Intentionally spending time with other couples can enhance your marriage.
Why should I work on strengthening my marriage?
Outside of your relationship with the Lord, your relationship with your spouse is the most important. Working to maintain a healthy marriage will reap benefits that impact you, your family, and others observing your life.
Why should we spend time with others?
God has placed others around us to help us grow. In Proverbs 27:17NIV, Solomon says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” When we choose the right couples to double date with, time spent with other couples can equip and encourage us to thrive in our godly marriages.
Whom should we ask?
In deciding whom to ask, think about your past experiences, your current situation, and your future hopes and dreams. You might want to choose older couples who can mentor you. You might consider couples who are in the same stage of life or stage of parenting as you are in. Think about people whom you admire, trust, and enjoy being with. Over the next several months, invite couples to double date with you who might be able to address the following needs:
1. Past experiences
a. “We need help getting over a reoccurring issue in our marriage.”
b. “You two have similar pasts to ours, yet you seem to thrive—how do you do it?”
2. Current situation
a. “We wonder if we are the only parents who feel this way.”
b. “You two never argue over money. We want to get there—what can we do?”
3. Future hopes and dreams
a. “We want to have a godly marriage like yours—where can we start?”
b. “We hope our kids will grow up and love the Lord like yours—what do we do?”
What are a few ideas?
Going out to eat can get expensive, especially if you feel compelled to pick up the tab every time you ask a couple out on a double date. But don’t let money concerns stop you—consider these simple ideas:
1. Eat lunch together instead of dinner.
2. Meet up for coffee or dessert instead of dinner.
3. Choose a counter-service restaurant instead of one with a waiter.
4. Host the double date at your home, enjoying coffee or sharing a meal.
When does double-dating really pay off?
Finding time to spare in your schedule for double-dating is difficult. Also, finding the right couple to trust and get to know more can be a challenge. The work you put in to double date pays the most dividends when you get into a rhythm of meeting with a mentor couple.
In the Bible, we are advised to seek guidance from wise and experienced people. Mentor couples who are one or two stages of life ahead of you can offer valuable insight and advice to help you navigate the challenges of marriage. They have likely already been where you are and can guide you to overcome obstacles and address issues in ways that honor God.
Mentor couples provide you with an example to follow. Time with them could help you see the spiritual disciplines they practice, like prayer and Bible reading. You may see their engagement in discipleship or accountability.
Mentor couples can also provide support and encouragement during difficult times. Once you’ve established trust with them, they can prove to be listening ears, caring hands, and prayer warriors for you when you face challenges.
Consider a mentor couple as your first fun double date!
The Excitement of a Movie Night
Make an ordinary event something extraordinary!
What’s so great about a movie night?
Who doesn’t love movie night? The laid-back vibes, the smell of popcorn in the air, and the thrill of being transported into another place and time! One of the best things about a movie night though, is that there are so many ways to greatly enhance the experience with a little bit of imagination.
Start with the basics.
– Pick a movie that fits your date or your family.
- Check out the movie using PluggedIn.com, Commonsensemedia.com, or other movie review resources before deciding to view it together.
- The movie matters and can set the tone for the entire evening.
– Put a date down on the calendar and start planning.
How can I enhance the experience?
– Give it a theme. You could base the theme around a particular holiday, time, or place. Go all out and have everything revolve around this theme including the movie, decorations, and food.
– Create excitement. Two fun ways to create excitement for your event are to pass out handmade tickets or to invite family and friends by sending out invitations. They have to be on theme of course!
– Take it outdoors! Buy or borrow a projector, hang up a sheet, and enjoy a movie night in your backyard.
– Create a cozy atmosphere. Whether you opt for the outdoors or prefer the comfort of your living room, make your time together extra cozy by throwing on your pj’s and piling up the blankets and pillows. Make it extra fun and snuggly by building a fort or a tent!
– Make it more relational. One downfall to a movie night (or plus depending on your personality) is the lack of conversation. One way to make it more relational is by having a discussion after the movie.
- Choose a Christian movie for an opportunity to have a faith-based conversation.
