together, sharing our hearts, and lifting our voices in prayer.

Find a quiet and cozy spot where you can gather as a family, whether it’s around the dinner table, in a comfy corner of your home, or even outdoors. 

Take turns leading the prayer or invite everyone to participate by expressing their gratitude and sharing their prayer requests. 

Remember, there are no right or wrong words when talking to God. 

Encourage your children to speak from their hearts and share their thoughts and feelings. 

As you pray together, trust that God is listening and that He delights in the voices of your family. Let this time of prayer be a source of comfort, strength, and unity as you grow in your faith and love for one another.

4. Foster a Relationship with God

Help your children develop a personal relationship with God through prayer, worship, and listening to His voice. Encourage them to seek Him in all aspects of life.

That means giving them the tools they need to grow in their faith and become a disciple. 

In our family, it also means letting them lead their relationship with God when they want to take communion or get baptized. 

We also make sure Friday nights are free so we can take our teenagers to youth groups and encourage them to create and keep deeper relationships with friends who will encourage them in their faith.

5. Instill Moral Values

Teach your children the importance of moral values such as kindness, honesty, forgiveness, and respect for others. 

Help them understand the significance of living out these values.

Through age-appropriate discussions and real-life examples, we can help them understand the impact of their actions on those around them.

Encourage them to make choices that align with these values, guiding them to consider the well-being of others and the principles taught in the Bible.

A picture of The Family Devotions starter kit. A downloadable bundle containing tips, and resources for starting and maintaining family devotional practice.

6. Create a Safe and Loving Home Environment

Build a home where your children feel secure, loved, and accepted. Provide a nurturing environment that fosters emotional and spiritual growth.

Be slow to anger and quick to listen.

Listen to their problems and ask what they need. 

Give them space to work out their faith and support their journey. 

7. Set Clear Boundaries

Establish reasonable and consistent boundaries for your children. Teach them self-discipline, responsibility, and the consequences of their choices.

God’s presence and His laws provide a sense of safety and protection for us. 

This is like a study conducted with children playing in a fenced schoolyard. Beyond the fence, there was a vast natural area with big trees and exciting things. 

However, when the fence was removed to give the children more space, they actually stayed closer to the building. 

Why? 

Because the boundary made them feel secure, and that instinctual need for safety kicked in. 

This study teaches us an important lesson: true freedom isn’t about having no boundaries; it’s about having the right boundaries that keep us safe. 

When we embrace God’s boundaries, we find the freedom to truly enjoy and experience joy in our lives. 

So, let’s teach our children about God’s loving boundaries so they can embrace the safety and freedom that He offers us.

8. Encourage Service and Generosity

Teach your children the joy of serving others and sharing their blessings. Engage in acts of kindness as a family, such as volunteering or helping those in need.

We can inspire them by setting an example of generosity ourselves and involving them in acts of service. 

Whether it’s volunteering together as a family, helping a neighbour in need, or donating to a worthy cause, these experiences teach our children the value of selflessness and the joy that comes from making a positive impact in someone else’s life.

By nurturing a spirit of service and generosity in our children, we empower them to be a source of goodness and kindness in the world, spreading love and making a difference in the lives of others.

9. Cultivate a Culture of Gratitude

Teach your children to appreciate and express gratitude for God’s blessings and the kindness of others. Foster a thankful attitude in daily life.

We can do this by leading by example and expressing gratitude for the blessings in our own lives. 

Engaging in conversations about gratitude and highlighting the little joys and moments of appreciation in daily life can help our children develop a grateful mindset. 

Encourage them to express gratitude to others, whether it’s through a simple “thank you” or a heartfelt note of appreciation. 

By nurturing gratitude in our children, we open their eyes to the beauty and abundance that surrounds them, fostering contentment, joy, and a deeper appreciation for life’s blessings.

10. Encourage Open Communication

Create an atmosphere of open communication, where your children feel comfortable discussing their questions, doubts, and concerns. 

We can encourage open communication by being approachable and actively listening to our children without judgment or interruption. 

By validating their feelings and perspectives, we create a safe space where they feel comfortable sharing their thoughts, concerns, and questions. 

It’s important to prioritize regular conversations where we genuinely engage with our children and show genuine interest in their lives. 

By fostering open communication, we show our children that their voices matter and that we are here to support and guide them. 

Together, we can navigate the ups and downs of life with love, understanding, and an unbreakable bond.

Conclusion: 

Raising Godly children can be hard. Every child is unique, and parenting is an ongoing learning journey. These tips can serve as a foundation for raising godly children, but adapt them to fit your family’s dynamics and values. In the comments below, share your parenting tips to raise Godly children. 

I know some of you may want to dig deeper into how you actually go about sharing your faith with your children, so next week, I’ll be doing a training session called: Strategies for teaching and modelling Christian values to children

If you are looking for some resources to get you started, check out The Family Devotional Starter Kit: A downloadable bundle containing tips, and resources for starting and maintaining family devotional practice.

A picture of The Family Devotions starter kit. A downloadable bundle containing tips, and resources for starting and maintaining family devotional practice.

Share your best tips for raising Godly children in the comments below.

The Time is Now: Serve God Today and Not Tomorrow

In our Christian life, there’s a balance between doing things and thinking deeply, between staying busy helping others and finding peace in prayer. It’s like a seesaw that asks us to manage between the important things we have to do in the world and the deep connection we have with our beliefs. In this blog post, I’ll share why it’s important to serve God today, and not tomorrow.

Serve God today and not tomorrow

This blog post was written by Jen Schreiner. You can connect with her on her blog and learn more about her at the end of this blog post.

Choose today who you will serve

It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables.

Acts 6:2 (NIV)

Acts 6:2 is not a scripture I would normally turn to for comfort. But it has now changed my perspective as I rest and reflect. You see, I fall into the category of serving people actively.

My joy bucket overflows each time I assist others with their needs. If I can be that person you can call on in the middle of the night for help – sign me up!

Within a three-month period, the Lord began a new work in my life. He called my family into a period of growth through serving passively.

We went from actively serving in ministry to reach others, to a hands-off approach. If you don’t know what this means, neither did I, until God revealed this mystery to our family.

While processing this transition, I had a lightbulb moment. Being a doer, I saw this opportunity as a time to research and prepare for His next calling.

When God says, “enough” or “go” I do it out of obedience and then I take it one step further by trying to figure things out on my own.

Isn’t it funny; that no matter how obedient we are to God, we think we can help Him out?

A transition Problem

The apostles in the early church also had a transition problem. They needed disciples to help gather and distribute food to the widows.

Many were upset because this ministry was being overlooked as the growth of the church continued.

Instead of division, connections were made to meet the demands of serving in different capacities.

Seven disciples who were known to be full of the spirit and wisdom were chosen. Serving those widows and preaching about the goodness of God are both equally important.

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God will raise up His workers

It took time for me to realize that God will appoint and raise up those who need to be serving in action or for others to be serving through the use of spoken word ministry.

Our Christian walk requires us to be obedient to God.
He oftentimes shifts our responsibilities to:
  • Raise others up into positions we have served on.
  • Give us a time of rest and healing.
  • Deepen our relationship with Him.

No matter if you are a doer or in a resting phase of ministry, here is what I know for sure.

God created us for a purpose in Him.

When He changes our plans, it is often in preparation for our next steps.

God directs every effort for unity in Christ and through all things, whether “waiting on tables” or spreading His word, we can glorify Him.

While this may be a difficult transition, it’s important that we focus on how to serve God today- not in the past, or even tomorrow.

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What are the next steps?

So, when we don’t understand what God’s next steps look like for our life, we can count on one thing – doing for God today and not tomorrow will serve Him best. 

