A few weeks ago, Keith Simon led a parenting seminar, “How Good Parents Ruin their Kids,” where he discussed the idea that parents are perhaps doing too much for their kids. Parents often strive for the ultimate goal of keeping their kids happy at all costs. While this might seem like a good thing in some ways, kids are struggling to cope with the challenges life throws at them because they have often been to coddled, sheltered, and protected from any difficulty.
Keith reminded us of our ultimate goal as Christian parents: to help guide our children to love and serve Jesus. This means allowing God to bring hardship into our kids’ lives to mature them in their faith. When we allow our children to experience hardship, challenges, and difficulties, we have an opportunity to use those experiences to point them to Jesus.
With these ideas in mind, I have long been intrigued by the concept of the outdoor classroom. Outdoor education is most popular in Europe, but is gaining some popularity in certain parts of the United States. The idea is simple – teachers facilitate meaningful learning in a outdoor environment exposing children to the hardship and beauty of the elements. Kids are allowed to experience the discomfort of being cold and hot and wet as they learn. They are encouraged to explore without the “safety” of the playground – they climb trees, cross streams, and get dirty. Teachers encourage kids to learn using real tools – matches to light fires, hammers, nails, & saws to construct, and pots and pans to cook over an open stove.
Watch this six minute video of an outdoor kindergarten in Norway to get a taste of the outdoor classroom.
While none of these schools are actively teaching Christianity (that I know of), I think this model would be ideal for pointing kids to God through enjoying the world He made – and the challenges and beauty in it. Since we don’t have any outdoor schools in Columbia, perhaps the next best thing would be to take our kids for hikes on the Katy trail or a camping trip in the Ozarks. Playing in the snow, climbing trees, pitching a tent in the backyard, collecting leaves, and planting a garden are all ways to help our kids experience the challenge and joy of God’s world.
What do you think about the idea of the outdoor classroom?
I have been reading though a wonderful book lately. In their book Praying the Bible for Your Children, authors David and Heather Kopp give incredible vision for the importance or praying for our children. They outline how praying through verses in the Bible helps parents pray more specifically and deliberately, which is such a help to me. I often find myself praying the same thoughts over and over for my daughter – which isn’t a bad thing. However, this book has helped me to lift up her precious soul in specific ways – everything from her fears and failures to her character to her future. The bulk of the book is made up of specific prayers to pray through which is a tremendous help to me. Today I was praying through Prayer #40 (page 78) based on Psalm 23, called My Child’s Shepherd. I hope you will find it as helpful in your prayer life for your children as I did for mine.
My Child’s Shepherd: Praying Psalm 23
You are my child’s Shepherd. Because her care is your personal concern, she will never really be without anything she needs (v.1).
Please lead her, today and every day, into places and experiences where her soul will be revived and her spiritual passion will be continually restored in You (vv. 2-3).
When daily life weighs her down or the fear of death somehow casts a shadow over her spirit, make Your loving presence known to her. By Your own hand carry her along, comfort her, and nudge her toward maturity (v. 4).
In her times of crisis, surrounded perhaps by those who want and expect her to fail, come through for her God. Display Your lavish affection for Her. Prove to all that she is your chosen one, the apple of your eye, and that You have nothing but overflowing blessings in store for her (v. 5).
Yes, Lord, may Your unfailing goodness and tender mercies surround her all the days of her life, and may she find her true home in Your presence forever (v. 6).
Note: This book is out of print, but used copies are available for purchase through Amazon.
Throughout my teaching years, one learned lesson has always stuck with me: adults (parents and teachers alike) often underestimate what children are capable of. I saw it over and over again in the classroom. A kindergartener tackles a book “too hard” for her and loves it or a 5th grader asks questions about the world seemingly “above his head.” Kids are capable. Kids are smart. Kids are hungry to learn.
This lesson has really sunk in at home as I watch my 18-month-old daughter, Eleanor, soaking in everything around her. Sometimes it’s easy to underestimate her abilities – she is a toddler after all. Aren’t toddlers just supposed to play and have fun? But as I play and interact with her daily, I am amazed at just how capable she is. Sometimes she will figure out a toy she has never seen before or say a word I don’t remember ever teaching her. Toddlers are capable. Toddlers are smart. Toddlers are hungry to learn.
