A– As for me and my family, we will serve the Lord. This was our memory verse of the week. The first one in our new scripture memory challenge.
I was listening to a sermon the other day, where a young man shared on the role of parents to instil good values in their children. He was reminding of us of our God given task to bring up our children to know the truth of God’s word. The truth is the family is of great importance to God. HE created family to show his glory and to share his love. Our homes are where our children will first begin to see and experience compassion and love, forgiveness and grace through Christ. Children witness the devotion, kindness and humility between their parents, and they experience first-hand the love and patience showered upon them from their parents.
I realise that I’m raising world changers! My daughters have a spirit about them that I know will impact lives and it’s my duty to make sure that I give them what it takes to make a powerful and positive impact. With all the distractions and antics that grab us and our children’s attention these days, this is something that I know I must be intentional about. It does take some effort, but I know that it is important to not only teach them God’s word but to demonstrate it in our daily living.
I know that a long bible study session shoving the scriptures down their throats is not going to work in my home. I don’t think I can maintain their attention for that long, but I have been trying a few different things that has been effective in developing their understanding of God’s word. You’re probably doing this already but today I am sharing 7 ways to intentionally build your child’s faith and strengthen their love for God.
1.Talk about Jesus in regular conversation.
Children need to understand that Jesus is not entirely abstract but that he is accessible to us as believers. Ask questions like, ‘what do you think Jesus would do in that situation?’ ‘How did Jesus help you today?’
2. Share an experience of your own.
To tell our kids about something is useful, but to show them is invaluable. It’s meaningful to share some of my own challenges with making the right choices. My daughter feels less defeated when I can identify with her struggle to do the right thing. I share how I ask God to help me with certain areas of my life and she draws strength and encouragement from my experiences. She knows that she is not alone!
3. Read Bible stories together.
Get a good Kids bible story book. We use the Beginner’s Bible which you can purchase from Amazon or most Christian bookstores. It has bright, colourful pictures and the stories are short and simplified. Perfect for my 2 and 5-year-old. I also love that you can find some animated versions of the stories on their YouTube page. The girls love watching these. They help to make the stories relevant and accessible to them.
4. Let them hear you pray out loud.
My girls know their morning, evening and mealtime prayers, but it’s also very important for them to know that they can make their prayers personal. I sometimes try to pray out loud so they can hear me personalising my prayers and asking God for help in different areas. I remember my mom doing this when I was younger. My siblings and I heard her pray all the time and this helped to shape our confidence in talking to God.
5. Ask them if there is something they would like to pray about or if there is someone they would like to pray for. Pray with them.
My mom is good at doing this with my girls. Any time the girls are upset, or in pain or feeling poorly, she asks them if they would like her to pray and they always reply with ‘Yes, NANA’. They crawl into her bosom and she prays with them. Sometimes she would tell them what to say and they will close their eyes and repeat her words with the purest faith I have ever witnessed.
Sometimes if someone isn’t feeling well, she would say, ‘Let’s pray that they feel better’ and they would do a quick prayer together in that moment. Take advantage of great opportunities to demonstrate ‘ACTIVE FAITH’.
6. Take a moment to notice the evidence of God’s glory all around you.
Ask them what is the most amazing thing they think God has created. Look around you for evidence of God’s handiwork and talk about its beauty. We talk about nature, and how God made the birds. We talk about how God gave the ants strength to carry their own food for long distances. All the things that naturally spark curiosity in a child is an excellent way to remind them (and ourselves) of the wonder of God and his magnificent creation.
7. Worship Dance Party.
And of course, we gotta shake those wiggles out ever so often. Our dance parties usually happen in the kitchen when I’m cooking dinner or when we’re tidying up after playtime. We turn on some praise and worship music, sing and dance together as we worship God. It’s a good way to switch into a cheerful mood as well. We love Listener Kids videos on YouTube!
Tried not to make this one too long. Maybe there are a few things here that you do already, if you are that’s awesome! If not, please don’t feel like you’re failing and definitely don’t feel like i’m adding to a list of things that you have to make happen in your home. Most of these are probably things that happen in your home naturally, and you just need to work (like I do as well) at being more intentional about it.
My prayer is that you are inspired and challenged to live and demonstrate Active Faith for the little ones whom God has entrusted to you.
I am interested to know how discipleship looks in your homes. Share in the comments below!