If God wills it or allows it, we must embrace it. Let’s lean on Him and not on our own methods of research or understanding.

In the comments below, share a time when your ministry focus changed and how The Lord helped you through it and any tips on how to serve God today.

What Does The Bible say about sex?

What does The Bible say about sex? When we look at what the Bible says about it, it’s important to know how God wants us to have relationships and what’s okay for us to do and not do. The Bible tells us that marriage is ordained by God and is therefore special. God wants us to be faithful to our partners. He also warns us about doing things that are not right when it comes to sex. Let’s take a closer look at these teachings.

What does The Bible say about sex?

I. God’s Design for Sexuality

A. Creation of Man and Woman in God’s Image

Genesis 1:27 (ESV) So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

This important fact shows how valuable every person is because we are all made in God’s image.

This means that we’re like him in some ways. We can think, create, understand right and wrong, and have relationships. 

Also, the fact that there are men and women shows how God is both one and many at the same time.

Even though men and women are different, they are still equal. They have different roles and qualities, but they need each other and should treat each other with respect. 

Remembering that we’re made in God’s image reminds us to be like him in how we treat others and take care of the world. 

It shows us that everyone is important and valuable, so we should treat them with love and respect, just like God does.

Love & Respect

In marriage, this means that when a man and a woman get married, they make a complete team. They each have their strengths and ideas, which help them work well together.

Men and women are equal in God’s eyes, and this equality is important in marriage too. 

Husbands and wives should treat each other with respect, love, and fairness. They appreciate each other’s differences and work together as a team.

Husbands and wives should treat each other with respect, love, and fairness. They appreciate each other’s differences and work together as a team

When it comes to sex in marriage, it’s not just a physical thing. It’s a way for husbands and wives to show love and trust for each other. 

They should always respect each other’s feelings and needs, making sure they both feel valued and cared for.

Overall, following God’s plan for sex in marriage means treating each other well and cherishing the special bond they share. 

It’s about showing love, respect, and kindness to each other, just like God does for us.

A ppicture of a tablet showing The Bible study workbook, 12 powerful names of God.

B. Marriage is the Foundation for Sexual Intimacy

Marriage is a central role in God’s design for human relationships. It serves as the foundation for sexual intimacy and the family unit. 

From the beginning, God established marriage as a sacred covenant between one man and one woman, intended to reflect the unity, love, and commitment found within the Godhead.

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” 

Genesis 2:24

This passage describes the bond created through marriage, where two individuals are joined together in a lifelong union portrayed by mutual love, support, and companionship.

Marriage provides a framework for sexual intimacy within God’s intended boundaries, characterized by trust, security, and commitment. 

It protects the sacredness of sexual relationships and keeps sex the way it’s meant to be. 

The Bible is clear that sex was created to make babies and bring couples closer together. It also makes clear that people Should NOT use each other, treat each other like objects, or cheat on each other.

Marriage is also a reflection of Christ’s love for His Church

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.

Ephesians 5:25

This selfless love is shown through selflessness, humility, and fidelity. It forms the basis for marital unity and spiritual growth.

In a world marked by shifting cultural norms and distorted views of sexuality, the biblical vision of marriage offers a timeless and transcendent standard for human flourishing.

It provides a context for the cultivation of intimacy, companionship, and shared purpose while upholding the sanctity and dignity of every individual involved.

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C. Monogamy & fidelity in marriage

Monogamy and fidelity within marriage are foundational principles that help keep the marriage strong and special. 

Monogamy refers to the practice of being married to only one spouse at a time, while fidelity means spouses practice faithfulness, loyalty, and commitment to their spouse in all aspects of the marital relationship.

Monogamy

The concept of monogamy finds its roots in creation, where God established marriage as a lifelong union between one man and one woman.

Genesis 2:24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

This design shows that marriage is supposed to be a special bond where both partners are devoted to each other, enjoy each other’s company, and stay together.

Fidelity:

Fidelity within marriage includes emotional, physical, and spiritual faithfulness to one’s spouse. 

It involves prioritizing the needs, desires, and well-being of one’s partner above all others, ignoring all others to support and protect the marital relationship.

Fidelity also means being honest, transparent, and trustworthy in all encounters and decisions, creating an atmosphere of mutual respect, security, and intimacy within the marriage.

Why we should practice Monogamy and Fidelity?

The practice of monogamy and fidelity within marriage creates stability, confidence, and emotional safety, laying a strong groundwork for personal development, and peace in the relationship.

Monogamy and fidelity also contribute to the well-being of children raised within a stable and loving family environment. This can lead to good grades in school, feeling good emotionally, and fitting in well with others.

Fidelity within marriage also serves as a powerful witness to the values of commitment, and sacrificial love in a world marked by shifting cultural norms and relational instability. 

By sticking to these beliefs, couples show that marriage is really important and special. They recognize that it’s something set up by God for people to thrive and be happy.

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II. Sex outside Marriage is Immoral 

The Bible addresses sexual immorality in several passages, condemning behaviours that deviate from God’s intended design for human sexuality. 

Here are some key verses:

  • 1 Corinthians 6:18 (NIV) – “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.”
    • This verse emphasizes the seriousness of sexual immorality and the need to actively avoid it.
  • Galatians 5:19-21 (NIV) – “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
    • Here, sexual immorality is listed among other sinful behaviours, highlighting its gravity and warning of its consequences.
  • Ephesians 5:3 (NIV) – “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.”
    • This verse underscores the need for believers to avoid any form of sexual immorality, emphasizing the importance of purity and holiness.
  • Hebrews 13:4 (NIV) – “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.”
    • Here, the sanctity of marriage is emphasized, with a warning against adultery and sexual immorality.
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 (NIV) – “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God.”
    • This passage stresses the importance of sanctification and self-control in the area of sexuality, contrasting it with the behavior of those who do not follow God.

Overall, the Bible consistently teaches that sexual immorality is sinful and contrary to God’s will for His people. It emphasizes the importance of purity, fidelity within marriage, and self-control in matters of sexuality.

A ppicture of a tablet showing The Bible study workbook, 12 powerful names of God.

Conclusion

When we look at how God intended sexuality to be, the Bible teaches that marriage is really important. God created men and women in His image, showing that everyone is valuable and equal. 

This means that in marriage, there should be mutual respect and love. Marriage is seen as the proper place for sexual intimacy, where love, trust, and commitment can flourish in a way that pleases God.

The Bible is very clear that sexual immorality is wrong. It warns that it can harm individuals, relationships, and society as a whole. 

The Bible tells us to stay away from sexual immorality and impurity, and instead, strive for purity and holiness. 

By following God’s standards for sexuality and avoiding immoral behaviour, we show respect for marriage and honour the importance of healthy relationships as God intended.

What does The Bible say about tattoos? 

Tattoos have transcended their historical origins as marks of tribal identity or symbols of rebellion to become a mainstream phenomenon in modern culture. With this surge in popularity, it’s normal for christians to ask what does The Bible say about tattoos and if is it ok to get one.

The popularity and significance of tattoos have changed over the years, reflecting shifts in societal attitudes, fashion trends, and individual expression.

In recent decades, tattoos have experienced a rise in popularity, with a growing number of people choosing to have tattoos on their bodies. 

From celebrities to everyday individuals, tattoos have become a ubiquitous form of self-expression, serving as a canvas for personal stories, beliefs, and experiences.

What Does The Bible Say About Tattoos

I. Bible Verses about Tattoos:

When talking about tattoos, most christians refer to 2 verses in The Bible. 

  • Leviticus 19:28 (NIV) – “Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the Lord.”
  • 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NIV) – “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies.”

Let’s look at each verse and see what we can learn from them, and how we can apply each of these verses to our lives.

