Teaching Our Kids to Have a Heavenly Perspective and Better Mom Mondays Link-up!

I don’t want our kids to feel at home here…

Because–

This is not their home.

Yes–I want them to enjoy life.
And be healthy.
And feel comfort.
And know safety.
And taste success.

But not if it means that they–
Feel too much at home.

And that’s why over here–
We talk a lot about Heaven.
And that’s why over here–
We also talk about death.

And yes–I get it.
There’s a balance.
We’re not trying to load them down with more than their little hearts and minds can handle, but if anything–  the see-saw is weighted too heavily on the other end.

We live in a mirage of security.
Where we think there is a medicine or method or mystic or mantra that can keep us from being
Mortal.
But it’s a dangerous illusion to uphold–
Creating myopic vision.
Eternal fervor dampened under the delusion of the here and now.
But those redeemed by Christ are not citizens of this here and now.
No–

“our citizenship is in Heaven, 

and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”

~Philippians 3:20

So, we do talk about death.  We don’t shy away from it.
Because for most people, in most places, in most times throughout history–
Death is a common foe.
And in the midst of the grief, something healthy comes from that heartache.
No one has to convince us that–
“…we are but dust.
And a man comes to know that–

“his days are like grass;
he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it,
and it is gone; and its place knows it no more.”
~Psalm 103:14-16

When I fail as a parent.
When I fall into worry.
When I sense our child hurting.
When I see tragedy strike.
It all makes me long for Heaven.

Because Heaven changes everything.
It shifts our dreams, our goals, our direction.
It affects our pain, our sorrow, our fears.
Heaven gives us hope.

“We want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died
so you will not grieve like people who have no hope…
Then we will be with the Lord forever. 
So encourage each other with these words.”
~1 Thessalonians 4:13, 16-18

Heaven moves us to invest in what will endure–
Forever.
Heaven gives us courage to sacrifice for what will last–
Forever.

So, as I said…
I don’t want our kids to feel at home here.
I want them to know–
To really know that:

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more…”
~Revelation 21:4

I want them to believe–
To really believe that:

Jesus said,
And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come again and will take you to myself,
that where I am you may also be.”
~John 14:3

And I want them to live–

To really live in such a way that when they reach Heaven they will say:

“I have come home at last!  This is my real country!  I belong here.”
~C.S. Lewis The Last Battle

Practical ideas for renewing an eternal perspective:

–Read Randy Alcorn’s Heaven for Kids or any of the other excellent resources offered byEternal Perspectives Ministries.
–Subscribe toThe Voice of Martyrs magazine.  Reading about Believers around the world who are facing persecution always shifts my perspective.
–Develop relationships with some of the older, faithful Christians in your church family who can communicate an assurance of Heaven.
–Read or listen to missionary biographies.  We highly recommend those offered by Desiring God.  For younger children, we also recommend YWAM’s Hero Biographies, Dave & Neta Jackson’s entire series of Hero Tales, Catherine Mackenzie’s Little Lights series, and The Torchlighter’s Heroes of the Faith movies.
–Read Krista Horning’s book Just the Way I Am and Heaven by Joni Eareckson Tada.
–Talk about real life.  Our oldest son became a Christian on January 22, 2008.  I know the exact date because it was the day Heath Ledger died.  We were talking about his death at dinner and how much changes the moment a person dies, which led to a longer discussion that God used to transform our son’s heart.  Everyday Talk is an excellent book about incorporating biblical conversations in everyday life.
–Begin every morning thanking God that–“We are looking forward to a new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.” ~2 Peter 3:13

*****************************************************************

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Better Mom Mondays Link-up is every Monday!!! Join the fun by adding your blog, and by checking out all of the others listed!! Don’t forget if you join below -please add the Better Mom Mondays Link Up button to your post so your readers can find us here! (Posts can include the topics of mothering, marriage, homemaking, discipleship, recipes, organization and more!) You can find the html code in the sidebar, or “save as” copy, and paste the button below.


