As a parent, and a follower of Christ, one of my (and my husband’s) biggest jobs is to lead our children to Christ. Not only to intentionally teach them about God, but to model how Christ wants us to act as Christians.
There are countless ways to do this in a home, some are big, thought-out acts. Others are small actions that may go mostly unnoticed by your children. All make a lasting impression on our little ones and are so incredibly important.
If you have hung around here a while, or follow my Instagram, then you know that I love the Risen Motherhood podcast. They offer a huge variety of episodes on teaching your children the gospel. One of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite episodes ever, when referencing bringing children into your family they said, “There will likely be no other unbeliever in your life over whom you have so much influence.”
This really struck me, and made me realize that it is really never too soon to start talking about God to my children.
I struggled with this in Nora’s early months. I believed the importance, but thought. “how can I teach her anything about God? She is so young, she can’t understand any of it yet.” The truth is, while she may not have understood when I read her a Bible story, or what it meant when we prayed before eating, getting myself in that habit was preparing me for when she could understand.
Kids are smart, even some of the littlest ones understand more than we think they do. I remember being shocked the first time Nora reminded us to pray before dinner on a night we forgot. She had just freshly turned one, and already us praying before each meal had made a lasting impression. I’ll never forget the joy I felt in my heart when she folded her little hands and got our attention to remind us to pray! This moment made me think of one of my favorite Bible verses in 3 John.
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
I want to encourage you to start thinking about how you are teaching your children about God. Even at a very young age. It is so important and can be done is some really simple, yet meaningful ways.
Here are a few things our family does with Nora, who is only two years old. Some we have only been doing for a short time, and others we began when she was very young.
|Pray with your Kids|
As mentioned above, this is such a simple act, but truly has made an impact on Nora at a very young. We make it a habit in our home to pray before we eat a meal. Right now we are saying the “God is Great” prayer to help keep it simple and repetitious. As our kids grow, we will pray differently. We also always pray with Nora before bed, she ven folds her little hands and says amen. I shared that prayer in a blog post a while ago.
|Read the Bible Yourself|
I work hard to spend time in the Bible each day. Am I perfect at this? Sadly, no. Far from it in fact, but I do truly make the effort! This idea is two-fold. First, if I am going to help lead Nora to love Jesus, I need to be doing all that I can to know and love Him more myself. Also, I want Nora to see me read the Bible and make time for God. The time I make for this has changed as life and schedules have changed. But, I try to do this each day, sometimes it’s during nap time, and sometimes I do it while she is awake and playing. I want her to grow up seeing her mommy make God and His word a priority.
|Read the Bible to Your Child|
About four months ago our little family started one of my favorite nightly traditions. At 7:15 each night Nora’s bedtime routine begins. First, she gets her jammies on, then she picks up any toys or messes she made since she woke from her nap. Then, after all toys are picked up we snuggle on the couch, making a Nora sandwich and read The Jesus Storybook Bible. Nora has a pouch to fill her tummy before bed, and Collin and I alternate reading one story in the Bible each night. Nora absolutely loves to do “pouch and Biber” time every night. I love the family memories we are creating around God’s word! So simple, so sweet, and so worth it!
|Talk About God in Daily Life|
Admittedly, this is still something I’m working on. It isn’t quite “natural” to me yet, but I’m trying. When disciplining Nora I try to bring God and what he wants for us into it whenever I can. Just the other day Nora got in trouble for hitting one of the dogs, when I got her out of timeout I explained to her that God wants us to be kind to everyone, even the puppies. He doesn’t want us to use our hands to hurt others. Easy enough to do, but can be hard to remember when it isn’t yet second nature in parenting. I also attempt to point out beautiful things and that God created them. This is so easy to add into your daily life with your child and so beneficial.
|Attend Church Regularly|
I use to be an advocate for occasionally skipping church. Like, if you had a crazy weekend and needed a day at home with your family, just skip! I always thought that spending time with your family was just as good as going to church. I didn’t think it should be done regularly, but just thought it was fine to do. Since having Nora (well, and becoming a pastor’s wife), I feel differently about this. Now, if I skip church Nora sees that. I don’t want Nora to think church is a burden or a chore. I want her to look forward to going each week. So, now if I skip church it is only for sickness, or if we are out of town. It’s important for Nora to see that church is important, and a wonderful thing!
I hope this post will make you think a little about how you are already introducing the Bible and Jesus to your kids, and maybe give you a few ideas of how to do so in the future!