II. The Scriptural Passage: Leviticus 19:28

Tattooing and body modification have been practiced for thousands of years across various ancient civilizations. Evidence of tattooing dates back to the New Stone Age, with tattoos found on mummified remains from ancient Egypt. 

The Bible does mention tattooing in Leviticus 19:28, where it states, “Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the Lord.” 

As mentioned above, this verse is often quoted in talking about tattoos from a biblical perspective. 

Leviticus 19:28 is part of the Holiness Code in Leviticus, which outlines various laws and regulations for the Israelites to maintain holiness and purity. 

This verse specifically addresses restrictions against certain practices, including cutting the body for the dead and tattooing. 

However, it’s crucial to understand Israel’s cultural and religious context in those times to interpret this verse correctly.

A. Historical Context of Tattoos in Biblical Times

In ancient times, tattoos carried many different meanings depending on the culture. 

Among the Israelites, tattooing may have been related to pagan rituals or mourning practices for the dead, as a result- The scripture outlawing it in Leviticus 19:28. 

Understanding the cultural and religious significance of tattoos in biblical times helps give context to the biblical perspective on this practice.

B. Interpretations of the verse by biblical scholars:

Biblical scholars have offered various interpretations of Leviticus 19:28, considering linguistic nuances and historical context. 

Some scholars argue that the restrictions against tattoos were specific to pagan practices prevalent in ancient Near Eastern cultures. 

Others view it as a broader principle of maintaining purity and separation from pagan customs.

One common misconception about Leviticus 19:28 is that it categorically condemns all forms of tattooing. 

However, a nuanced understanding reveals that the verse primarily addresses specific cultural practices associated with mourning for the dead and pagan rituals.

C. Comparison with other Levitical laws and their relevance today:

When considering the relevance of the prohibition of tattoos in Leviticus 19:28 today, it’s important to compare it with other laws in the Levitical code. 

Some laws, like dietary restrictions and sacrificial rituals, are understood as culturally specific to ancient Israel and not binding on Christians today. 

However, principles underlying laws, such as maintaining purity and honouring God with one’s body, remain relevant for contemporary believers. 

Therefore, while the prohibition of tattoos may have a specific historical and cultural context, its underlying principles of holiness and devotion to God can still carry moral significance for Christians today.

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III. The Scriptural Passage: 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

1 Corinthians 6:19-20, often quoted when talking about tattoos among Christians, and provides a helpful way to think about whether Christians should get tattoos.

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20, NIV)

In this passage, the apostle Paul addresses the Corinthian church, stressing how important and special our bodies are because they’re like a holy place where the Holy Spirit lives.

This verse teaches us the truth that– as Christians, our bodies are not our own but are instead temples of the Holy Spirit. 

This truth should impact the way believers treat their bodies, including the decision to have tattoos or not.

A. Our bodies are temples: 

To form a Biblical perspective on tattoos, we first have to understand that our bodies are a temple and therefore are valuable. 

In The Old Testament, we see that the physical temple in Jerusalem was a place set apart for the worship and presence of God. 

In The New Testament, we see that The separation between man and God were separated and it is now our bodies that serve as dwelling places for the Holy Spirit. 

This truth means that as Christians, we should honour and respect our bodies, and treat them with reverence and care- just like The Israelites took care of The Temple.

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B. Stewards of our bodies

With this truth in mind, the decision to get a tattoo becomes a matter of stewardship. 

If we are true followers of God, we need to consider how our choices regarding bodies align with our commitment to honouring God with our bodies. 

This means we need to consider whether a tattoo improves or makes worse the cleanliness of the body as a temple of the Holy Spirit.

C. We belong to God

From these verses, we learn that Christians belong to God and have been redeemed through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ. 

The phrase “you were bought at a price” emphasizes the costly nature of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, which secured our salvation and reconciliation with God. 

As recipients of this grace, we are called to live in a manner that reflects gratitude and obedience to God.

For some Christians, this understanding of belonging to God and being bought at a price may lead them to abstain from getting tattoos.

They might think changing their bodies isn’t right because they want to keep themselves pure for God like their bodies are special places for the Holy Spirit.

Here is where people have different interpretations

However, it’s important to recognize that interpretations of this verse may be different among Christians. 

While some believers may feel convicted against getting tattoos based on their understanding of 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, others may interpret the passage differently or feel that tattoos can be a legitimate form of self-expression and personal adornment when approached thoughtfully and respectfully.

A ppicture of a tablet showing The Bible study workbook, 12 powerful names of God.

IV. Should Christians have tattoos or not? 

Tattoos often occupy a gray area within Christian discourse, as they are not explicitly condemned or condoned in religious texts. 

Some Christians view tattoos as a form of self-expression, while others see them as a violation of biblical principles.

Given this ambiguity, Christians should turn to God for personal conviction regarding the issue of tattoos. 

We should ask God for guidance through prayer and reflection to understand our convictions and whether getting a tattoo aligns with our values and relationship with God.

Christians need to approach the topic of tattoos with humility and an open mind, recognizing that different individuals may arrive at different conclusions based on their personal beliefs and interpretations of scripture. 

While some Christians may feel convicted against getting tattoos, others may view them as a legitimate form of self-expression and body art.

Ultimately, the decision to get a tattoo should be rooted in a sincere desire to honour God and live out one’s faith authentically. 

Christians should consider how their choices reflect their identity as followers of Christ and whether getting a tattoo aligns with biblical principles such as love, respect, and self-discipline.

Consider the potential impact

It’s also important to consider the potential impact of their tattoos on others. 

While tattoos can serve as a means of personal expression, they can also influence how others perceive and interact with believers. 

Christians should also extend grace and understanding to those who hold different perspectives on this issue. 

While individuals may arrive at different conclusions based on their interpretation of scripture and personal convictions, the overarching principle of love, acceptance, and unity in Christ should guide interactions and discussions surrounding tattoos within the Christian community.

Whether Christians should have tattoos or not is a matter of individual conviction and discernment, guided by a desire to honour God in all aspects of life.

As believers navigate this complex and nuanced issue, they are called to seek wisdom, humility, and grace, trusting in God’s guidance and sovereignty.

6 ways to teach your children to think critically

In today’s rapidly changing world, children are constantly bombarded with so many ideas and beliefs from various sources. From social media to school curriculums, secular influences are prevalent, shaping how children perceive the world around them. With this in mind, continue to read as I share with you: 6 ways to teach your children to think critically.

6 ways to teach Your children to think critically

As parents and caregivers, it’s our responsibility to equip our children with the necessary tools to navigate these influences with discernment, understanding, and confidence in their faith. 

One of the most powerful tools we can provide them with is the ability to think critically.

Critical thinking is the process of analyzing and evaluating information, arguments, and beliefs in a systematic and logical manner. 

It allows children to question, challenge, and explore different perspectives, enabling them to make informed decisions and form their own opinions. 

By teaching children to think critically, we empower them to approach secular influences with a discerning eye and a firm foundation in their faith.

Why Critical Thinking Matters:

Critical thinking is more than just the ability to memorize facts or regurgitate information—it’s about actively engaging with ideas, concepts, and arguments in a thoughtful and analytical manner. 

Children who develop strong critical thinking skills are better equipped to:

  • Make Informed Decision: By analyzing information critically, children can make informed decisions based on evidence and reasoning rather than emotions or peer pressure.
  • Solve Problems: Critical thinking enables children to approach problems creatively, identify potential solutions, and evaluate their effectiveness before making a decision.
  • Navigate Complex Issues: In today’s interconnected world, children are exposed to a wide range of complex issues—from climate change to social justice. Critical thinking equips them with the tools to navigate these issues with clarity and understanding.

6 ways to teach Your children to think critically

1. Encourage questioning: 

Encourage your children to ask questions about the world around them. Encourage them to seek out answers, explore different viewpoints, and think critically about the information they encounter.

