Summer Slump or Summer Growth: What will you choose?
Summer vacation - a time to relax and enjoy, a time to take a pause from all the busy activities. A much-needed time for renewal. Yet so often during the summer, we take a ‘vacation’ from spending time in the Word and actively learning and growing in the Lord. As creatures of habit, we often depend upon the structure of the school year to keep us accountable in our devotion to Scripture study and prayer; but this doesn’t have to be.
During the school year, students at SCCS have the wonderful blessing of a structure to compel their spiritual life. Activities such as chapel, Bible classes, Bible studies and serving opportunities create constant reminders to evaluate their faith and grow deeper in relationship with our Lord. Going into the summer can be quite the contrast for our students, who will not have the same daily structure encouraging their faith; yet, this is a great time for you as their parent to be intentional with your child(ren) and their spiritual walk with Christ.
How can we encourage our children’s spiritual growth throughout the summer beyond the structure of SCCS?
Here are a couple of tips and resources to help support you in this effort:
- Make a plan. Although summer comes with a more relaxed schedule it often includes family vacation and time away from home. Making some sort of plan for Scripture study and prayer with your child(ren) is a great start. Whether you choose to tackle a specific book of the Bible, study a devotional guide or decide on a prayer project as a family – a plan will help keep you accountable and unified toward a spiritual goal as a family.
- Be intentional with spiritual conversations. Time can be so limited during the school year with homework and extracurricular activities. View the summer as a time to be intentional with your child(ren) regarding faith conversations. Spend time one-on-one with each child and give them space to share what’s on their heart. Encourage them to ask questions and “work out their faith” with your guidance. If they are struggling with knowing truth, spend time searching the source of truth and Scripture, with them.
- Focus on grace AND truth. Even with a strong plan and intentional conversations, spiritual encouragement over the summer doesn’t need to be something to dread or be filled with drudgery. We want to be people who encourage our children to have grace AND truth – not legalism. Let’s work together to grow in not viewing our walk with Christ as a box to be checked, but rather a living, breathing relationship with our Lord and Savior. There will be missed days – and that is okay.
- Fill your heart and mind with truth. One of the best ways to encourage spiritual growth in your child(ren) is to model a close walk with the Lord. Study the word. Listen to the word and sermons with your children in the car. Listen to podcasts that point your heart toward truth. Praise the Lord with worship music that centers your heart on Him. There are so many wonderful resources available. Here are a few of my (Wiley Kennedy) favorites: Tim Challies Blog, The Gospel Coalition, Al Mohler, “The Briefing” Podcast
We wish you a summer filled with God’s grace and truth. We pray you and your families continue to grow in Him.