Because this is true, toddlers are not too young to start soaking in God’s word. Psalm 119:11 tells us to “hide God’s word in our hearts.” Shouldn’t this apply to the youngest among us? Are toddlers capable of hiding God’s word in their hearts?
Though it might look different than how an adult or older kid would read and study the Bible, a toddler is capable of loving God’s word. And it is up to us to help cultivate this love and hunger. This is where a lot of us get stumped. How can we help toddlers “hide God’s word in their hearts” in practical, everyday ways? What does this look like?
Here is a glimpse into four things we try at home to help Eleanor love God’s word.
Listen to Scripture Set to Music
Toddlers love music and over time will internalize the lyrics of the songs. We love listening to music that is centered on God’s word at home and in the car and even sing them aloud before bedtime. Eleanor lights up when we start listening and singing some of these songs together. Here are a few favorites:
Say Simple Bible Verses in Context
Make God’s word meaningful (because it is!). Incorporate God’s life giving word into your daily activities. Keep the verses simple, short, and meaningful. Say them in context to help your toddler understand what they mean. I also simplify the language to words Eleanor will better understand. Here are a few I say aloud with my little one:
“Every word of God proves (is) true.” (Proverbs 30:5) I might say this when we are looking at the pictures in her Bible to help her see the Bible is all true.
“The heavens declare (show) the Glory of God.” (Psalm 19:1) I said this aloud to her on our walk this morning when we were looking at birds in the sky.
“Do not fear; God is with you.” (Isaiah 41:10) This is a great verse to say if your child is afraid before bedtime or before you leave them with a babysitter.
Read an Age-Appropriate Bible Together
This is an obvious one, but so crucial. To hide God’s word in our hearts, we must be in the word! The same is true for toddlers. Find a Bible your toddler loves and take time to look at the pictures, talk about the stories, and thank God for His word together on a regular basis. Here are a few recommendations:
Model Reading the Bible to Your Toddler
This is an easy one to forget. Usually, I wait until Eleanor is asleep before I take time to read my Bible so that I will be able to focus. However, children are interested in whatever you are doing. If I am cooking or vacuuming, she wants to be a part of it. The same is true of reading my Bible. Sometimes, I just pray through a few verses in my Bible while she is playing beside me. Though she doesn’t always show interest, sometimes she’ll come up to me and I tell her “Mama is reading the Bible – God’s word. It is so special” or something along those lines. Now Eleanor will point to my Bible and say, “Bible!” This warms my heart to see these seeds being planted and taking root in her tiny heart.
What are some ways you share God’s word with your little ones?
Last Sunday, I had the opportunity to talk with parents about the importance of reading to our kids in our Legacy Series class, Readers are Made in the Laps of Parents. Together with Emily Powell and Nathan Tiemeyer, we shared how reading with our children can help them more fully shape their worldview and view of God. You can read more in Nathan’s blog post at Every Square Inch, Reading to Your Kids is Even More Worthwhile Than You Think.
One of the main principles we discussed is how it is not just the reading to kids that is important – it is the conversation about the reading that is vital. When we take time not only to read a book, but also to stop and ask questions, dwell in the text, and wonder what the book is saying that we help children make spiritual connections. Below is a short list of questions you can choose from when you next sit down to read with your little ones. Use these questions as a springboard to talk with your children about spiritual truths and our great God. You may be surprised where your conversation goes!
You can use these questions for any book and adapt them for the ages of your children.
• What do you think this book is about?
• What is happening in the picture on the cover?
As you read, take time to pause and ask any of the following questions to check understanding and build comprehension.
• How does this part make you feel?
• Does this remind you of anything else?
• Why do you think (name of character) did/said that?
• What do you think will happen next?
• What do you notice in the illustrations?
• What would you do if this happened to you?
• What was your favorite part of the book?
• What did this book make you think about the world?
• What did this book make you think about God?
• What do you think the book was trying to say? Do you agree?
In my last post, I outlined an overview of the theory of multiple intelligences and how it should inform our view of children. In this post, I’d like the share how this theory can be implemented in Crossing Kids so that we are reaching all of God’s diverse children and engaging them in learning about Him.
There are eight different intelligence areas. Each child embodies all of them to some degree, but most children have a strength in two or three specific areas. These areas are their “sweet spot” for learning and assimilating information. This means as leaders and teachers in Crossing Kids, we should strive to engage children in all eight areas on Sunday mornings. Certainly, we can’t teach within all eight areas every single week, but we strive to vary our curriculum and activities to incorporate the full spectrum of learning styles.
The chart below comes from The Gardner School, named after Howard Gardner who outlined the Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Perhaps as you look over the chart, you can think of kids in your group who fall within some of the areas.
Is Strong In:
Learns Best Through:
reading, writing, telling stories, memorizing dates, thinking words
read, write, tell stories, talk, memorize, work at puzzles
reading, hearing and seeing words, speaking, writing, discussing and debating
Maya Angelou, Abraham Lincoln
Math-Logic (Number Smart)
math, reasoning, logic, problem-solving, patterns
solve problems, question, work with numbers, experiment
working with patterns and relationships, classifying, categorizing, working with the abstract
Spatial (Picture Smart)
reading, maps, charts, drawing, mazes, puzzles, making images, visualization
design, draw, build, create, daydream, look at pictures
working with pictures and colors, visualizing, using the minds eye, drawing
Bodily-Kinesthetic (Body Smart)
athletics, dancing, acting, crafts, using tools
move around, touch and talk, use body language
touching, moving, processing knowledge through bodily sensations
Musical (Music Smart)
singing, picking up sounds, remembering melodies, rhythms
sing, hum, play an instrument, listen to music
rhythm, melody, singing, listening to music and melodies
understanding self, recognizing strengths and weaknesses, setting goals
work alone, reflect, pursue interests
working alone, doing self-paced projects, having space, reflecting
Naturalist (Nature Smart)
understanding nature, making distinctions, identifying flora and fauna
be involved with nature, make distinctions
working in nature, exploring living things, learning about plants and natural events
The column most helpful in this chart is the “Learns Best Through” column. This column outlines how we can help children learn in Crossing Kids. After all, don’t all these ways of learning teach us more about our gracious and glorious God and all the aspects of His character.
Our curriculum in Crossing Kids is specifically written to engage kids through these methods. Some lessons have drawing, acting, and singing, while others include a nature walk around the lake or a group project. I am on the curriculum writing team for K – 5th grade which uses a curriculum model called the “Workshop Rotation Model.” In the workshops, children will participate in workshops including: science, art, drama, history, cinema, puppetry, missions, bookmaking, and games. Throughout these various workshops, children learn about God and His Word in a rich and engaging manner.
As you continue to teach and lead in Crossing Kids, perhaps you can think about how to engage children in various ways. Ask a child to draw pictures with you, play Twister with you, build something with Legos, or just tell a story about their week. Children can all be drawn out in various ways. It’s helpful to consider God made all kids different with a variety of strengths. When we strive to implement Multiple Intelligences in our ministry, we have a greater opportunity to reach children for Christ.
Children all learn differently. Peek into any classroom or place where children are gathered and you are sure to see a variety of learning methods at work:
children talking and discussing a problem to find a solution.
children drawing diagrams to understand a problem.
children acting or role playing to solve a problem.
children building with blocks to solve a problem.
It is clear that children have different ways to thinking about and interacting with the world. When teachers and leaders in the classroom understand this concept, they can create a learning environment where children thrive as more active, involved learners.
A great framework to help us better understand children’s learning styles is a theory developed by Dr. Howard Gardner, a psychologist and professor of neuroscience from Harvard University. Dr. Gardner developed the Theory of Multiple Intelligences in 1983, and since that time his theory has revolutionized the way teachers think about how children learn.
Multiple Intelligences states that human beings have nine different kinds of intelligence that reflect different ways of interacting with the world. Though each person does contain a spectrum of all nine intelligences, each person has a unique combination of strengths and no two individuals have the same exact configuration!
For Gardner, intelligence is defined as:
the ability to create an effective product or offer a service that is valued in a culture;
a set of skills that make it possible for a person to solve problems in life;
the potential for finding or creating solutions for problems, which involves gathering new knowledge.
NINE MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES:*
1. Linguistic Intelligence: the capacity to use language to express what’s on your mind and to understand other people. Any kind of writer, orator, speaker, lawyer, or other person for whom language is an important stock in trade has great linguistic intelligence.