Encourage your children to ask open-ended questions. These are questions that require more than a simple yes or no answer. 

If your kids can’t think of any, as them some of the following: 

  • “Why do you think people believe different things about God?”
  • “How do you think our faith can help us make decisions in difficult situations?”
  • “What do you think it means to be a good person?”
  • “Can you tell me about a time when you had to make a tough decision and how you decided what to do?”
  • “What do you think happens after we die, and why?”

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2. Provide opportunities for discussion: 

Engage your children in meaningful conversations about a wide range of topics, including faith, values, and current events. 

Encourage them to express their opinions, listen to others, and consider different perspectives.

3. Teach them to evaluate information:

Teach your children how to evaluate the reliability and credibility of sources, whether it’s a website, a news article, or a social media post. Help them understand the importance of fact-checking and verifying information before accepting it as true.

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4. Teach Media Literacy: 

Teach your children to be savvy consumers of media by helping them evaluate the reliability and accuracy of sources.

One way to do this is by guiding children to look for evidence to support the claims presented in the media. 

Encouraging them to ask questions such as:

  • What evidence is provided to support this claim?
  • Is there data or research to back up this information?

These types of questions helps instill a habit of critical inquiry.

You can also teach children to check multiple sources for information on a given topic. 

This reinforces the importance of corroborating facts and perspectives. By comparing and contrasting information from different sources, children learn to recognize biases, inconsistencies, and inaccuracies, encouraging a better understanding of complicated topics.

You can also teach children to think about the author’s credentials and expertise. 

Encouraging them to ask questions like: 
  • Who is the author, and what qualifications do they have?
  • What biases or motivations might the author have?

These types of questions help children think critically about the credibility and reliability of the information presented.

5. Expose your children to different viewpoints: 

Expose your children to different viewpoints and perspectives, both within and outside of your faith community.

Encourage them to engage with ideas that challenge their beliefs, helping them develop empathy, tolerance, and a deeper understanding of the world around them.

  • Discuss Current Events: Engage your children in discussions about current events and news stories. Encourage them to analyze the information critically, question the sources, and consider the biases that may be present.

  • Encourage Independent Research: Encourage your children to explore topics of interest independently. Provide them with access to books, articles, and online resources, and encourage them to conduct their own research and draw their own conclusions.

6. Model critical thinking: 

Be a role model for your children by demonstrating critical thinking skills in your own life. Talk openly about how you approach problems, make decisions, and evaluate information, and encourage your children to ask questions and challenge assumptions.

Conclusion:

By teaching children to think critically, we empower them to approach secular influences with discernment, understanding, and confidence in their faith. 

As parents and caregivers, it’s our responsibility to equip our children with the skills they need to navigate the complexities of the modern world and stay true to their beliefs. 

Together, we can empower the next generation to be thoughtful, compassionate, and resilient individuals who make a positive impact on the world around them.

In the comments below, share your tips for helping your children think critically. 

Guarding Your Kids: 5 Proven Strategies Against Secular Influences

Studies show children are exposed to an average of 8 to 10 hours of media per day, much of which may contain secular messages conflicting with their family’s values and beliefs. Continue to read as I share 5 Proven Strategies Against Secular Influences.

Influences on our children are all around us

In today’s digitally driven world, secular influences on children are more prevalent than ever before. From TV shows and movies to social media and online content, the bombardment of secular ideas can significantly impact a child’s worldview and beliefs.

As parents, it’s important to recognize the nature of these influences and take steps to guide our children’s beliefs and values in a secular society. 

Our role as parents extends beyond providing food and shelter; we are also called to nurture our children’s spiritual and moral development in an increasingly secular world.

In this blog post, we will explore the importance of parents being proactive in guiding their children’s beliefs and values among the frequent secular influences. 

We’ll dive into practical strategies that parents can use to fight these influences and help their children navigate today’s secular world while staying true to their faith and values. 

5 Proven Strategies Against Secular Influences

1. Foster Open Communication:

Encouraging honest conversation within the family is important for creating a caring and encouraging atmosphere where children know they are valued, listened to, and comprehended. 

By making open communication a priority parents can develop close connections with their children and set the groundwork for positive relationships founded on trust and mutual respect. 

A. Establish a secure environment 

A crucial part of promoting open dialogue involves establishing a secure environment where children can freely share their thoughts, inquiries, and worries without worrying about criticism or consequences.

This involves actively listening to their children, validating their feelings, and providing a non-judgmental atmosphere where all perspectives are welcomed and respected.

B. Have meaningful conversations with our children 

As parents, we need to have meaningful conversations with our children about faith, values, and beliefs. This is essential in shaping our children’s understanding of the world and their place in it. 

These conversations serve as opportunities for parents to share their beliefs and values while also allowing children to voice their thoughts and interpretations. 

Through these discussions, parents can impart wisdom, guidance, and moral teachings that align with their family’s values and beliefs.

C. How to facilitate effective communication

To have more effective communication, parents can use different techniques such as active listening and validating children’s feelings and perspectives. 

  • Active listening involves giving full attention to what children are saying, paraphrasing their words to ensure understanding, and asking clarifying questions to delve deeper into their thoughts and emotions. 
  • Validating children’s feelings and perspectives demonstrates empathy and understanding, reinforcing their sense of worth and fostering a deeper connection with their parents.

2. Create a Strong Family Identity:

Creating a strong family identity is an important part of fostering a sense of belonging, unity, and shared purpose within the family. 

By building a foundation centred on shared values and beliefs, families can form a unified identity that enhances connections and fosters relationships.

A. Set family values and beliefs

One of the key aspects of cultivating a strong family identity is the importance of mutual values and beliefs.

When families have a clear understanding of their core values and beliefs, they can align their actions and choices based on these values, promoting harmony and unity.

By stressing the importance of these shared values, parents can instill a sense of purpose and belonging within their children, creating a strong foundation for each member of the family.

B. Create times of shared experiences

Suggesting activities such as family rituals, traditions, and discussions is a great way to grow the family’s identity and connection. 

These activities provide opportunities for families to come together, celebrate their unique identity, and create lasting memories. 

Whether it’s weekly family dinners, holiday traditions, or bedtime routines, these rituals help strengthen bonds and reinforce the family’s shared values and beliefs. 

C. Share your past experiences

Parents should also encourage open discussions about family history, values, and goals allowing family members to connect on a deeper level and gain a better understanding of their identity as a unit.

I was at a function recently that was talking about things parents can do to help their children make good choices. The speaker shared a connection between parents sharing past failures with decisions the children made in the future.

He shared a study that showed this: Each of us has made mistakes in our past. When we share those mistakes with our children and how those mistakes shaped our lives- our children are less likely to make those same mistakes. BUT- when we don’t open up about our past and we DON’T share our mistakes- our children are much more likely to go and make those same mistakes in the future! 

Why am I sharing this? There is so much wisdom found in scripture- but when we take to time and share personal experiences or stories about our lives that apply to scripture, our children are much more likely to be able to apply those lessons to their own lives and also less likely to make the same mistakes in the future. 

When we take to time to discuss scripture and how it applies to our lives, our children will be more likely to understand that scripture is not just a book of rules to follow but a book of life and lessons that apply to our everyday lives. 

D. Lead by Example

Leading by example is also an important part of creating a strong family identity. 

Parents play a crucial role in shaping the family’s values and beliefs through their actions and behaviours. 

By demonstrating their commitment to these principles in their everyday lives, parents set a positive example for their children to follow. 

Whether it’s volunteering in the community, prioritizing family time, or practicing kindness and empathy, parents can show their children what it means to live by the family’s values and beliefs.

