- Deuteronomy 4:9 Teach the commandments to your children and to their children after them.
- 2 Timothy 1:5 I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and any our mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in your also.
- Esther 2:7 Mordecai has a cousin named Hadassah (Esther), whom he had brought up because she had neither father nor mother.
Materials: Pen and paper
NOTE: This is a unique activity that does not follow the normal format. This activity is for the parents. Identify and invite someone to serve as a spiritual mentor to your son/daughter and the benefit can continue for months and years to come.
Words written in bold are when the leader is speaking. Feel free to use your own words.
A. The Story of the Ashtons: The Ashtons are in their 70’s. They do not have children; yet they have chosen to be proactive spiritual teachers in the life of their great nephew, Tim.
Each month the Ashtons send Tim a $20 check with the recommendation that he use 10% to give to his church or some ministry. A second 10% is to be used to do something nice for a family member or friend. A third 10% is to be saved for his future—his education. The remaining 70% is Tim’s to keep or use as he and his parents decide.
It’s a “recommendation” because if Tim will write back and tell the Ashtons how he used the money they will send him another $20 the next month. If he does not write back with a full report—no check.
Along with the checks the Ashtons include stories of how God has been active in their lives and how the Christian faith is an important part of Tim’s heritage.
Three years later, the Ashtons have a three inch notebook filled with priceless letters to Tim and from Tim. Tim has given money to build a chapel at his school, to the church, to the homeless and to missions that serve the poor.
The Ashtons have expanded their letters to include Bible quizzes and age appropriate jokes!
Tim is blessed to have the Ashtons involved in his spiritual development. The Ashtons are blessed by building a growing relationship with Tim.
B. The Bible includes stories of how God uses grandparents, cousins, brothers and other adult relationships to support parents in spiritually training their children.
Is there someone in your family’s life who could be invited to fill a role like the Ashtons have filled in Tim’s life?
Read the book of Philemon (one page) and write next to each verse characteristics of Paul
that make him an effective mentor for his “son” Onesimus.
- Verse 1______________________________
- Verse 9______________________________
- Verse 11_____________________________
- Verse 12_____________________________
- Verse 14______________________________
- Verse 16b_____________________________
- Verse 18______________________________
What additional characteristics do you feel are important in a spiritual mentor?
Prioritize the top 5 characteristics to specifically match the spiritual needs of each child:
C. What Christian family members and adults in your life come to mind when you think of the characteristics listed in part B? Write down two or three names:
* The amount of money sent to each child is not the issue. A smaller amount can be just as effective in helping your child build a lasting relationship.
D. SPIRITUAL PEN PAL: Attached are sample letters which can be used by mentors to help in establishing a spiritual “pen pal” relationship.
E. FAMILY TIME ACTIVITIES: If your children spend regular time with a Christian grandparent or other potential adult mentor then you may invite them to use Family Time activities during their time with your children.
Activities are available from the Family Time Training website, www.famtime.com. Activity books are also available from the website.
Close in Prayer
Pray that God will show you additional mentors who can assist in the spiritual training of your children. Pray for wisdom and an opportunity to invite a family member or other mentor to take an active role in writing your child.
7. Pass It On: Make an extra copy of this lesson and pass it on to another family.