- Lead out by pre-screening the movie or coming up with questions as you watch together.
Example of a family discussion using the movie WALL-E.
Watch the film together and use the verse above and the questions below for a discussion after viewing the movie:
- The people in this movie rely heavily on technology. In spite of getting what they wanted with the touch of a button, what were they missing? (e.g. fun, health, family, and relationships)
- What happened when two people disconnected from their devices? (e.g. eyes were opened to others and their surroundings, pool fun, relational connections)
- Have you ever heard “too much of a good thing is bad for you”? Working out is a good example. Going to the gym is good for you, but if exercising keeps you from doing your homework, it’s not best. Discuss other extreme examples (e.g. eating your favorite dessert for every meal).
- In what ways can technology control us or become an unhealthy activity?
- How can you find a healthy balance, and why is it best to determine boundaries in advance?
- How can technology distract us from connecting with God and with others?
- How can engaging in too much screen time harm you?
End your time together by giving thanks to God for your family. Ask Him to help your family make wise and God- honoring choices as you work to disconnect from technology in order to better connect with each other and with Him.
“‘Everything is permissible for me’, but not everything is helpful.’Everything is permissible for me,’ but I will not be brought under the control of anything.” 1 Corinthians 6:12
Finding Agreement in Marriage
Finding Agreement in Marriage
Agreement leads to higher levels of satisfaction within your marriage.
Why is it important to agree?
Disagreement is inevitable within marriage and can often lead to unnecessary frustration and disappointment when left unresolved. Prepare-Enrich, an assessment Bellevue uses, encourages couples to reflect on 9 core aspects of marriage. Research reveals that the more areas a couple can agree on, the more they will be satisfied in their marriage!
What should we agree on?
Agreement in the following core aspects is vital in a marriage relationship.
- Spiritual Beliefs – Practices and expressions of faith
- Communication – Listen, understand, and share things with one another
- Conflict Resolution – Discuss and resolve differences of opinion, idea, and feelings
- Spouse Style & Habits – Conduct, behavior, and uniqueness of each spouse
- Financial Management – Views, habits, decisions regarding money
- Leisure Activities – Hobbies, interests, and spending time together/apart
- Sexual Expectations – Affection, romance, and sexual comfort expectations and history
- Family & Friends – Thoughts and opinions about family and friends
- Relationship Roles – Expectations and responsibilities of each role in marriage
How can we find agreement?
This is the fun part! Go on a date, take a walk, or find your favorite spot for a meaningful conversation. Then begin to work through the 3 following steps:
1. Pray together. Thank the Lord for your marriage and ask God for wisdom. Read the following verses together for encouragement: Philippians 2:3 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
2. Circle any of the 9 core aspects in which you and your spouse have already found agreement. These are aspects where you are running smooth as silk!
Each spouse can ask the other:
- What do you think led to our agreement in these aspects?
- What benefit is our marriage enjoying in each aspect we circled?
- What advice could we give another couple on finding agreement in these aspects?
- How might we celebrate finding agreement in each of the aspects we circled?
3. Underline any of the 9 core aspects in which you and your spouse are facing disagreement. These are aspects where there may be tension in the marriage.
Each spouse can ask the other:
- Which aspect of disagreement hinders our marriage the most?
- Why do you think we disagree in that specific core aspect?
- Were we this way when we got married or is this strain new for us? If new, why?
- How does this disagreement affect you and how do you think it affects our marriage?
- What direction can we find in the Bible about this core aspect of marriage?
- What small steps could we take toward agreement in this aspect of marriage?
- Which Godly couple do we both know and mutually respect who could guide us?
What if we need more help?
Bellevue has partnered with an online assessment provider called Prepare-Enrich. The assessment is made up of about 200 questions to help you pursue agreement and combat disagreement. If you would to take the assessment and have a trained, Bellevue pastor guide you through the results, please call 901-347-5751.
Get to Know Your Neighbors This Summer
Develop relationships during the outdoor months.
Why are my neighbors important?
Our mission at Bellevue directs us to share Jesus. Developing relationships with lost people is one way in which we obey the Lord. God has placed you in a neighborhood where you can get to know people who are far from Him, and summertime is the best time to do that!