3. Provide Positive Role Models:

Positive role models play a crucial role in shaping children’s beliefs, behaviours, and character development. 

Children often look up to and copy those they admire, making the influence of role models significant in their lives. 

Role models can come from various spheres, including family, community, and faith-based organizations, and they can have a profound impact on children’s moral compass, self-esteem, and aspirations.

It’s essential for parents to surround their children with positive role models who show the values and principles they want to instill. 

By observing and interacting with positive role models, children can learn valuable life lessons and develop positive attitudes and behaviours.

A. Where to find these role models 

Parents can find role models for their children within their family, community, or faith-based organizations. 

Family members, such as parents, grandparents, or older siblings, can serve as role models by displaying positive traits and behaviours. 

Community leaders, teachers, coaches, or mentors can also be positive role models who inspire and guide children in their personal growth and development. 

Being involved in church activities can also provide children access to positive role models who live out the teachings and values of their faith.

Positive role models not only inspire children to be their best selves but also provide them with a sense of guidance and support as they navigate the complexities of growing up.

4. Educate & Equip:

It’s really important for kids to learn and think carefully about the things they hear and see, especially in today’s world where there are lots of different ideas and beliefs.

 Parents need to help their kids understand what they believe and why, so they can tell what’s true and what might not be.

Parents can do this by encouraging their kids to ask questions, think about things carefully, and check if the information they’re getting is reliable. 

This helps kids to be smart about what they believe and feel confident in their faith.

There are also lots of good books, videos, and online classes that can help kids learn more about their faith and values. 

These resources show kids different ways to think about things and help them understand why they believe what they do.

It’s important for parents to talk with their kids about what they’re learning and answer any questions they have. 

This helps kids feel safe and supported as they figure out what they believe. 

By doing all of this, parents help their kids grow up strong and sure of themselves, even when they face challenges to their beliefs.

5. Create Community and Support:

Creating a community and support network is important in strengthening children’s faith and values, providing them with a strong foundation. 

When children are surrounded by like-minded families, churches, or religious organizations, they have the opportunity to learn from others who share their beliefs and values. 

These connections offer support and encouragement, helping children navigate challenges and grow in their faith journey.

As a parent, you can also connect with other families who prioritize faith and values. This creates a supportive community where children feel accepted, valued, and understood. 

This sense of belonging is essential for children’s emotional and spiritual well-being, as it reinforces their identity as members of a larger faith community.

In these types of communities, children have the opportunity to develop meaningful relationships with peers, mentors, and role models who can guide and inspire them in their faith. 

They also have access to resources, such as Bible studies, youth groups, and community service projects, that further reinforce their faith and values.

Conclusion: 

In today’s world children encounter a continuous stream of messages that might contradict their family’s values and beliefs.

As parents, it’s our responsibility to recognize the nature of these influences and take active steps to guide our children’s beliefs and values in a secular society. 

Beyond providing for their physical needs, we can nurture their spiritual and moral development, getting them ready to understand and deal with the challenges of the secular world while keeping their faith and values strong.

In the comments below, share how you help your children fight against secular influences on their lives. 

Deepen Your Family’s Roots: 30 Rituals for Christian Homes

In our busy lives, finding time to connect with our family and with God is super important for Christian families. Whether it’s saying a quick prayer before meals or having a deep chat about our beliefs, these little moments help keep us grounded in our faith. Continue to read to discover 30 rituals for Christian homes.

30 Rituals for Christian Homes

These aren’t just boring routines – they’re special ways to bring us closer to each other and to God.

From simple things like praying together as a family and saying grace before meals, to fun traditions like celebrating holidays and having movie nights centered on our faith, there’s something for everyone. 

Each activity is a chance to grow our faith, strengthen our bond as a family, and make some awesome memories along the way.

So come join us as we dive into the heart of Christian family life!

We’ll explore easy ways to build a strong spiritual foundation and make our homes a place filled with love, joy, and faith. 

Whether you’re looking for fresh ideas or ways to make your family rituals even more special, this blog post is here to help you create a home that’s truly blessed.

Family Rituals:

  • Bible Study Sessions: Schedule regular family Bible study sessions where you read and discuss passages from the Bible together, sharing insights and reflections.
  • Family Prayer Time: Set aside a specific time each day for family prayer, where everyone gathers together to pray and share their intentions.
  • Mealtime Blessings: Begin each meal with a prayer of thanksgiving and blessing, expressing gratitude for the food and each other’s company.
  • Weekly Worship: Attend church together as a family every Sunday, participating in worship services and Sunday school classes.

Attend church together as a family every Sunday, participating in worship services and Sunday school classes.

Weekly Worship

  • Devotional Time: Incorporate daily devotions into your family routine, reading from a devotional book or Bible passage and discussing its significance.
  • Family Singing: Gather as a family to sing hymns and worship songs, either during family devotions or as a standalone activity.
  • Family Fasting: Observe fasting as a family during Lent or other significant seasons of the Christian calendar, focusing on prayer, repentance, and spiritual renewal.
  • Family Retreats: Plan occasional family retreats or weekends away focused on spiritual growth, fellowship, and bonding.
  • Prayer Walks: Take family walks together, using the time to pray, reflect, and connect with God and each other.
  • Bedtime Blessings: End each day with a bedtime blessing, where parents pray over their children and offer words of encouragement and love.

A picture of an extended family sitting at a dinner table, talking and eating together. Over the picture are the words, 30 rituals for christian homes. www.onedeterminedlife.com

Family Traditions:

  • Holiday Celebrations: Celebrate Christian holidays such as Christmas and Easter with special traditions like attending church services, decorating the home, and exchanging meaningful gifts.
  • Advent Activities: Create an Advent calendar or wreath and participate in daily Advent activities leading up to Christmas, focusing on anticipation and preparation for the birth of Jesus.
  • Easter Egg Hunts: Host an Easter egg hunt with a Christian twist, incorporating Scripture verses or symbols of Jesus’ resurrection into the hunt.
  • Family Mission Trips: Volunteer as a family for mission trips or service projects, serving others in need and sharing the love of Christ.

Volunteer as a family for mission trips or service projects, serving others in need and sharing the love of Christ.

Family Mission Trips

  • Memorial Services: Remember deceased loved ones with annual memorial services or special remembrance rituals, honouring their legacy and the impact they had on the family.
  • Family Baptism Celebrations: Celebrate baptisms within the family with special ceremonies or gatherings, rejoicing in the individual’s commitment to follow Christ.
  • Creation Care: Dedicate time as a family to care for God’s creation by participating in environmental clean-up efforts or gardening together.
  • Faith-Based Movie Nights: Have regular movie nights featuring Christian films or documentaries, followed by discussions about the themes and messages portrayed.
  • Generational Blessings: Pass down family heirlooms, traditions, and stories from one generation to the next, strengthening family ties and preserving Christian heritage.
  • Family Communion: Share communion as a family, either during church services or in a special family ceremony at home, remembering Jesus’ sacrifice and the unity of believers.

Family Discussions:

  • Faith Sharing: Have open discussions about each family member’s faith journey, sharing personal experiences, struggles, and moments of growth.
  • Ethical Dilemmas: Discuss ethical dilemmas and moral issues from a Christian perspective, exploring how biblical principles apply to real-life situations.
  • Current Events: Talk about current events and world issues from a Christian worldview, discussing how to respond with compassion, justice, and faith.
  • Family Values: Clarify and reaffirm your family’s values and beliefs, discussing the importance of integrity, honesty, love, and service.
  • Answering Questions: Create a safe space for children to ask questions about faith, theology, and the Bible, providing thoughtful and age-appropriate answers.

Create a safe space for children to ask questions about faith, theology, and the Bible, providing thoughtful and age-appropriate answers.

