My older daughter heads off to middle school next year. She has 7 1/2 days left in elementary school. As I pondered and prayed about our goals for the summer, this fact never left my brain. I wondered what is the most important thing she's going to need to know going into middle school. The word that God kept bringing to mind was courage.
She's going to need to know it's OK to stand up for herself. She's going to have to make decisions on her own. She's going to have to navigate the tricky waters of middle school girl friendships. And she's going to need courage for all of it. Based on that, one of our goals for the summer is to focus on what it means to be courageous.
Whenever we teach our kids something, we want to be sure that we're teaching them what the Bible has to say. The Word of God is a much greater authority than the voice of a parent. When we back up what we have to say with scripture, it makes a much greater impact on our kids than if we just tell them what we think.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." I want my kids to be thoroughly equipped for every good work. I want my older daughter to have the courage to do what's right in middle school. I want my younger daughter to have the courage not to follow the crowd when she knows it's wrong.
To help my girls understand what courage is and why it's important this summer, I've chosen a verse to be the theme for our summer. Our verse is Joshua 1:9 "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” I plan for my girls to see and hear this verse so much this summer that they'll have no choice but to remember it.
What goals do you have for the summer? Can you narrow them down into a single concept that you want to focus on over the course of the summer? Maybe you have a couple of goals. That works, too. Today, I encourage you to find a "theme verse" for your summer -- a verse that you can use to teach your kids, so at the end of the summer, they'll have hidden that verse in their hearts.
Check out today's free printables for a list of possible verses to go with some common topics. You'll also find a nifty printable sign for each verse on the list that you can print off and hang somewhere that your kids can see it every day. The more they see and hear the scripture, the more likely they are to remember it.
If you don't see your topic on the list, head over to Bible Gateway and search for a relevant verse. Then type it up, print it out and hang it up somewhere your kids will see it every day.
Use your theme verse frequently this summer. Use it to remind your kids of the kind of character God wants them to have. Use it to correct behavior. Use it to start a discussion of what God wants us to be like. Use it to make this The Best Summer Ever.
Don't miss tomorrow's post with ideas for fighting the "I'm bored" monster. If you missed the beginning of The Best Summer Ever Series, you can see all the posts here.