Acorns to Oaks

Session ThreeRaising an expectation

Principles

1. God made our children for relationship with Him.

Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
John 17:3, NIV

Love the Lord your God with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.
Mark 12:30, NIV

We love because He first loved us.
1 John 4:19, NIV

But let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight, declares the Lord.
Jeremiah 9:24, NIV UK

2. The same Holy Spirit can interact with our children as with us – not a mini version.

In the last days, God says, I will pour out my spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.
Acts 2:17, NIV UK

The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of his words fall to the ground.
1 Samuel 3:19, NIV UK

So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day, the spirit of the Lord came upon David in power.
1 Samuel 16:13 (David as a child), NIV UK

The Lord was with Joseph and he prospered.
Genesis 39:2 (Young Joseph in Egypt), NIV UK

3. Our children can learn how to walk in relationship with God by watching us.

Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem for thirty-one years. His mother’s name was Jedediah daughter of Adaiah; she was from Bozkath. He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and walked in all the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left.
2 Kings 22:1-2, NIV UK

4. God can speak to our children and do the miraculous through them whatever their age.

Here is a boy with five small Barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?
John 6:9 (Boy at The Feeding of the 5000), NIV UK

Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you even from my mother’s breast. From birth I was cast upon you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God.
Psalm 22:9-10, NIV UK

See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven
Matthew 18:10, NIV UK

Questions

  • What expectations do I have for God encountering my child today?
  • How can I speak to, or interact with my child tomorrow that can raise his own expectation for Gods encountering him in his every day?
  • How can I show my child more of my walk with God? How can I teach him how ways to connect with God through what I do?
  • Are there areas of my thinking that I need to allow God to come and change so I can have raised expectation for my child’s experiencing relationship with God?

Practicals

  • Model to your children something of your prayer life this week. Let them see you talk with God, listen to God and be expectant of God’s involvement in your every day. Talk to them about why you do these things.
  • Talk to your children about your own expectation of God encountering you in a Sunday meeting and translate that into an expectation for them.
  • Encourage your children into their own daily conversation with God, not through you but their talking and listening. Even if the starting point is just talking to Him about their favourite toy or cartoon; encourage them to listen.
  • When they face obstacles in life this week, be it their own behaviour or a challenge at school, encourage them to tell God, expectant that God loves them and wants to be involved in their everyday.

Babies and toddlers

We believe that even the youngest children can experience God. Tell them stories, speak out God’s truth to them and tell them about His character. Let them see and experience you interacting with God – where appropriate, bring your baby along when you are praying for someone so that they can experience God’s presence and see your expectation of His power. That way, expecting Him to move will be a normal part of life for them as they grow up.