Answering Questions

  • Prayer Requests: Share prayer requests as a family, lifting up each other’s needs and concerns in prayer and seeking God’s guidance and provision.
  • Scripture Memorization: Memorize Bible verses together as a family, discussing their meaning and application to everyday life.
  • Forgiveness and Reconciliation: Discuss the importance of forgiveness and reconciliation in family relationships, modelling Christ-like attitudes of grace and forgiveness.
  • Cultural Engagement: Talk about engaging with culture and media from a Christian perspective, discerning what aligns with biblical values and what doesn’t.
  • Family Vision and Goals: Set aside time to discuss and pray about your family’s vision and goals, seeking God’s direction and unity in pursuing His purposes together.

These ideas for family rituals, traditions, and discussions can help Christian families grow closer to God and each other, fostering a strong foundation of faith, love, and spiritual growth within the home.

The Courageous Witness of Elisabeth Elliot

In Christian circles, few figures stand as boldly as Elisabeth Elliot—a woman whose life showed faith, resilience in the face of adversity, and a remarkable capacity for forgiveness. Through her extraordinary witness, Elisabeth left a permanent mark on the world of Christian missions, inspiring countless individuals to follow in her footsteps and embrace God’s call with courage and conviction.

The Life of Elisabeth Elliot

Elisabeth Elliot was born on December 21, 1926, in Brussels, Belgium, to missionary parents. From a young age, she felt a deep sense of calling to serve God and bring the message of His love to those who had never heard it.

This calling would shape the course of her life and lead her to the remote jungles of Ecuador, where she and her husband, Jim Elliot, embarked on a mission to reach the Waorani people with the gospel.

Tragically, their mission was cut short on January 8, 1956, when Jim and four other missionaries were killed by members of the very tribe they had come to serve.

In the wake of this devastating loss, Elisabeth faced grief and heartache that we could never imagine. Yet, even in her sorrow, she showed extraordinary grace and courage.

Instead of seeking revenge or keeping bitterness towards the Waorani people, Elisabeth chose to extend forgiveness and love.

She remained committed to continuing the work that Jim had begun, determined to honour his legacy and fulfill God’s call on her life.

In the years that followed, Elisabeth returned to the Waorani tribe, where she lived among them and ministered to their spiritual and physical needs.

Elisabeth Elliot returns to The Waorani people

Upon her return, Elisabeth immersed herself in the life of the tribe, living among them and seeking to understand their culture, customs, and way of life.

She showed genuine respect and appreciation for their traditions while also sharing her own faith and beliefs with them.

1. Gave compassionate care

One of the most significant ways Elisabeth ministered to the Waorani people was through her compassionate care for their physical and spiritual needs.

She provided medical assistance, taught basic hygiene practices, and offered practical help in various aspects of daily life. Her kindness and generosity endeared her to the tribe, earning their trust and respect.

2. Her testimony of faith

However, perhaps the most profound impact Elisabeth had on the Waorani people was through her testimony of faith in Jesus Christ.

Despite the language barrier and cultural differences, Elisabeth found ways to communicate the message of God’s love and redemption to the tribe.

She shared stories from the Bible, prayed with them, and lived out the teachings of Jesus in her own life.

Elisabeth’s life was characterized by an unwavering commitment to God’s call, even in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. She faced adversity with resilience and courage, trusting in God’s faithfulness to see her through every trial and tribulation.

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Her Impact on Missions

Elisabeth Elliot had a huge impact on Christian missions. One that cannot be overstated.

Through her writings, speaking engagements, and personal testimony, Elisabeth inspired generations of believers to embrace the call of missions with courage, faith, and love.

Her life and ministry have left an indelible mark on the world of Christian missions, inspiring countless individuals to embrace God’s call with courage, dedication, and unwavering faith.

1. Inspiring Obedience to God’s Call:

Elisabeth Elliot’s willingness to heed God’s call, even in the face of uncertainty and adversity, has inspired generations of missionaries to step out in faith and follow wherever God leads.

Her story challenges believers to prioritize obedience to God above all else, trusting in His faithfulness to equip and sustain them in their mission.

2. Promotes a Christ-Centered Approach:

Elisabeth Elliot’s emphasis on the centrality of Christ in missions has shaped the way many approach cross-cultural ministry.

Through her writings and teachings, she emphasized the importance of proclaiming the gospel message in its entirety, without compromise or cultural accommodation.

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3. Modelled Sacrificial Love:

Elisabeth Elliot’s sacrificial love for the Waorani people, even after the death of her husband, Jim Elliot, serves as a powerful example of selflessness and devotion in missions.

Her willingness to lay down her life for the sake of the gospel has inspired countless missionaries to embrace a similar spirit of sacrificial love in their own ministry endeavours.

4. Advocating for Indigenous Leadership:

Elisabeth Elliot recognized the importance of empowering indigenous leaders in missions and worked to equip and support local believers in their efforts to share the gospel within their communities.

Her defence for indigenous leadership has helped to foster sustainable and relevant approaches to mission work around the world.

5. Championing the Role of Women:

Elisabeth Elliot’s life and ministry challenged traditional gender roles within the mission field, demonstrating the significant contributions that women can make in advancing the kingdom of God.

Through her boldness, intelligence, and spiritual insight, she paved the way for countless women to pursue missions with confidence and purpose.

6. Having a Heart for the Unreached:

Elisabeth Elliot’s passion for reaching those who have never heard the gospel has ignited a fire in the hearts of many believers to prioritize missions among unreached people groups.

Her unchanging commitment to sharing the love of Christ with those who have yet to hear His name continues to inspire mission organizations and individuals to focus their efforts on reaching the least reached.

Steps to be more like Elisabeth Elliot

1. Cultivate Forgiveness:

Like Elisabeth, we can practice forgiveness even in the face of deep pain and loss.

By extending grace and letting go of resentment, we can free ourselves and others from the burden of bitterness.

2. Commit to God’s Call:

Elisabeth’s life was marked by a continued commitment to God’s call, even when it led her into difficult and unfamiliar territory.

We can emulate her by listening attentively to God’s voice and faithfully following His leading, trusting that He will equip us for whatever tasks He sets before us.

3. Demonstrate Courage:

Elisabeth’s courage in the face of adversity serves as an inspiration to us all.

We can cultivate courage by stepping out of our comfort zones, facing our fears head-on, and trusting in God’s strength to sustain us through every trial.

4. Show Compassion:

Elisabeth’s ministry to the Waorani tribe exemplified a deep compassion for others, even those who had wronged her.

We can follow her example by extending love and empathy to those in need, regardless of their background or circumstances.

5. Embrace God’s Grace:

Elisabeth understood the transformative power of God’s grace in her life.

We can experience this same grace by surrendering our lives to God, acknowledging our need for His forgiveness, and living in the freedom that comes from knowing His love.

6. Share God’s Love:

Elisabeth’s ministry was fueled by a desire to share the love of Christ with others.

We can follow her example by actively seeking opportunities to share the hope and joy we have found in Jesus with those around us.

Conclusion

Elisabeth Elliot’s story continues to challenge and inspire us today, reminding us of the transformative power of forgiveness, the strength found in God’s grace, and the enduring legacy of those who boldly follow His call.

In a world marked by division, conflict, and strife, Elisabeth Elliot’s courageous witness stands as a beacon of hope and reconciliation—a testament to the power of forgiveness to heal wounds and bring about transformation.

May we, like Elisabeth, be willing to extend grace and love to those who have wronged us, trusting in God’s faithfulness to bring beauty from ashes and redemption from brokenness.

The Inspiring Journey of Gladys Aylward

March is Women’s History Month. It’s a great time to learn about women who made their mark on History. Such is the story of Gladys Aylward, a British missionary whose remarkable journey is a great example of the power of determination, selflessness, and unwavering faith in God’s guidance.

