I love the summer. It is a great time to “tie up loose ends”. I have a bit more time for personal Bible study. There is a bit more time for play. We spend a bit of time honing up on subjects that in which we are lagging behind. It’s a fantastic season to spend some extra time, prayer and effort on summer projects.
In our home, “Projects” are not solely building a bird house, compiling a scrapbook, FINALLY working on that Greek temple made from toilet paper rolls, or finishing a math text.
“Projects” in our home are a mentoring/discipling/parenting tool. We’ve discovered the shotgun approach doesn’t work well for us. We can’t change all areas in all of our children’s lives at once. We can, however, be intentional in our focus. Projects are specific areas of focus for each of our children’s lives. These are prayed over and I believe Holy Spirit impressed. I write these down in my Tryst Journal. At any given point, if confidentiality were not an issue, I could tell you each current project for each of our children. Our projects are a tool that allows us to actively partner with what we believe God is working in each individual family member. This has been very effective.
We make “Projects” a matter of prayer and observation. We notice which character traits or personality issues or discipleship/doctrinal issues God would have us work on - and we focus on those. The key words are: intentional and focus. We may suggest books or Bible passages to our older children, complete a topical study with our child, we bathe each project in prayer and we look for Holy Spirit moments when we can speak to the issue. We evaluate and pray about each project quarterly. Many projects run for several quarters.
Here is one example from YEARS ago to illustrate our family home projects. With one of our darlings we attacked “deception – lying/cheating”. First, the issue became a focus during my family fasts and prayer times. Second, we did a topical study on deception during family circle. Third, I was aware of the opportunities the Holy Spirit opened for me to speak to that area. Fourth, as Mike and I are in agreement he also looks for those God-ordained teachable moments. God was faithful. Conviction, repentance and growth followed. This is currently not a project for any of our children.
Projects are a wonderful tool for individually mentoring each of our children. They take a bit of time and energy, but we’ve seen time and again lasting maturity and heart change when we, as parents, put our efforts where God is working in our child. For our older three, all adults now, this is matter of prayer and the occasional comment, rather than daily training. For the very young ones there are never-ending topics for new projects. ::snort::
We try hard not to ONLY look at behavior but on the heart issue behind the behavior.....this is one tool we use in our endeavor to be a pastor's family that doesn't raise children who are inoculated to the gospel or practicing Pharisees.