Sharing with thanks over at:

Growing Home, Raising Arrows

Titus2sdays, Women in the Word,

Raising Homemakers,Women Living Well, We are THAT Family

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Comments

  1. Soccy says

    Your post couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time. We just lost our mother today. I have found some comfort in your words and your quotes. Thank you.

    • says

      No good words…
      I’ve erased my response twice trying to come up with words that would bring comfort.
      I’m so sorry.
      So sorry for how much your heart must be hurting tonight.
      We lost our daughter a while back–
      And I know that no words can ease that kind of pain…
      When your heart is grieving one-so-loved.
      But please know that I am stopping to pray for you tonight…
      As soon as I finish typing this.
      That God will hold you especially close and “quiet your heart with His love” (Zeph 3:17).
      …that He’ll make Heaven very real to you and that you’ll be able to pour out your heart to Him tonight….that you’ll sense His deep love encircling you.
      I’m so sorry.
      Thank you for taking the time to share your heart with us tonight…

    • says

      Thank you for stopping by Theresa… :)
      I looked back at the list of resources and realized I left off one that is probably an all-time-favorite…
      Paul David Tripp’s book… “Forever–Why You Can’t Live Without It.”
      It really is incredible!

  2. Kim Hall says

    A lovely cup of warmth and refreshment to start a week, Kara! Such a great list of resources as well to be used and shared. Thanks so much for your generous heart to help others.

  3. says

    This was an amazing article! Thank you so much! This is definitely the desire of my heart for my children as well. I took my daughter to her 4-H photo clinic the other day. When asked why she enjoyed taking pictures, she replied, “I want to use it to tell people about Jesus and show them pictures of what it might be like.” She is 5 and what a witness!

  4. Home Cooked Healthy says

    What a great post. We pray and work with our 5 (soon to be 6) year old so much about the Lord. I think it’s the every day talks and prayer that is so important to get the great foundation that they need. For him, talking about the Lord is just like breathing – so normal. Last night he was just praying for wisdom from the Lord – I’m amazed at how much he takes in and hears from what we model in front of him.

    • says

      Don’t you just love that?
      It’s how it should be…just living and breathing Christ in life..no effort or pretense, just real relationship that is intertwined with every single moment.
      Thank you for your kind words and for taking a moment to comment and share about your little guy :)
      Love what you wrote at the end–such a reminder that I need daily!

  5. says

    These are all true. And being in an Apostolic Church, our kids are also educated about death, hell, heaven, eternal life. As someone who has known the depths of illness and physical suffering, I know how to hunger for heaven – where there’s no more sickness or pain…

    Here to link up – thank you for hosting!
    Rina

    • says

      Thank you for linking up Rina
      And I’m really sorry for the pain you’ve known…what you wrote is so true.
      Makes that longing so so SO deep…for Heaven…where all that will be removed forever.
      Thanks for taking time to comment.
      Love,
      K

    • says

      Oh Miranda…
      How I can relate to this.
      One of the links above within the post is connected to a whole LONG post about how I struggle with worry and fear.
      It’s still a battle for me.
      Our daughter died four years ago and it’s a struggle that resurfaces whenever one of our other kiddos is really sick.
      But for me, Heaven…and dwelling on it…is a huge help because it reminds me that this is not the end-all…and that my future with Christ is secure, full of joy and hope and release from that tension of trust vs. worry.
      But you’re so right–it’s a battle and it’s so hard…to “take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5) when the discouragement and fear and anxiety begins to creep in.
      I’m not sure what exactly you’re facing right now, but just want you to know that you have my promise I’m going to stop and pray for you this morning.

      • says

        Oh, I’m so sorry for your loss. I personally have not dealt with death of some one close to me but Satan always tries to pull me down by filling me with fear. I am so thankful that God is always present and helping me through everything. Thank you so, SO much for your prayers. You’ve made my day :).