What can I do?
You can develop relationships with your neighbors by organizing the following activities and inviting them to attend:
1. Offer a summer Bible study or book club in your home.
2. Host a fun game night.
3. Play kickball, inviting children to play and parents to watch.
4. Start a walking club.
5. Host a get-to-know-you event for new neighbors.
6. Invite neighbors to enjoy a fire in your backyard firepit, and make s’mores.
7. Plan a neighborhood playdate for your children or pets.
8. Invite neighbors over for dinner, a potluck, ice cream, etc.
9. Team up with your neighbors to have a big garage sale.
10. Host a Fourth of July get-together, and watch fireworks.
Where do I start?
Here’s the plan:
1. Choose an activity.
2. Pick a day of the week that best fits your schedule.
3. Find the best place for your activity (your home, your driveway, your backyard, etc.).
4. Involve others to help with the preparations.
5. Start spreading the word! You can do this the old-fashioned way by hanging signs and knocking on doors, or you can post in your neighborhood Facebook page or the Nextdoor app.
What’s the win?
As you get to know your neighbors, consider how our Pastor directs us to “find a need and meet it; find a hurt and heal it.” Spending time with your neighbors gives you opportunities to learn about them and uncover their needs and hurts. Ultimately, you want to look for opportunities to share Jesus with them and lead them to the same salvation that Jesus offered you.
How do you uncover the needs and hurts of your neighbors?
Ask your neighbors questions, and listen to their answers. Here are examples of questions to ask:
1. Would you tell me about your family?
2. What brought you to this neighborhood?
3. Who all lives in your home with you?
4. Where do you work, and how are things going there?
5. What do you think about living in Memphis?
6. What are some things you enjoy doing?
7. Is there anything that you need help with around your house?
8. Are you currently attending church anywhere?
9. Has faith played a role in your life?
10. Do you know for certain that you will go to Heaven when you die?
Let your light shine this summer!
In Matthew 5:14–16, Jesus describes the importance of going out into the world around us. He calls us to let our light shine brightly for others so they can see the Father. Choosing to intentionally build relationships with the families living around you is a great way to create opportunities to share the Gospel, build a stronger community, and even make lasting summer memories for your children. Bonus points if you supply the ice cream!
Go on a Tech-free Date
Disconnect to reconnect with your spouse.
Why is this beneficial?
Like any tool, cell phones can be incredibly useful, but they are also an effective distractor. Phone addiction is a growing problem, with adults feeling like they must be accessible to everyone, all the times. Every minute you spend glued to your phone takes your attention away from your partner which could potentially create feelings of resentment or isolation. Taking a break from technology to intentionally focus on your spouse not only shows them that they are valued, but also encourages a deeper relationship through face-to-face communication.
Where should I start?
Dream about fun and creative things you would like to do together to strengthen your relationship. Write ideas on index cards and store in a convenient container. Periodically draw an activity card to help plan your next date. During your time together, do your best to put your phones away (unless it’s an emergency). You may need to cut something from your budget and your calendar so you can use that money and time for dating! Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Plan a progressive meal (appetizer, main dish, and dessert at different food spots around town) to restaurants you’ve never visited.
- Take turns doing what your spouse enjoys doing most.
- Take a day trip to enjoy the restaurants and activities in a nearby town.
- Go, visit, or do something in town that you two have not done together.
- Exercise with your spouse.
- Grocery shop together to prepare a pancake, taco, or potato bar for dinner.
- Play a board or card game together. The loser gives the winner a back rub and is responsible for planning the next date.
- On a clear night, find a place to stargaze talking about dreams you share for the future.
- Head to an orchard for fruit picking and use your pickings to make a yummy dessert.
- Head to Hobby Lobby to grab some paint and a couple of canvases to enjoy a painting date in the park or at home.
Things to remember about technology in marriage:
Technology can be used in a way that honors both the Lord and your spouse, it just takes a little communication. Sit down together and discuss the options below and determine which are most beneficial to you. Also, create some of your own. Commit to:
- Make date nights a tech-free zone by putting technology away during times of relational connection.
