Simple Ways To Fix Bad Attitudes
The towering trees surrounded us as my husband and I took a few minutes to sit in the silence at the outdoor amphitheater at Forest Home Christian Camps in Southern California. Slowly but surely, other couples made their way up the hill to join us as we waited for the closing gathering to begin. Our speaker for the week took a few moments to pass around a microphone so that moms and dads could share the highlights of their week at Family Camp.
“Before we came here,” one father said, “our family was edgy and irritable.” He went on to explain that the change of scenery, the bonding over ziplines and hiking, and the spiritual influence of the camp leaders during morning and evening meetings with the kids had reminded him that he needed to soften his own tone and approach with his kids when he got home.
As I sat listening to this thankful father, I considered how a little direction for my kids can turn negative or bad attitudes around fairly quickly. I have seen many days wasted by whining and complaining when I’m not intentional to change the mood. Sometimes, it’s as simple as a change of scenery--taking the kids for a quick walk or heading to the community pool for an hour. Still, I want to take advantage of every opportunity to point my kids to Christ. Lately, I have taken James 4:8a to heart:
“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.”
With the busyness of life with kids, it can be a challenge to make time to “draw near to God” a priority, but when we do, we are less likely to react in the flesh and more likely to respond in the Spirit.
One intentional way that I remind all of us to be mindful of God in our everyday lives is by not skipping prayer time at meals. A simple, “Lord, thank You for this daily bread we get to eat today!” keeps us humble and grateful. How about you? Is this a habit in your home?
Another way we draw near to God during the day is by being purposeful about catching one another doing something good and voicing our encouragement: “Son, I see you being patient with your sister when you are waiting to brush your teeth after she is done. That pleases God!” Often, they catch on and without any prompting from me, my kids start speaking life to one another. Kindness is contagious!
At our house, we also make a plan when we get in the car to go to the store to be a blessing to someone. We often gather stray carts in the parking lot or help someone who is in need in some way at the store. We make it into a game and then talk about how blessing others is a way that we can feel God’s nearness and become more like Jesus.
When our family outlook is one that desires to strengthen our awareness of God’s nearness, it softens our hearts, our words, and our attitudes. He becomes the One we run to when things go badly for us or when we are saddened. Teaching our kids to keep their minds focused on The Lord throughout the day isn’t something we have to go to camp to achieve--though that’s a wonderful way to reset our spiritual growth. Take the challenge to try something new this week with the intention of drawing nearer to The Lord as a family and enjoy the richness of God ,as He likewise, draws near to you
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