Born in London in 1902, Gladys Aylward was born to help others. Her early life was marked by a longing to serve others and a deep sense of compassion for those in need. Despite lacking formal education and facing numerous obstacles along the way, Gladys was determined to fulfill her calling as a missionary.

In 1932, Gladys Aylward started her journey to China, a land known for its ancient traditions and marked by political unrest.

Despite the challenges that lay ahead, Gladys set out on a mission to bring the message of God’s love to the people of China.

But Gladys’s mission would soon take on a new urgency with the outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937.

As the Japanese invasion swept across China, leaving devastation in its wake, Gladys Aylward found herself at the forefront of a humanitarian crisis.

With courage and compassion, Gladys Aylward threw herself into the task of rescuing orphaned and abandoned children, often risking her own life to bring them to safety.

Through sheer determination and unwavering faith in God’s provision, she saved hundreds of children from the horrors of war, providing them with shelter, food, and the love of a mother.

How Gladys Saved Children

Gladys Aylward travelled through war-torn regions, often going long distances on foot or by any means available.

She went into areas where others feared to go, motivated by her belief that every child deserved a chance at a better life.

Gladys demonstrated remarkable resourcefulness in her efforts to rescue children. She employed creative ways to prevent being found by enemy soldiers and travelled through difficult terrain.

In some instances, she disguised herself and the children she was rescuing to avoid detection and ensure their safety.

Once she had successfully rescued the children, Gladys worked to provide them with shelter, food, and care.

She transformed makeshift shelters into havens of refuge, where children could find solace and security amidst the chaos of war.

A picture of a couple walking in a field. Each of them is carrying a child on their back. Under the picture are the words, The inspiring Journey of Gladys Aylward. www.onedeterminedlife.com

Providing Hope and Stability

Despite limited resources, Gladys Aylward spared no effort in meeting the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the children under her care.

Beyond meeting their immediate needs, Gladys became a surrogate mother to these children, offering them love, guidance, and support.

She provided a sense of stability and belonging in a time of uncertainty, nurturing their spirits and instilling in them a sense of hope for the future.

Gladys’s dedication to rescuing orphaned and abandoned children was fueled by her unwavering faith in God’s guidance and provision.

She drew strength from her belief that she was following God’s call to care for the “least of these,” and she entrusted each child to His loving care.

Through her selfless actions, Gladys not only saved the lives of hundreds of children but also restored their dignity and gave them a chance at a brighter future.

Standing Firm in her faith

Gladys’s journey was not without its trials. She faced countless obstacles, from navigating treacherous mountain passes to outwitting enemy soldiers. Yet, through it all, she remained firm in her knowledge that God was guiding her every step of the way.

Gladys’s incredible story of courage and selflessness captured the world’s attention, inspiring countless individuals to join her in the fight for justice and compassion.

Her legacy lives on today through the lives of the hundreds of children she saved and the countless lives she touched with her message of hope and love.

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Steps to be more like Gladys Aylward

1. Show Courage:

Like Gladys, we can face challenges with bravery and determination.

Instead of giving up when things get tough, we can summon our inner strength and tackle obstacles head-on, knowing that with courage, we can overcome any difficulty.

2. Practice Compassion:

Gladys had a big heart for those in need, especially orphaned and abandoned children. We can follow her example by showing kindness and empathy towards others, especially those who are suffering or disadvantaged.

Whether it’s lending a listening ear, offering a helping hand, or simply showing someone that they are cared for, acts of compassion can make a big difference in someone’s life.

3. Take Action:

Gladys didn’t just talk about helping others—she took action. We can follow her lead by actively seeking out opportunities to make a positive impact in our communities and beyond.

Whether it’s volunteering at a local shelter, participating in a charity event, or advocating for social justice causes, every action, no matter how small, can contribute to positive change.

4. Be Resourceful:

Gladys demonstrated remarkable resourcefulness in her efforts to rescue children, using creative tactics to overcome obstacles and navigate challenging situations.

We can cultivate our own resourcefulness by thinking outside the box, finding innovative solutions to problems, and making the most of the resources available to us.

5. Trust in God:

Throughout her life, Gladys relied on her faith in God’s guidance and provision. We can deepen our own faith by spending time in prayer, studying scripture, and seeking God’s direction in our lives.

Trusting in God’s plan for us can give us the confidence and strength we need to face whatever challenges come our way.

6. Show Perseverance:

Despite facing numerous challenges and setbacks, Gladys never gave up on her mission to help others.

We can cultivate our own perseverance by staying focused on our goals, maintaining a positive attitude, and persevering through adversity.

Remembering that every setback is an opportunity to learn and grow can help us stay motivated and resilient in the face of obstacles.

Conclusion

Gladys Aylward’s legacy of compassion and courage continues to inspire generations, serving as a powerful reminder of the difference that one person can make when they are willing to step out in faith and love.

As we reflect on the inspiring journey of Gladys Aylward, may we be reminded of the power of determination, selflessness, and unwavering faith to overcome even the greatest of challenges.

May her story inspire us to step out in faith, trusting in God’s guidance as we seek to make a difference in the world around us.

The Remarkable Story of Corrie ten Boom

In times of darkness and despair, stories of courage, compassion, and unwavering faith shine brightly, reminding us of the power of the human spirit to overcome even the most unimaginable challenges. One such story is that of Corrie Ten Boom, a woman of faith who risked everything to save lives during one of the darkest periods in human history.

Corrie’s Humble Roots

Born in the Netherlands in 1892, Corrie ten Boom grew up in a devout Christian family that instilled in her a deep love for God and a commitment to serving others. Alongside her father and siblings, Corrie dedicated her life to running a watchmaking business and caring for those in need in their community.

However, their lives took a dramatic turn with the outbreak of World War II and the subsequent Nazi occupation of the Netherlands.

As the horrors of the Holocaust unfolded, Corrie and her family made the courageous decision to provide a safe haven for Jews running from persecution.

Risking their own lives, the Ten Boom family converted their home into a secret hiding place, where they sheltered countless Jews from the clutches of the Nazis.

Despite the constant threat of discovery and the ever-present danger of betrayal, Corrie and her family remained steady in their commitment to protecting the innocent.

What she did to save Jews:

1. Converted their home into a Hiding Place:

Corrie, along with her father Casper ten Boom and sister Betsie, converted their home in Haarlem, Netherlands, into a secret hiding place for Jews fleeing Nazi persecution.

They constructed a concealed space behind a false wall in one of the bedrooms, where fugitives could stay hidden from the prying eyes of the Gestapo and Nazi collaborators.

An image of peoples hands being raised up in worship. Over the picture is a black background with the words: Honoring women of faith, The remarkable story of Corrie Ten Boom. www.onedeterminedlife.com

2. Acted as a Safe House:

Corrie and her family acted as a safe house for Jews on the run, providing them with food, shelter, and protection from the ever-looming threat of arrest and deportation to concentration camps.

Despite the constant risk of discovery, they remained committed to their mission of saving as many lives as possible, regardless of the personal danger involved.

3. Involved in the Dutch Underground:

The Ten Boom family was actively involved in the Dutch underground resistance movement, collaborating with other resistance members to smuggle Jews out of the country and provide them with forged identification papers to help them evade capture.

Corrie played a crucial role in coordinating these efforts and ensuring the safety of those under their care.

Their Betrayal

But their heroic efforts were not without consequences. In 1944, the ten Boom family was betrayed and arrested by the Gestapo. Corrie, along with her father and sister, was sent to the Ravensbrück concentration camp, where they endured unimaginable suffering and hardship.