- Consider my spouse before sharing anything about him or her or our family online. Request permission to share.
- Protect our marriage by setting up accountability with each other and/or trusted friends using Covenant Eyes.
- Use technology to encourage your spouse and build your marriage (i.e. send a loving text, share a special song).
- Share all usernames and passwords and offer open access to all devices.
- Demonstrate my spouse’s relational priority over emails, texts, calls, social media, and other online activities.
- Create no phone zones at the dinner table and in the bedroom. Charge phones overnight in the bathroom or kitchen.
Disconnect from technology in order to connect with your family.
Why is unplugging important?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the average 8-10 year-old spends nearly eight hours per day on media and teens spend more than 11 hours. That’s one-third of their day or more! Let’s face it, we live in a technological world and phones are not going anywhere. However, learning to manage it well and taking time away from phones can be very helpful in creating closer connections in your home. Now, more than ever, children need strong relationships with Christian parents and mentors. Disconnecting from the world to spend intentional time as a family not only cultivates these relationships but also creates memories that last a lifetime!
What are some ways to unplug at home?
Grab a basket, bowl, or bike helmet (ha!) to put all of your family’s phones in. Then decide as a family an activity from below:
- Play a game together. Board game, card game, hide and go seek, or treasure hunt.
- Build a cardboard castle or a pillow and blanket fort.
- Grab a ball and head outside. Basketball, football, kickball, or whiffle ball.
- Invite a friend or family over for ice cream sundaes or your favorite dessert.
- Decorate a card for an upcoming family or friend’s birthday.
- Read a book or do a Bible study.
- Act out a Bible story.
- Prepare a new recipe.
- Plant some flowers or a garden.
- Create a craft from household supplies.
- Have a tea or coffee party.
- Write and mail notes of encouragement
What are some ways to unplug away from home?
- Go on a walk.
- Fly a kite.
- Create art using sidewalk chalk.
- Ride bikes on the Greenline.
- Visit a museum or park.
- Camp in the backyard.
- Gather friends or family for sand volleyball, pickleball, or disc golf.
- Serve the homeless. Memphis Union Mission has “Family Serve Night” every Friday
- Have an epic water balloon fight.
- Plan an outside scavenger hunt or nature walk.
- Go on a picnic.
Collect ideas and store them in a jar. Randomly select an idea and make plans for your next adventure.
How can I integrate faith into these ideas?
One of the best ways to have more faith-based conversations with your kids is to integrate them into your daily life. Here are a few ways you can add a little faith to any of the activities above:
– Find a Bible verse or passage that applies to the activity and let it be your why.
- Going to serve at the homeless shelter… share Isaiah 58:7 or Proverbs 21:13
– Pray without ceasing. Let your kids see you praying throughout your day and let them join in.
- Taking a drive? Pray for protection.
- See someone in need? Ask the Lord to provide for them.
- Out to lunch? Ask your waitress how you can pray for him/her.
– Have an attitude of gratitude. Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
- Be in the habit of consistently thanking the Lord out loud for your kids to see.
– Let your interactions with everyone you come across reflect the love of Jesus. Yes, even when you’re driving!
How can I lead out unplugging as a parent?
- Put your phone on do not disturb and put it away when you come home each day.
- Show your family they come first by not having your phone out during relational times like dinner and during activities.
- When your kids or spouse approach you to have an interaction, put your phone down and give them your full attention.
- Practice what you preach. You are a role model to your children. The best way to get them to make good choices, is for them to see you making them first.
Choose to make the most of this special season.
Why is grandparenting special?
One of the greatest joys in life is being a grandparent. Grandparenting is an adventure that takes some by surprise, and others enter grandparenting after long seasons of anticipation. Being a grandparent is a journey of JOY!
What do I have to offer as a grandparent?
Grandparents can have an amazing influence on their grandchildren. It is not enough to just be a grandparent—we must choose to be an intentional Christian grandparent.
Grandparents are second only to parents in their potential to influence children spiritually.
As grandparents, we should be like Jesus and aim reach the hearts of our grandchildren.
