RESOURCE YOUR FAITH
As we opened the door Friday afternoon, we stepped into a pseudo-alternative universe from our previous hour. Here we experienced peaceful quiet, the pleasant sights and smells of stacks of books, the joy of discovery–our local library. Suddenly the sibling bickering from minutes ago in the car backseat was forgotten, and bolstered with an afternoon snack, my daughters and I entered our happy place, a world of stories.
There’s just something special about walking into the library of any town or city in the world. In 2018 when our family traveled to Africa and Europe, we tried to visit bookshops and libraries in each location we visited. Truly the public library in central Amsterdam was architecturally stunning, and Parisian bookstores were our antidote for homesickness. People around the world value the knowledge gained by reading and hope for a brighter future as we all learn from others who offered their time and talents to record facts and stories both current and from millennia past.
We value books as resources, because they usually are not haphazardly written and published, but meticulously edited, and whether fact or fiction, it’s a magnificent journey to read, learn from, and treasure the great books. That all said, I’m thrilled that we now have technology available to resource our learning, all at our fingertips: audiobooks, respected journals or periodicals, and films, etc. Most libraries want to equip all people in their desire to learn and grow. Thanks be to God for the printing press and its impact on resourcing the populace, especially using the Gutenberg Bible to awaken faith in men, women, and children. (see pic below of my family visiting the GB at the Library of Congress in 2021).
There’s a challenge however that has sprung up in these last 50 years. Volumes of resources have poured forth, the good, the bad, and the ugly. So how do parents know which resources to trust, and how do we unlock a desire in our kids to learn from a variety of healthy sources? Which resources become building blocks of our faith, and drive us to ask deeper questions of God? Answering these questions can help any of us, but especially our children.
The simple answer is to trust God. Harder done than said. But trust the Holy Spirit’s guidance in choosing resources and creating a healthy appetite for learning in your home. God wants a relationship with YOU, and through regular prayer and time in the Bible, He can give you clarity, if you let Him.
Secondly, the best learning is built within relationships. Let that sink in. If your son has a positive relationship with his math teacher, there’s a good bet that math is going to be fun that year. Likewise, if your daughter connects well with her peers and teachers at church, she’s more open to hearing what they say about God. We value content more when we know that the people who create or teach the content care about us.
Although I’ve not had the pleasure to profoundly know all of you at Epic, please know that I deeply care about you and your family! You have value and are loved. Your family is an important part of our community tapestry. That’s why we want to provide you with quality resources in growing your family’s faith so that you thrive. When families thrive, the community gets better, and we can make a healthy impact on our city and the world.
So, although this is certainly just the tip of the iceberg, here are a few faith & parenting resources which I have found helpful, and could be what you’ve been praying for in your family:
Keep adding to this list–and share with us and other parents what resources you have found to be helpful! Not every resource will resonate with you, however, when you ask the Lord to direct your parenting path, and you pay attention to Him through people, prayer, and scripture, He will show you the best path for resourcing your family.
Parents, we are FOR you! Discerning wisdom in resourcing your family isn’t easy, but it CAN be done with prayer, the Holy Spirit, community, and maybe an afternoon trip to the local library. Slow down to learn from quality books. Embrace the quiet and let God speak to you. Your family is worth the effort.
O my people, listen to my instructions.
Open your ears to what I am saying,
for I will speak to you in a parable.
I will teach you hidden lessons from our past—
stories we have heard and known,
stories our ancestors handed down to us.
We will not hide these truths from our children;
we will tell the next generation
about the glorious deeds of the Lord,
about his power and his mighty wonders.
For he issued his laws to Jacob;
he gave his instructions to Israel.
He commanded our ancestors
to teach them to their children,
so the next generation might know them—
even the children not yet born—
and they in turn will teach their own children.
So each generation should set its hope anew on God,
not forgetting his glorious miracles
and obeying his commands.
Psalm 78:1-7 NLT
Grace and peace,
March Epic Kids Unit Verse: