CONNECT WITH GOD
As moms of little ones, it’s often a struggle to personally find time to spend with God and read His Word. But when we don’t take time to read our Bibles and connect with God, we often become dry sponges, with nothing left to pour into the lives of our kids. So what’s the solution? I have a special guest on the show today that I think will be an encouragement for you. Keep listening.
Welcome to episode #5 of The Family Bible Connection Podcast with Laurie Christine!
Hey Momma, do you ever feel inadequate to teach your kids about God? Do they have questions about the Bible that you don’t know how to answer? Do you want to have family devotions, but you’re just not sure where to start?
You’re in the right place. Welcome to The Family Bible Connection – A community of moms who desperately need Jesus for every step of our parenting journey.
We want our kids to KNOW the Bible and GROW in their love for God & others. We want to prepare our kids to GO into the world as passionate followers of Jesus. I’m your host, Laurie Christine. Through devotional resources, family routines, and Bible study, I will teach you how to create a Christ-centered culture in your home.
I am excited to welcome a dear friend onto the podcast today. She is a godly wife and momma of three boys, a counselor, speaker, former missionary, Christian life coach, Bible teacher and published author. Mari Hernandez Tuten, welcome to the Family Bible Connection!
Hey, I’m so glad to be here this morning with you guys!
Well, we are excited to hear what you have to share with us today. I have talked a lot on this podcast about the importance of spending time in God’s word together as a family. I would love to talk to you a little bit today about why it’s important for us as moms to spend our own personal time to connect with God. I’d love to hear your thoughts on that.
Yeah, I feel very passionate about this topic. Mostly because it’s a topic that’s very personal in my life. I was a missionary, as you said, and I was in another country, serving God with my family. I realized in the midst of all that, after being a Christian for a long time and going to seminary, that I was not spending time in God’s Word. I was not connecting with God and I was trying to thrive out of my own energy, my own strength, and my own knowledge.
And that’s when God showed me that I really needed to go to Him to be strengthened in order to be able to minister to other people. I wanted to share from His Word, and not just my own knowledge.
I think it’s important for us as moms to understand that we can’t give our children what we don’t have. And it was important for me to connect with God through His Word so that he could transform me.
A question my kids ask a lot is: Why do we have to read the Bible? I tell them we read the Bible so that we know God and recognize his voice. There are so many voices vying for our attention. But if I don’t know His words and His truth, then I won’t be able to tell the difference.
And ultimately, the Bible transforms us. So it’s not only about knowledge, but it’s about a heart transformation that only He can do and His word can do for us.
I loved what you said about not being able to give our children what we don’t have ourselves. If we are not filled with the Spirit of God and the Word of God, then we will become dry. It will be really difficult to minister to our children and to overflow into their lives, if we ourselves are not filled with his Spirit and filled with the joy that the Lord gives us. Spending time connecting with God through His Word is how we are filled with that joy and how we can overflow into the lives of our children.
And it’s not just something you check off my “to-do” list. We have a relationship with God and we want to get to know him and connect with our Savior. When we are close to the Lord, and when we have that personal relationship with him, our kids are going to see it and they’re going to see the difference in our lives.
Let’s talk a little bit about what it looks like to connect with God. I know there are moms out there saying, “Well, sure, that’s easy for you to say. I don’t have time for that. My kids are little, they’re running around, and I have so many things on my list to do. Reading my Bible is the last thing on the list.”
So, Mari, what would you say to moms who feel like they don’t have time to connect with God, but they know that it’s important? What would you recommend? What’s a good place to start?
I think it starts in our head first. I need to decide in my mind that God is going to be a priority in my day. Because the reality is, we have so many things to do, the minute we wake up and our feet hit the floor. We have a list of things that need to be done, so sitting down and taking time to connect with God through His Word doesn’t seem like a priority. My child needs me, or I need to do laundry, or I need to do dishes, or I need to run errands…
There are so many things to do, but it’s important that we make God a priority. It may sound weird, but schedule it in! Decide that you’re going to spend 10 minutes in God’s Word. I’m not even saying you need to spend 30 minutes or an hour, if you don’t have that much time. Start small. If this is a season in your life where you don’t have a lot of time, start with 10 or 15 minutes. And, and then make a plan.
When you make a plan, it becomes a routine. And you have to think about it. So for me in the morning, when I make my tea, I also have my devotional time. I’ve paired these two things together every morning. When you pair a new task with an old habit, you create a new routine.
So first, you must plan to do it. And then you must put it into practice. It doesn’t matter if it’s 10 minutes or 30 minutes. If you don’t have time to actually sit down to read God’s Word, don’t stress about it! There is no rule that you actually have to be sitting to spend time with God.
When my kids were small, I would have a verse pinned up to my window where I wash dishes. I would meditate on that verse while I worked. And then I would use that verse to pray for my children.
Looking at the verse throughout the day was also a constant encouragement to me… a reminder to fill my heart with God’s truth, because that’s what brings me joy and strength. That’s what reminds me to stay on track, when I feel drained or overwhelmed.
Another way I’ve been able to be in God’s word is by using a Bible app. For example, if my church is studying the book of Ephesians, I can just push play on the app while I’m driving in my car and listen to God’s Word. There are so many different ways to keep God at the front of your mind throughout the day.
So, it sounds like there is not a one-size-fits-all method to connect with God. The Bible is very clear that we are to hide God’s Word in our hearts and to meditate on his word and to fill our lives with his Word and His Spirit. But it doesn’t look the same for every person. And it doesn’t look the same in every stage of life, either.
