UP0028: How Do You Teach Your Children while Staying Spiritually Healthy Yourself?

  • UP0028: How Do You Teach Your Children while Staying Spiritually Healthy Yourself? 00:00

Gloria Furman speaks about helping your children to know the Lord while staying close to him herself.


Welcome to UP, the Union Podcast. My name’s Dan Hames and I’m speaking with Gloria Furman, the author of Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full. Gloria, how do you deal with family devotions, training up your children, teaching them, and simultaneously keeping yourself spiritually alive and healthy. How do you do those things at the same time?

That’s a good question. I’ve been so encouraged to see the wealth of resources available to us, for those of us who want to point our kids to accessible resources, whether you have kids who can’t read, or you need something with pictures to help keep them engaged or text that isn’t too difficult for them to understand, or they’re beginning readers and all the resources available to read along with your kids, or for older kids who grapple with things that are a little more complex. There’s a certain paralysis that’s possible; you could look at this shelf and all these resources and just feel despair! To think “I’ll never do this! I’ll never steward all of this, I’ll never engage them enough. Am I asking the right questions? Are we doing the right catechism? Which version shall we use?” And people are so distraught over that. I just tell them, “If you’ve got a good thing going, just whatever works. The best catechism is whichever one that you’re using!” There’s no reason to look around you and be alarmed at how many resources there are. But thank God for whatever it is that you do have, and then pray that the Lord would bear spiritual fruit that last for eternity with that. 

I know my own kids love to see what we’re reading. I know it can be annoying to have someone climb on your lap, “What is it? What are you reading? What’s that word?” Instead of seeing that as a disturbance into your quiet time, possibly see that as an invitation into, “What’s mommy reading? Mommy’s reading this chapter. Do you see a word you know? Oh you know that word. Well this is what’s going on, and this is why it’s meaningful, and here’s what it tells us about the Lord, etc.” and see those things as invitations instead of interruptions. 

I really enjoy quiet, so if I want to have quiet, I need to sneak down the hallway in our flat very early, and pray that the brewing coffee doesn’t wake anyone up. I even wonder, how can I brew coffee quieter? But inevitably someone wakes up, and sneaks out, and they’re so sweet, and they just want to sit with me or even be in my presence. I love to think that my kids will grow up seeing that mommy will do whatever she can to read more of the Bible, to pray more, instead of that mommy’s so desperate to get rid of me, so that she can do what she really wants to do. Instead of having that kind of an ethos about my home, just to see that mommy’s so desperate to know more of God, and to see that awaken within them by the Lord’s grace, too. 

So that’s kind of a double answer to the question of how I stay spiritually alive at the same time, to not ignore the fact that I have children, but to understand and accept who they are as children and to invite them to see what it is that I do, and that the Lord is training me up in the training up of them. 

So you’re actually putting the two together; you’re not saying this is my time, and it’s fenced off and protected and you’re not a part of it, you’re actually bringing your children’s spiritual life into your own. 

It actually makes life work, and then you’re not angry at them thinking that they’re some kind of interruption from Satan keeping you from the Bible, which is actually how I believed it to be when my oldest was a baby; every time she cried or needed help, and at the same time my husband was beginning to deal with a physical disability, anytime he needed help I saw all these people as interruptions to my spiritual life, instead of: the Lord is sovereign, these people are my responsibility, by his grace I can love them, and God’s feeding me in that. It’s not an obstacle to fellowship with the Lord, but an avenue. 

Thank you, Gloria, so much. Tune in next time for more from UP, the Union Podcast.


UP Episodes

UP0001: Why Think About the Incarnation When It Isn’t Christmas? Peter Mead

UP0002: How is Christ Becoming Man Vital for our Salvation? Peter Mead

UP0003 What Does the Incarnation Mean for Me Every Day? Peter Mead

UP0004: Does Emphasising the Incarnation Risk De-emphasising the Cross? Peter Mead

UP0005: Does Understanding the Incarnation Change the Way We Share the Gospel? Peter Mead

UP0006: What is Our Starting Point for a Doctrine of Scripture? Andrew Wilson

UP0007: How Can Jesus Really be the Centre of Scripture? Andrew Wilson

UP0008: Wasn’t the Canon of Scripture Decided Really Late? Andrew Wilson

UP0009: Why Does the Bible Seem so Outdated on Issues like Gender and Sexuality? Andrew Wilson