2. Logical/Mathematical Intelligence: the capacity to understand the underlying principles of some kind of causal system, the way a scientist or a logician does; or to manipulate numbers, quantities, and operations, the way a mathematician does.
3. Musical Rhythmic Intelligence: the capacity to think in music; to be able to hear patterns, recognize them, and perhaps manipulate them. People who have strong musical intelligence don’t just remember music easily, they can’t get it out of their minds, it’s so omnipresent.
4. Bodily/Kinesthetic Intelligence: the capacity to use your whole body or parts of your body (your hands, your fingers, your arms) to solve a problem, make something, or put on some kind of production. The most evident examples are people in athletics or the performing arts, particularly dancing or acting.
5. Spatial Intelligence: the ability to represent the spatial world internally in your mind — the way a sailor or airplane pilot navigates the large spatial world, or the way a chess player or sculptor represents a more circumscribed spatial world. Spatial intelligence can be used in the arts or in the sciences.
6. Naturalist Intelligence: the ability to discriminate among living things (plants, animals) and sensitivity to other features of the natural world (clouds, rock configurations). This ability was clearly of value in our evolutionary past as hunters, gatherers, and farmers; it continues to be central in such roles as botanist or chef.
7. Intrapersonal Intelligence: having an understanding of yourself; knowing who you are, what you can do, what you want to do, how you react to things, which things to avoid, and which things to gravitate toward. We are drawn to people who have a good understanding of themselves. They tend to know what they can and can’t do, and to know where to go if they need help.
8. Interpersonal Intelligence: the ability to understand other people. It’s an ability we all need, but is especially important for teachers, clinicians, salespersons, or politicians — anybody who deals with other people.
9. Existential Intelligence: the ability and proclivity to pose (and ponder) questions about life, death, and ultimate realities.
As I read this list, I am in awe at the creativity of God. Often, we are reminded of God’s greatness, power, and glory when we look at the stars and galaxies in the heavens. This list of Multiple Intelligences reminds me we can see the greatness, power, and glory in the way He created our brains to think and process information. We can marvel at God’s splendor when we see the diversity in children – not just their physical features, but the way God wired their bring to think about Him and the world He made. In my next post, I’ll unpack some specific ways we can use this information about Multiple Intelligences on Sunday mornings in Crossing Kids.
* As written in Dr. Howard Gardner’s INTELLIGENCE REFRAMED: MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCE FOR THE 21ST CENTURY. New York: Basic Books, 1999.
We are excited to announce October is Volunteer Fall Focusmonth, meaning all month we will be equipping the volunteers of Crossing Kids with resources to encourage you in your kingdom work with children. This year’s Volunteer Fall Focus is:
Every Child is Unique
Children all learn differently, come from different backgrounds and have different paths ordained by God. God created His children to be unique and different! Consider Psalm 139:14, ”I praise youbecause I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
Though we all know children are different, sometimes it’s easy to get in a mindset that all kids need to behave and learn in the same way. It’s easy to start thinking of your group as collective “kids,” instead of a group of individuals. This month we want to dig deeper into how we can embrace children’s God given uniqueness.
Throughout the month of October, be sure follow our blog to learn more about children with special needs, gain insight into learning styles, and appreciate the uniqueness of all God’s children. We’ll feature some expert interviews, provide links to excellent websites, and give you tools to use as you serve in Crossing Kids.
We are thankful to the people who are the hands and feet of Crossing Kids. God is indeed working through you to reach kids’ hearts.
I stumbled across this blog post by Reggie Joiner on his blog, Orange Parents. What caught my attention is the way he describes the difference between fame and legacy. Because this blog is called, Leaving a Legacy, I thought it would be good to think about what this actually means. While fame focuses on how often others think of you, leaving a legacy focuses on how others think of God. When we live our lives to leave a legacy of faith with our children and grandchild, the goal is not for them to think about how great we are. The goal is for them to know Christ.
Joiner’s post is entitled, Don’t try to be famous and is a humble reminder of what leaving a legacy of faith can mean.
Who was your Great-Grandfather? Do you know his name? Whenever I ask the question, most people have no idea. They know their parents and their grandparents, but it usually stops there. They definitely don’t know much, if anything at all, about their great-great-grandfather. I imagine the primary reason is because they didn’t grow up knowing them. It’s sobering to think about how quickly someone is forgotten. Most people want to make a mark. Everyone wants to be remembered. We all want a little fame – at least enough so we are remembered by our own tribe.
One of the last things my grandfather said was, “Don’t forget me?” I always thought it was a strange request, because the reality is you and I will probably one day be forgotten. Unless you invented Apple computer, wrote Harry Potter or became President, your name will likely not be remembered beyond a century or two. Even if you succeed at becoming really famous, distant history will probably only describe you in a few sentences or paragraphs. The reality is that your children’s children’s children will never know who you were. I’m sure you are thinking, “Hey thanks for such a positive message. Now I know one day I will be forgotten!” Sorry, but it’s true. So what should you do about it? Maybe you could stop right now and set up a Wikipedia page so you can make sure your great grandkids can Google you in the twenty-second century! Or, you could consider asking yourself a different question. Instead of “How can I be famous?” Maybe you should simply ask, “How can I leave a legacy?”
I’ve been thinking a lot about the question this last week. Primarily because Reggie Gattie, a first cousin and close friend, died May 14 after an intense and long battle with melanoma cancer. Reggie was almost a decade ahead of me in age, so he was referred to as “big Reg” in our family. I got stuck with the name “little Reg.” He was a worship leader for most of his adult life. The past 16 years, he served at Prince Avenue Baptist in Athens, Ga. So Tuesday night before his funeral, I sat down to try to answer the question, “What are the words that sum up Reggie’s life?” One of the words I kept thinking about was the word “legacy.” Reggie never really seemed pre-occupied with making himself famous, but he definitely left a legacy.
Fame and Legacy are very different in nature.
Fame focuses on how often others think about you. Legacy focuses on how often you think about others.
Fame pushes you into the spotlight. Legacy pushes someone else into the spotlight.
Fame will not matter in eternity. Legacy demonstrates that eternity matters.
Fame points to you. Legacy points to God.
It’s really a tricky issue, because we all want to be famous, at least with those who are close to us. What would happen if we became more concerned with what our kids think about God, than we are with what they think about us? I took this picture of Reg walking with his grandson Jack at our last family reunion. I couldn’t help wondering, “How much will Jack remember about his grandfather when he grows up?” Then I realized that’s not the point. Reg didn’t live his life to be known. He lived his life to help others know God. Reg wasn’t trying to be famous, he was trying to leave a legacy.
“Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.” – Deuteronomy 11:18
This summer, I selected a few verses to work on memorizing. Though I found it really challenging at first, I have discovered that committing the word of God to mind has increased my adoration of God and given me greater tangible faith in Him. In the following 4 minute clip, John Piper outlines 8 critical reasons for memorizing scripture. You can read more from John Piper in his article, “Why memorize scripture?” at Desiring God.
In short, Piper pleads with us to impress the word of God on our minds and hearts. He reminds us that when we memorize God’s word, we will: grow in conformity to Christ, daily triumph over sin and Satan, be able to comfort and counsel others, communicate the gospel to unbelievers, and enjoy and sweet fellowship with the Living God…just to name a few. What a worthwhile endeavor to work on in your own life and in the lives of your children.
If you’re like me, you understand the importance of Bible memory, but actually doing it seems challenging. And trying to help kids memorize scripture seems even more daunting. Not to fear. Below I’ve listed a variety of scripture memory tools and games to aid you and your family. Many of these are tested and true games we use in Crossing Kids. This can be a fun way to work together and encourage each as you learn more about God.
But where to start? Which verses should we memorize? Each Sunday, your child will learn a memory verse in Crossing Kids. We share that information with you in our Sunday posts on this blog as well as in the take home sheet. You can also work to memorize The Crossing’s 2012 Scripture Memory Verses. Or just choose some verses that encourage you and your family.
Scripture Memory Tools and Games
What Does it Mean?
Together, read the memory verse from the Bible. Then let each child write (or draw) in his or her own words what the Bible verse means to him or her. When all have finished, let them share their verses. Then go back to the Bible and read the verse again. How does your version compare?
Display the verse on white board or chalk board. Children read the verse together several times. Erase the verse. Begin writing it again on the board, but purposely incorrectly. As soon as a child detects an error, he or she calls out, “Zing!” Erase and begin again. Continue going through the verse several times before you write it correctly.