How can I be more intentional in my grandparenting?
1. Like Jesus, we must be purposeful.
a. A purposeful grandparent impacts their grandchildren through vision and direction.
2. Like Jesus, we must be passionate.
a. A passionate grandparent impacts their grandchildren through profound and transparent passion driven by deeply felt emotions. Emotion is a highway to the heart.
3. Like Jesus, we must excel in personal relationships.
a. A grandparent can deeply touch their grandchildren through personal relationships with them.
4. Like Jesus, we must impact the heart through perspective.
a. A grandparent can impact their grandchildren by imparting perspective through interactive conversations and sharing ideas—thereby molding the thinking processes of grandchildren.
What are some things I can do with my grandkids?
1. Creation Station | Bellevue Baptist Church | East Lobby | (901) 347-2509
2. High Point Climbing | 21 N Humphreys Blvd. | (901) 203-6122
3. Memphis Zoo | 2000 Prentiss Pl. | (901) 333-6500
4. Memphis Redbirds Baseball | AutoZone Park | 200 Union Ave. | (901) 721-6000
5. Children’s Museum of Memphis | 2525 Central Ave. | (901) 458-2678
6. Fire Museum of Memphis | 118 Adams Ave. | (901) 636-5650
7. Picnic with your grandchildren at one of the many parks in the Memphis area.
8. Attend your grandchildren’s extracurricular events, and take them for ice cream or a meal afterward.
9. Go fishing or feed ducks at a local lake.
10. Host a “Grandparent Camp,” and let your grandchildren stay with you for a few days.
How can I weave my faith into our activities?
1. Ask your grandchildren questions, and pray for ways to bring up God’s blessings, grace, and hope in your conversations with them.
2. Celebrate good things with your grandchildren, verbally thanking the Lord for their good news.
3. Tell your grandchildren about your faith journey.
4. Pray with and for your grandchildren, ask them to pray over meals, and encourage them in their prayer lives.
5. Point to things God made, and remind them, “God made that.”
6. When you see a first responder vehicle racing to an emergency, pray out loud for everyone involved.
Isn’t faith only for the parents to pass on?
God has placed you in the life of your grandchildren. You have influence. You can choose to be an intentional Christian grandparent—enjoy the journey!
The Power of a Picnic
Turn your family meal into outdoor fun!
Why are picnics powerful?
Picnics combine the power of family meals with the fun of being outdoors. In her book The Surprising Power of Family Meals, Miriam Weinstein revealed that eating meals together is the magic bullet to dramatically improve your family’s health. And taking those meals outdoors to fun locations can be exciting for the whole family.
Where are great picnic spots?
Listed below are places with great views, places to play, and spots ready to be explored:
1. Mud Island or Harbor Town, alongside the Mississippi River
2. The Crystal Shrine Grotto, located in the Memorial Park Cemetery
3. Martyrs Park, located downtown and overlooking the river
4. Shelby Farms near the playground or a lake
5. International Harvester Managerial Park in Lakeland
6. Cameron Brown Park in Germantown
7. W.C. Johnson Park in Collierville
8. Blue Lagoon Park in Arlington
9. Mud Island River Park
10. Overton Park
How can we make our picnic enjoyable?
Plan to have fun! Bring balls, Frisbees, kites, bubbles, fishing poles, or a board game with you.
Go when the weather is great! Look ahead to pick the time of day and day of the week that will provide the best weather for your time outdoors.
Score with your children by bringing the right food! Bring homemade or purchased food, snacks, drinks, and dessert that everyone in the family enjoys.
Pack the right clothes! Take what you’ll need for your picnic, which could involve swimming, wading, hiking, or cooler temperatures after sunset.
Set the scene with the right music! Bring your phone (and a Bluetooth speaker if you have one) to play music that fills the air with worship, gets the kids dancing, or sets the mood.
Make a big deal about God’s creation! While outdoors, take turns pointing out all that God made, and don’t forget to point to each other.
What should we not forget?
Don’t forget a blanket, camping chairs, paper towels, a trash bag, and bug spray.
Resources for Dad
Breakfast Date with Dad
Schedule a breakfast once a month with each member of your family.
The Biblical reason for this breakfast.
- Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Hear, O Israel! The Lordis our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Why is this breakfast so important?
- You, as a dad, need to connect emotionally and spiritually on a deeper level with each member of your family.
- Your family needs to see you in a different environment with no agenda other than spending time with that person.
- The Bible calls MEN to be the spiritual leaders of their homes.
Where should you go for breakfast?
- Donuts are always a hit and very cost-efficient! You can each get two donuts and a drink for $10-$15.
- If the weather is nice, take the food and go to the park where you can be outside just the two of you.
How important is this breakfast?
- It is of the utmost importance that dads are investing in, teaching, and listening to their family.
- Statistics of success rates in families go up drastically when the dad leads in the home.
What is the goal of this breakfast?
- To show them you love and care about them by investing time and taking interest in their lives.
- To communicate that you love them.
- To pour into them.
What to do at the breakfast.
- Eat together and enjoy each other’s company.
- Ask good questions.
- What thing are you most excited about right now in your life? Maybe a project you are working on, a sport you are playing, a trip you are looking forward to, etc.
- What are you most proud of that you have done lately?
- What is something you are worried about or afraid of right now?
- What is something you have learned from the Bible lately?
- What can I help you with right now?
- How can I pray for you?
- Keep good notes. That way next month when you have breakfast you can ask them how they are doing with the things they shared with you the month before.
- Share something about you with them.
- What are you most excited about in your life right now?
- What the Lord has shown you lately.
- Something you struggle with or are worried about. Transparency leads to deeper trust.
- Tell them three things.
- I love you.
- I am proud of you. Then tell them why you are proud of them.
- You are good at_____________. Observe them throughout the month so you have something specific to brag about. It will make them so excited to know that you noticed them and the world is not telling them these things, they need to hear it from their dad.
- Pray for them before you leave.
- Stand up from the table and give them a big hug and tell them you love them again!
Schedule an hour once a month to better lead your family.
Why is “think” time so important for you as a dad?
- Dads are busy dudes! Often dads are more about the grind of everyday life than thinking about the future with their families.
Where would you as a dad start?
- Schedule an hour, once a month, away from distractions to think on all thing’s family. Schedule time into your calendar just like you would a lunch appointment, a work meeting, or a haircut.
How does a lunch fit in?
- Lunch generally runs about an hour which is a perfect amount of time for planning a month, semester, and year in advance.
- Also, the most effective time for many dads is during the workday hours.
How does a dad spend a full lunch hour on planning?
- Find a quiet, distraction-free place.
- Bring your calendar (a year out) and a way to take notes.
- Start with prayer, thank the Lord for your family and ask Him for wisdom.
- Ask yourself each question on the back of this card.
- Put dates and plans on your calendar.
What benefits does investing one lunch a month provide?
- These lunches have you thinking about your family twelve times a year.
- Being intentional in your planning will bear fruit in how you lead and care.
- More scheduled time with your wife and kids will be a home run.
What would you as a dad “think about” for an hour?
The Month Ahead
- As the leader of my family, how will I care for myself? (spiritually, physically)
- When and where could I take my wife on a date?
- What is happening with each child that needs encouraging?
- How can I make upcoming birthdays, anniversaries, or celebration special?
- What is coming up worth celebrating? How could we do it?
- What appointments are ahead to prepare for? (doctor, lawyer, school, etc)
- What have I been putting off for our family that needs to get wrapped up?
The Semester Ahead
- What will be different for each child next semester? (school change, etc.)
- What holidays will occur and how can we capitalize on them? (family, travel)
- How could I lead my family spiritually? (prayer, devotional time, church)
- What school activities need suggesting/scheduling? (sports, arts, music)
- Where can I strategically spend some off days to enjoy family time?
The Year Ahead
- What major life events are ahead? (graduation, move, new job, baby, etc.)
- What is special about the year to come? (special birthdays, anniversaries)
- What goals do I want to set for myself/my family?
- What large expenses do I need to start planning for now? (car, roof, school)
- Where could time with grandparents be most effectively placed?
- What family vacations need planning; when, where, how to make special?
- Where/when could I take my wife on a weekend getaway or a week away?
Love your child the way he or she wants to be loved
Why is this important?
Every child desires the love of their father. While children are still developing, it is helpful to continue learning about how the Lord has specifically made them. By asking some good questions and spending time with your child, you can discover how to make your children feel genuinely loved.
How is each child unique?
Children from the same parents growing up in the same home can be very different. They are even different in how they want to give and receive love.
Author Gary Chapman suggests that you learn child’s love language.
What are the 5 love languages?
- Acts of Service – Your child loves it when others do nice things for them and when they can help others.
- Physical Touch – Your child loves to give and receive hugs, play fight, fist-bump, kiss, and high-five.
- Words of Affirmation – Your child loves when others use words to tell them that they are special, and they are doing a good job. They love to encourage others also.
- Quality Time – Your child loves it when others do things with them like play a game, watch television, or go to a ballgame.
- Receiving Gifts – Your child loves giving and receiving gifts. They feel good when someone gives them a special present or surprise and when they give.
Where can I find the free Love Language quiz?
Simply visit 5lovelanguages.com to take the “Family” quiz.
What happens after we take the quiz?
Have fun going over the answers! Take each kid somewhere special; donut shop, out for ice cream, or on a walk to discuss their love language. Using their love language as the guide and ask questions about how you can best help them feel loved. Try to agree on one “next step” that you as the dad can take to best show love.
Will my kid receive love in the same way I want to receive love?
Maybe, but not always. It is important to avoid assuming that your child will have the same love language as you. If it is difficult to connect with your children, it may be a good idea to see if there may be a more effective way of demonstrating your love for them. Even if you might already have a good idea of what their love language may be, going over the questions on the quiz or asking them questions like “How do I love you well?” shows your children that you are interested in them and how you are willing to sacrifice to love them in a better way. This can cause your relationship to grow closer.
Why is showing love so vital?
A child who is loved by their earthly father can better accept the love of the heavenly father. Then that child can more effectively obey the command to “love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength.” Mark 12:30
Things to Remember:
While your child grows, their primary love languages may change. This is why it is important to continue the conversation. It is also good to find out how your different children may have different love languages and try to structure your one-on-one time in a way that favors their specific love language.
Comfort to Courage
Encourage your child to step out of their comfort zone
What’s so comfortable about comfort zones?
Each child has unique things that might make them afraid, insecure, or uncertain. Scary may be playing on a team, or being in a play, or praying in front of others. So, it’s more comfortable to avoid these opportunities than to try things where they think they may fail.
Does God want us raising comfortable or courageous kids?
The Bible speaks much more about courage than comfort. In 1st Chronicles 28:20, David said to his son Solomon, “Be strong and courageous, and act; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the LORD God, my God, is with you.” The command to be strong and courageous appears multiple times in the Old and New Testament.
What role does a father play?
Joshua 1:9 says “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” The role of a father in helping their child out of a comfort zone is to remind them that, just like the Heavenly Father, you are with them all along the way.
What activities could help my child go from comfort to courage?
Get them outdoors:
- Build a campfire. Let your children try it out once you’ve show them how it is done.
- Go Geocaching. Download a free Geocaching app and have an outdoor adventure with your children.
- Take them out for a night activity. A common fear for children is the dark. Show them there is nothing to fear when they are with their dad.
- Let them help you with yard work. Challenge your children to do something that might look like an “adult” job.
Grow their public speaking:
- Have them order the meal at a restaurant.
- Have them lead a family devotion.
- Let them have a turn praying at family meals.
- Let them navigate from point A to B in a busy airport or a park.
- Appoint them to greet guests who come to your home.
Give them a Mission:
- Give them a list of things to find at the store and let them take the lead.
- Take them along when helping a neighbor.
- Invite them to help you solve a problem or fix something at home.
- Cook a meal together for Mom and the family.
What are some things to keep in mind?