If your kids are all away at school, you might have an hour to sit down every morning and spend time doing an in-depth Bible study, which is amazing. But when your kids are little and they’re home with you all day, or maybe you’re working and then you come home in the evening and you’re trying to get dinner on the table, life can get a little crazy and you might not have an hour to spend in God’s Word. And that’s okay!
I love that there are so many ways that we can surround ourselves with the Word of God. I also use the Bible app to listen to the Bible. I personally love the New Living Translation of the Bible, especially to listen to, because it is really understandable. It puts the Bible into words that you can understand. It’s really easy to digest that way.
But we need to be intentional. It’s not just going to happen because I want it to happen. For example, if I want to lose 10 pounds, it’s not going to happen just because I want to lose 10 pounds. I need to be intentional about it in the same way. Just because we want to know more about God and have his truth fill our home and our hearts, doesn’t mean it’s just going to happen. We have to decide and make a plan.
Yes, absolutely. Mari, you have a great resource that I think would be amazing for our listeners. Tell us a little bit about your recent book that just came out. Tell us the title of the book, and then tell us a little bit about it. How could this book be a resource for moms to spend time in God’s word and connect with God?
The book is called Proverbs 31, In Five Minutes a Day, a Bible Study for Women. It just released this week, and you can find it on Amazon right now. If you’re craving a deeper connection with God and you want to know his love for you that’s not based on performance, this book is for you.
If you’re trying to discover your influence, right where you are, whether it’s as a mom or a career woman, whether it’s working outside the home or working in your home, I wrote this book for you.
This is a great devotional book if you’re a busy mom and you don’t have a lot of time to connect with God. These devotionals can be done in five minutes a day. I know we’re all busy, but our hearts and minds need God’s truth. So my prayer is that, with this book, women will be able to dive in deeper and closer to God and know the influence that he has, and that they have, because of Him.
I have a copy of your book right here. It just came this week and I am super excited to dive into it and do some of the studies. I know you ladies can’t see it right here because there’s no video, but I will just say it is beautiful. There are flowers on the cover and it’s really well designed and laid out.
There are sections for journaling, there are devotional sections, and there are parts where you can study God’s word. I think you guys will really love it.
So Mari, tell everybody where they can find a copy of the book and where they can also learn more about you.
I blog and write over at www.InspiredByFamilyMag.com. And you can also find the book on Amazon. Just search for Proverbs 31 in 5 Minutes a Day.
The goal of The Family Bible Connection podcast is to help moms create a Christ-centered culture in their homes. We’ve been talking a lot about that in the last few episodes. Tell us a little bit about your personal experience. What is just one or two things that you have done in your own family to try to create a culture that is centered on Christ and centered on the scriptures?
One simple thing I have done in our home is to hang scripture verses on our walls. I’m a big believer in covering our walls with Scripture. We have a verse hanging in the bathroom. And when my son was in the bathroom, and I heard him saying the verse out loud, and then later in the week, we had happened to be reading from that passage and he said, Oh, I already know that verse. So he memorized it because it’s right there in the bathroom.
So, I display God’s Word in different places around our home for our kids to see is a great way to keep our minds filled with God’s Word.
We also have memorized verses together as a family. Our last name is Tuten – like a “2” and a “10”. So one year, we looked up all the “2:10” verses in the Bible. We’ve memorized a lot of them together as a family.
I grew up in a Christian home and I know that God’s word does not return empty. I still remember verses that I memorized when I was a little girl. I remember going through a really hard time not too long ago, and Psalm 23 came to my mind. I had memorized that verse many years ago when I was little, and it still encouraged me today.
What you said is a great reminder to us as moms. Maybe my kids will remember this verse when they’re 30. Parenting our children and raising them to love Jesus is a long marathon. We might not see results tomorrow.
When we invest in our kids by teaching them the Bible and sharing the gospel with them and surrounding them with Scripture, we are preparing them for when they’re 25 or 30. By God’s grace, we trust and pray that he will continue to work in their hearts and in their lives.
So, don’t get discouraged if you implement some of these things we were talking about, and you don’t see a change right away. God works in their hearts little by little, and we need to trust Him that he is going to finish the work that he has started in our kids.
Mari, it has been so fun talking to you. And I am so thankful that you were able to join us here today. Thank you for coming on the podcast.
Yeah, thank you for having me. And I just want to encourage all of the women listening to go read your Bible, because it really does transform our hearts and our minds and reminds us of who He is and who we are as a result of it.
Absolutely. Thanks so much Mari.
You can connect with Mari at http://inspiredbyfamilymag.com/ and you can also find her book on Amazon.
I’d like to close our episode today in prayer. I’m praying in the first person so that you can make this a prayer for yourself and your own children.
“Father, thank you that you desire to have a personal relationship with me. You know my life can be so crazy sometimes and I confess that I haven’t always made you a priority. Help me to make time to read your Word. Help me to find creative ways to surround myself with scripture and to connect with you throughout the day. I pray that you would use me in the lives of my children. Please fill me with your love and joy so that your Spirit would overflow into the hearts of my kids. Amen.”
I’d like to tell you about a free book that I have available for you to download. It’s called “How to Engage Your Kids in Family Devotions.” If you need some fresh inspiration to help your kids engage with family Bible times, this is a practical resource to help you get started. Everything we’ve been talking about in the past few episodes can be found in this book! You can find the free ebook HERE.
Thank you so much for joining me for Episode #4 of The Family Bible Connection with Laurie Christine, where together as moms, we will cling tightly to Jesus as we create a Christ-centered culture in our home.
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