Following their arrest, Corrie, along with her father Casper and sister Betsie, endured months of imprisonment, interrogation, and torture at the hands of the Gestapo.

Despite the harsh conditions and brutality of their captors, they remained resolute in their faith and commitment to their principles.

Yet, even in the darkest of times, Corrie’s faith remained unshaken. Amidst the brutality and despair of the concentration camp, she clung to the belief that God was with her, offering comfort, strength, and hope in unspeakable horrors.

After the war

Following her release from Ravensbrück due to a clerical error, Corrie dedicated the rest of her life to sharing her story of forgiveness, reconciliation, and the power of God’s love to transform even the most broken of hearts.

Through her bestselling book “The Hiding Place” and her worldwide ministry, Corrie touched the lives of millions, inspiring countless individuals to embrace forgiveness and reconciliation in the face of adversity.

Today, Corrie Ten Boom’s legacy lives on as a beacon of hope and inspiration to people around the world.

Her remarkable story serves as a powerful reminder of the resilience of the human spirit and the enduring power of faith to overcome even the greatest of obstacles.

How to be more like Corrie Ten Boom:

1. Show Compassion:

Cultivate a heart of compassion for others, especially those who are marginalized or oppressed.

Look for opportunities to extend kindness and assistance to those in need, just as Corrie did when she risked her life to hide Jews during the Holocaust.

2. Stand Up Against Injustice:

Speak out against injustice and discrimination wherever we see it.

Use our voices and resources to advocate for equality, human rights, and dignity for all people, regardless of their race, religion, or background.

3. Practice Forgiveness:

Embrace the power of forgiveness in our lives, letting go of bitterness, resentment, and hatred towards those who have wronged us.

Forgiveness was a central theme in Corrie’s life, and her ability to forgive even her captors and tormentors serves as a powerful example for us all.

4. Trust in God’s Providence:

Develop a deep and unwavering faith in God’s providence and guidance, even amid life’s darkest moments.

Corrie’s faith sustained her through the horrors of the Holocaust and gave her the strength and courage to endure even the most difficult trials.

By embodying these principles in our own lives, we can honour the legacy of Corrie Ten Boom and continue her mission of spreading love, compassion, and hope to a world in need.

The Legacy of Amy Carmichael: An Example of Courage, Compassion, and Faith

Discover the remarkable story of Amy Carmichael, a missionary whose life was marked by courage, compassion, and unwavering faith. Follow her story from her humble beginnings in Northern Ireland to her transformative mission in India. Amy’s journey serves as a powerful example of what it means to live a life of purpose and dedication to serving others. Learn about her incredible life and explore the lasting impact of her legacy on the world.

All about Amy

Amy Carmichael was a remarkable missionary who left a lasting mark on the world through her dedication to serving others and her deep faith in God’s call.

Amy was born in Northern Ireland in 1867, Amy’s early life was marked by a deep sense of compassion and a passionate desire to make a difference in the lives of those in need.

It was during her teenage years that Amy first felt the call to missionary work. Inspired by the stories of missionaries serving in distant lands, she felt a stirring in her heart to dedicate her life to spreading the love of Christ to those who had never heard His name.

Little did she know that this calling would lead her to the distant shores of India and into the heart of one of the most challenging and dangerous missions of her time.

Amy’s mission in India was not an easy one. Faced with the harsh realities of poverty, injustice, and the deeply entrenched system of temple prostitution, she knew that she had to take action.

With unwavering courage and determination, Amy embarked on a mission to rescue and rehabilitate young girls who had been sold into temple slavery.

Despite facing numerous obstacles and dangers, including threats to her own life, Amy remained steadfast in her mission.

She established the Dohnavur Fellowship, a sanctuary for rescued children, where she provided them with love, care, and education.

Through her tireless efforts, Amy saved countless lives and offered hope to those who had been cast aside by society.

What truly set Amy apart was her unshakeable faith in God’s provision and guidance. In the face of adversity, she leaned on her belief that God was with her every step of the way, providing her with the strength and courage she needed to carry on.

Her life was a testament to the power of faith in action, as she fearlessly pursued God’s call to love and serve others, no matter the cost.

A picture of 4 women huddled together, all with smiles on their face. Under the picture are the words, The legacy of Amy Carmichael. An example of courage, compassion, and grace. www.onedeterminedlife.com

Her blue eyes

** As a child, Amy’s favourite colour was blue. She was discontent with the fact that she was born with brown eyes and used to pinch her youngest brother’s cheeks to see the prettiest colour of blue as his eyes filled with tears.

Her mother taught her from a young age that God would answer her prayers if she prayed. 

So, every night before Amy went to bed, she prayed for God to change her eyes to the colour blue. 

In the morning, she would wake up, jump out of bed, and run to the mirror–only to be disappointed to see two brown eyes staring back at her. 

Her mother then explained that sometimes God answers ‘no,’ and that she had to accept that God gave her brown eyes for a reason. 

Amy Carmichael would later come to realize as an adult that her brown eyes helped her gain access to the Indian temples.

In 1901, Amy Carmichael moved to Dohnavur, India. There, Amy founded Dohnavur Fellowship, which became a home for former child prostitutes. When Amy stepped into the struggle to end the wicked service, she found that even the missionary community condemned her work.

Although people trafficking was not new, they thought she exaggerated the situation of temple prostitution.

The truth of what went on behind the temple scenes was so hard to get people to understand, that Amy found she must pretend to be an Indian and visit the temples herself. She would dye and stain her light skin brown with coffee or tea bags, and her brown eyes helped her fit right in as a Hindu.

No one would guess that the dark-skinned woman wearing a light blue sari, which was associated with the lowest caste, the untouchables, was a missionary from Ireland. 

Amy devoted the next fifty-five years of her life in India rescuing children from the temples and raising them as her own. She eventually became known by the children and the community as “Amma,” which is Tamil for ‘mother.

To this day, Amy Carmichael is known for opening a safe house called Dohnavur Fellowship after rescuing children from being trafficked in the Hindu temples.

She served in India for fifty-five years without a furlough, and in the last twenty years of her life, she remained bedridden and wrote several books and poems about her deep love for Christ.

Her dedication to serving God has inspired many Christians to become missionaries and to remain steadfast in their faith. Her story continues to inspire Christians from around the world. 

** Reference: Peña, W. (2020, April 13). Amy Carmichael: Mother to India. Retrieved February 19, 2021, from https://bethanygu.edu/blog/stories/amy-carmichael/

Dedication to serve God

Amy dedicated her life to serving others, often putting their needs above her own. We can learn to cultivate a spirit of selflessness and sacrificial love, seeking opportunities to serve and uplift those around us.

Today, Amy Carmichael’s legacy lives on through the countless lives she touched and the lasting impact of her work.

Her story serves as a powerful reminder of the difference that one person can make when they are willing to step out in faith and answer God’s call to love and serve others.

May we all be inspired by her example and strive to follow in her footsteps.

Steps to Be More Like Amy

1. Cultivate Compassion:

Make a conscious effort to empathize with others and seek opportunities to help those in need, whether it’s through volunteering, donating to charity, or simply offering a listening ear to someone who is struggling.

2. Step Out in Faith:

Take bold steps in following God’s call, even if it means stepping out of your comfort zone or facing challenges along the way. Trust in God’s guidance and provision as we pursue His will for our lives.

3. Serve Others Selflessly:

Look for ways to serve others selflessly, putting their needs above our own. This could involve volunteering in our community, serving in our church, or finding creative ways to support those who are marginalized or vulnerable.

4. Leave a Lasting Legacy of Love:

Live our lives in such a way that our actions and deeds leave a lasting impact on those around us. Leave a legacy of love, compassion, and service that will continue to inspire and bless others for generations to come, just as Amy Carmichael’s legacy continues to do.

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