    • says

      Thank you Michelle :)
      I couldn’t believe I left off one of my all-time-favorites though…
      Paul David Tripp wrote a book called “Forever” and in it he talks about “eternity amnesia”–
      About how we say we believe in Heaven, but we don’t live as if we do.
      It is also a really powerful resource.
      Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  6. Barb Spencer says

    Thank you so much for this post, Kara. Sometimes we want to shield our children from unpleasantries, but they are a part of this life and we have to do the job of preparing them so they are not taken off guard when they come. I loved what you’ve shared here. So important. This isn’t home and I’m really glad it isn’t!

    • says

      I always appreciate you Barb.
      Thank you.
      It’s a strange balance…not wanting to overload them…but as you wrote–
      Also wanting them to be prepared and to be on guard and to cling to REAL hope…
      We’re still trying to figure it out.
      Came up again at Easter…wanting them to feel the weight of Christ’s death on the cross, but wanting to keep things age appriopriate as well.
      I think it’s one reason we love Little House on the Prairie episodes so much (raises hard, sad but meaningful issues)…so much good discussion prompted by our weekly LHOTP nights :)
      Thank you for your words of encouragement…
      Love,
      K

  7. says

    It’s so good to be reminded that this really isn’t home and that’s a good thing! This is a place where we can live and thrive and see God at work in us and others, yes, but it’s just a broken taste of the glory we can’t even imagine! I used to wish that Jesus would wait to come back until I finished everything on my “bucket list”, but now that He’s more than just an idea, I live with (and get to share with our kids) the anticipation of Heaven. Such an awesome truth that gives this life hope and joy!

    • says

      I LOVE what you wrote here.
      “It’s just a broken taste of the glory we can’t even imagine”.
      So, so so true.
      And this is exactly the place I want to live in–seeing the goodness in the here and now as a taste of the future!

  8. Christianbookmom says

    What a wonderful post, Kara. Your words carry such weight. Absolutely love it and am so thankful for all the resources you shared.

    • says

      Thank you so much!
      I know you love books :)
      So…have to add Paul Tripp’s “Forever” to the Heaven-resources-list…
      It’s one of my very favorites and I can’t believe I left it off!

  9. Heather says

    HA! The Chuppies! That’s a name heard often here too!

    Loved, loved, loved your post!!! I can’t express how much I loved it, really! This isn’t our home and I’m not supposed to be all comfortable and “at” home here! But how to balance the whole perspective with my children………I’ve yet to figure out. This has been really helpful and is filled with excellent scripture references and resources. Thanks so much!

    Heather Chupp

    • says

      This is so fun!!!
      We must somehow be related… :)
      Not too many Chuppies out there!
      We’re in Oregon, but have lots of Mennonite-Amish family in Indiana, Pennsylvania etc.

      And I’m with you…still trying to figure out the balance.
      If you haven’t read “Heaven for Kids” by Randy Alcorn with them…it’s a great place to start…we read it several years ago and it changed my perspective about Heaven. I used to know I should be excited…but for the first time…Heaven started to seem real to me and I genuinely started longing for that future-joy!

  10. Tessa says

    Thanks for another chance to link up and share this week! I posted an easy panko chicken, healthy peanutbutter cups, and a delicious waffle!

  11. says

    Enjoyed your post. It is so true. Within a span of a couple of years my son lost three great-grandpas, and two cousins. Three of these deaths were within a month. That same month our pastors grandson died, and the next my best friend’s baby. My sweet little boy had some much to learn about death all at once, and although I never would have chosen that for him, God does all things well. He drew my son to himself at a very young age, and has spiritual matured him beyond his years.

    • says

      Oh Stefani…
      I so appreciate what you’ve shared here.
      I feel the same way.
      I would do anything to have enjoyed more time with our daughter Selah.
      But…
      Our other kiddos know Him deeper, love Him deeper…through the pain.
      And my husband and I do as well.
      It’s all very difficult to sort through and without Heaven, it’d all stop at the painful–
      The hurt, the heartache, the grief…
      But I do trust Him.
      And I love what you wrote…
      “God does all things well”
      I truthfully trust that…and rest in it.

  12. Danielle says

    Kara, you have a style that I love. Your heart comes through so clearing in your writing. I’m so glad I found you via the HMC challenge, and am looking forward to getting to know you better.

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