UP0010: Why Have You Debated Steve Chalke and Rob Bell? Andrew Wilson

UP0011: Does “Read Your Bible Pray Every Day And You’ll Grow” Work in Adult Life? Dane Ortlund

UP0012: How Can I Stop My Daily Devotions Being Legalistic? Dane Ortlund

UP0013: What Should I Expect From My Daily Devotions? Dane Ortlund

UP0014: How Has the Bible Been Important to You? Dane Ortlund

UP0015: What Advice Would You Give to Someone Who Struggles to Read the Bible? Dane Ortlund

UP0016: Luther on the First Commandment 1: What is a god?

UP0017: Luther on the First Commandment 2: True Worship

UP0018: Luther on the First Commandment 3: Receiving from God

UP0019: Luther on the First Commandment 4: A Threat and a Promise

UP0020: Luther on the First Commandment 5: Reflect for Yourself

UP0021: How Should We Talk about the Presence of God? Kyle Strobel

UP0022: What Does it Mean to See God? Kyle Strobel

UP0023: Is God Religious? Kyle Strobel

UP0024: What Is Christian Spirituality All About? Kyle Strobel

UP0025: What Is Missing From Our Prayer Life? Kyle Strobel

UP0026: What Challenges Face Christian Parents? Gloria Furman

UP0027: How Does Becoming a Mother Change Your Spiritual Life? Gloria Furman

UP0028: How Do You Teach Your Children and Stay Spiritually Healthy Yourself? Gloria Furman

UP0029: Why is it Important to Keep Christ at the Centre of Family Life? Gloria Furman

UP0030: How Can We Treasure Christ Each Day in Our Busyness? Gloria Furman

UP0031: What Is The Nature Of Spiritual Authority and How is it Open to Misuse? Mark Stirling

UP0032 What is Power in the Bible and What is it for? Mark Stirling

UP0033: How Does Jesus Teach Us About Power? Mark Stirling

UP0034: Should Christians Avoid Power? Mark Stirling

UP0035: What Can I do if I’ve Exercised my Power Sinfully? Mark Stirling

UP0036: What was Luther’s spiritual background and how did he change? Graham Tomlin

UP0037: What was Luther’s “Theology of the Cross”? Graham Tomlin

UP0038 How Did Luther Understand Law, Gospel, and the Word? Graham Tomlin

UP0039: Are Good Works Important at All? Graham Tomlin

UP0040: What aspect of Luther’s theology do we most need to hear today? Graham Tomlin

UP0041: How did you discover John Newton and how has he blessed you? Tony Reinke

UP0043: How did Newton pastor his people? Tony Reinke

UP0044: What was the central message of Newton’s life and ministry? Tony Reinke

UP0045: What encouragements and challenges might Newton direct towards believers today? Tony Reinke

UP0046: How were Old Testament believers saved? David Murray

UP0047: In what ways is Christ present in the Old Testament? David Murray

UP0048: How can I see more of Christ in the Old Testament? David Murray

UP0049: Is there a difference between happiness and joy? David Murray

UP0050: Why is happiness so important in the Christian life? David Murray

UP0051 Why the Reformation Still Matters Michael Reeves

UP0052: The Ascension of Jesus Gerrit Scott Dawson

UP0053: The Star of Bethlehem Colin Nicholl

UP0054: A New Day Emma Scrivener

UP0055: Escaping Escapism Dave Griffith-Jones

Picture of Gloria Furman

Gloria Furman

Gloria Furman is a wife, mother and author. In 2008 her family moved to the Middle East to plant Redeemer Church of Dubai where her husband, Dave, serves as the pastor. She is the author of 'Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full', and she blogs regularly at Desiring God, The Gospel Coalition, and GloriaFurman.com.
Picture of Gloria Furman

Gloria Furman

Gloria Furman is a wife, mother and author. In 2008 her family moved to the Middle East to plant Redeemer Church of Dubai where her husband, Dave, serves as the pastor. She is the author of 'Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full', and she blogs regularly at Desiring God, The Gospel Coalition, and GloriaFurman.com.