When children try something new, they usually do not produce perfect results. Remind them that what they are doing is not about results. It is an opportunity for them to grow in courage and for you to demonstrate your support of your children. You get to look your kid in the eye and say, “I believe in you, you’ve got what it takes!” As their father, your encouraging words build long-term confidence in themselves and trust in you.
What about when they are fearful?
They do not need to fear. The most common command in the Bible is “fear not”. As you are raising up future leaders, impress upon their hearts, “They do not have a spirit of fear but of power, love, and self-control” (2 Timothy 1:7). Being present during their failures and victories shows them a picture of the Lords steadfast love for His children, a love-based on relationship, not performance.
How hard should fathers push?
As the leader of the family, fathers need to help their children learn what they are capable of. When a child receives low expectations, it can become a limit to what they can achieve. On the other hand, too high of expectations can discourage children. As a father, you get to challenge your kid to reach their highest potential! Through these new experiences, children can better understand their strengths and weaknesses while also growing in trust with their father as he shows his continual love for them despite the outcomes.
Resources for Middle School and High School Parents
Parenting can be a challenge. Parenting in a Christian family can be an even greater challenge in today’s world. Visit our resource page for parents to learn more about today’s issues, find Bible reading plans for kids, and receive guidance when it comes to social media.
Stories of the Bible
Life Groups in 2023: Stories of the Bible
In January 2023, Bellevue will launch all-new, original Life Group curriculum titled “Stories of the Bible.” All ages and stages of life will walk through the same curriculum each week with appropriate levels of biblical learning for each stage. Our prayer is that families and friends can come together to discuss what they are learning each week, growing in Christ as a church family. Don’t miss this opportunity to join a Life Group and learn the true stories of the Bible together!
The ABCs | Stories of the Bible
Parents, become more confident and consistent in teaching your children biblical truth in 2023. Every Life Group, from babies to senior adults, will be learning the same story from the Bible each week. Families can use the ABC strategy at home throughout the week to reinforce and grow in Christ together.
A - ASK interactive questions.
Engage your kids with three age-appropriate discussion questions provided for each week’s story. Questions can be found in the attachments below.
B - BRING your understanding.
Parents share one thing they learned about the weekly story from their Life Group lesson.
C - CREATE fun experiences.
Families are given one activity per week to do together that brings the biblical truth from each week’s story to life. Activities can be found below.
The ABCs Archive
January 2023 Archive
Utilize these guides to have conversations with your kids about what they are learning in their Life Group!
February 2023 Archive
Utilize these guides to have conversations with your kids about what they are learning in their Life Group!
March 2023 Archive
Utilize these guides to have conversations with your kids about what they are learning in their Life Group!
April 2023 Archive
May 2023 Archive
June 2023 Archive
July 2023 Archive
August 2023 Archive
The Cook Family
Learn how the Cook family incorporates Bible study and discipleship into its home life.
Julian and Roz Martin know parents have to model Christian life for their kids. Learn from their example how you can communicate the importance of church and faith to your kids.
The why and how of Fight for Your Family
Listen to Donna Gaines’ encouragement as she speaks on:
- Inspiration from the book of Nehemiah.
- Making Disciples within your family.
- Teaching biblical truth to your kids.
- Enlisting prayer partners.
- Culture’s attempts to intimidate families.
- Social media’s impact.
- How our brains can be renewed.
- Bellevue’s role in your discipleship efforts.
Fight for your Family Facebook Group
Stay up-to-date by joining this online group!
The Gospel for Kids
How to share the Gospel with children.
How to pray for your children
Biblical content for your kids – from Bellevue!
Sundays 9:15 and 11:00 a.m. | Fellowship Hall
Children Pre-K4–3rd grade are invited to participate in KidVue Worship.
KidVue Worship includes age-appropriate praise music, Bible lessons, table activities and more.
Join Avery and her furry friend, Elvis, for a new season of KidVue. We are so excited to explore more of God’s Word with you this season!
Children’s Pre-Check-in Through the Bellevue App
Did you know you can check in for your kids through the Bellevue app before you arrive at church? When you access childcare or children’s programming and check in through the app, you’ll have a QR code to scan at the kiosk upon arrival. Expedite check-in by downloading the app!