Display the Bible verse and say it together. Then ask the children to say the verse in each of these ways:
• At a normal pace while standing
• In fast forward while jogging in place
• In a whisper while tiptoeing
• Shouting while marching
• In slow motion while jogging in slow motion
• In a normal voice while walking backward
Write each word of the verse on a piece of paper. Cut a piece of yarn large enough to wrap around the room. Punch a hole or two at the top of the words and string them in order on the yarn. Wind the yarn around the room to create a maze. Children are to find the pieces of the verse by following the string.
Print the verse with the letters written backwards on a piece of paper. Children are to try to write the word correctly. Use a mirror to read the verse correctly.
Before and After
Make a flash card of each word in the Bible verse. Hold up cards, one at a time. Children must say the word that comes before the flash card and the one that follows. Continue until all words have been recalled and children can quote the entire verse correctly.
As the children stand in a circle, the first person holds a ball says the first word of the verse. He passes the ball to another person in the circle, and that child must say the second word. He or she then passes the ball until the verse is complete.
Bible Verse Night Lights
Instruct children to lightly print the verse in large letters on a sheet of typing paper. Paint over the penciled letters with florescent paint, using a small paintbrush. Children can hang the verse on their bedroom walls to read in the dark.
Write the Bible verse to be learned on a white board. Erase one important word at a time while repeating the verse each time. Continue until all words are erased and verse is learned.
Write the Bible verse to learn on a chalk or white board in graffito style (words jumbled). Ask one child to find the first word and draw an arrow to the next word repeating both words. The next child draws an arrow connecting the third word and repeats all three. Continue until all words are connected and all children have learned the verse.
Ask children to draw pictures of words in the Bible verse that help them remember the word. Put the drawings together repeating the words using the visual clues. Continue until all have learned the verse.
Record a Verse
Record the verse on a tape recorder. Play the verse over several times. Stop the tape and leave off the last of the verse, allowing the children to complete the verse. Continue to stop the tape so that the children can say the whole verse without the tape.
Have the children sit in a circle. Whisper the first word of the verse to one child. He or she will then whisper that word to the next person and so on until the last person who will say the word aloud. Whisper each word to the first person as soon as he or she has passed the word to the next person. Can the last person say the entire verse aloud without mistake?
Let the children read the memory verse. Then, let each child, act out what the verse means to him. Other children will guess what he or she is doing. The one guessing correctly then quotes the verse. Repeat until all have had a turn.
Step on It
Print each word of a verse in large letters on a separate sheet of paper. Tape in random order onto the floor, close enough for succeeding words to be reached in a step. Children should step on one word at a time in the proper order to quote the verse. Repeat until all the children have “Stepped on it.”
In his book A Praying Life author and father Paul E. Miller says he realized that he did his best parenting by prayer. Though I wholeheartedly agree with this statement, as I parent my little one-year-old daughter daily, I find it easy to loose sight of this simple truth. I can get distracted and think I do my best parenting when I teach her what is off limits to touch, how to use her spoon, and how to share her toys. This kind of parenting is important, but I can sometimes think this is more important than sitting at God’s feet and lifting her tiny soul up in prayer.
This week I came across a helpful post on the Desiring God blog outlining some scriptures to pray for our children. I wrote these specific prayers down in my notebook and focus on one or two to pray for my daughter in my prayer time. I encourage you to take time to consider if you believe you do your best parenting through prayer. And if so, how are you praying for your children? Perhaps these texts to pray for your children will help you speak to God on behalf of your little ones.
That Jesus will call them and no one will hinder them from coming.
Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” And he laid his hands on them and went away. (Matthew 19:13-15)
That they will respond in faith to Jesus’ faithful, persistent call.
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)
That they will experience sanctification through the transforming work of the Holy Spirit and will increasingly desire to fulfill the greatest commandments.
And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39)
That they will not be unequally yoked in intimate relationships, especially marriage.
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14)
That their thoughts will be pure.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8)
That their hearts will be stirred to give generously to the Lord’s work.
All the men and women, the people of Israel, whose heart moved them to bring anything for the work that the Lord had commanded by Moses to be done brought it as a freewill offering to the Lord. (Exodus 35:29)
That when the time is right, they will GO!
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)