Sometimes simply finding time for our own self to spend time in God’s Word is difficult, let alone finding the time to encourage and guide our children in the practice. Yet, as believers, we know this is an important and vital rhythm to instill not only in our own lives, but in the lives of our children. It’s essential we get after it, friends.
Today, I’m going to offer a few simple tips to begin instilling scripture and a hunger for the Lord into the hearts and minds of your children. Use one, use all, or adapt to what works best for your family -- there isn’t one absolute right way to do this and it could even vary from child to child. So here’s the best thing to remember, GRACE -- but we will cover more of that, later.
Keep it simple. Don’t feel the need to complicate this. We’re told, “God’s Word is living and active” (Hebrews 4:12). Presenting the Truth is our job, then it’s in the hands of the Holy Spirit to begin working in the hearts of our kids through the scripture. Leaving one verse written on a notecard to be read every morning at breakfast is a great way to have your children begin their day by meditating on the Word of God. This doesn’t have to be fancy, it’s more about repetition and a simple starting point for hiding God’s Word in our heart.
Make it relational. Simply ordering your children to read their Bible or memorize a verse will not have the same heart effect as talking with them and “meditating on the word” together. Remember, we get to be the example of Jesus in our kid’s lives. I know our God is a relational God. Let’s teach this attribute of our heavenly Father to our kids by example. How would this look? Simply talking about where we saw Jesus in our day, asking how we can use Christ’s help, asking for prayer requests rather than just praying are great ways to work through the goodness of the Lord together.
Set the example. Jesus teaches during His time with us, “A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher” (Luke 6:40). Peter tells us that Christ gave us an example so that we follow in His steps (1 Peter 2:21). Paul straight up tells those he’s leading, “Do as I do” (1 Corinthians 11:1). So let’s turn this around on us, mommas. Our kids are going to learn more from our example than anything else. They’re our little tiny disciples that we get to pour into for no less than 18 years. Let’s be sure that when they turn out “like us” they have a love for Jesus and His Word simply because we did, too.
Use resources! You don’t have to do this on your own. There are so many wonderful resources that make the practice of spending time with Jesus applicable to our littles. Val Marie Paper has a fantastic prayer journal that specifically helps guide kiddos in taking their burdens to Jesus. My oldest adores this devotional by Sarah Young, the author of the variety of Jesus Calling books. While my middle nugget, who is just beginning to read and totally wants to do it all on her own, has been reading this bible daily without even being reminded. Another company that has some really incredible kid focused resources is Kids Read Truth. Mommas, I’ve only begun to scratch the surface on what’s available for you to utilize to help train up your child. I recently read somewhere a quote that went something like this, “A child asked their mom, ‘What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to ask for?’ and she simply replied, ‘Help.”’ Don’t reinvent the wheel and create extra work for yourself. Find help in resources that are already made, that fits your family well and then dive in!
Practice grace. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). We know we are are going to fall short. Grace fills the gaps and God is glorified in our weakness. We are going to mess up our example one day, some days, most days! Insert grace. We are going to need to ask forgiveness. Insert grace -- in fact, count this a win, momma, and set the example of humility. Our kids are going to forget to read their devotions, not memorize the requested scripture, not want to pray or attend church, get mad and question God. Who of you haven’t done these things? It’s part of most people’s spiritual journey. Hold their hand, trust the Lord, and insert grace. He’s got this. And that’s a good, good thing.
The most important take away I want you to hear today is this, it’s all about the heart. It’s always been about the heart. When your heart is entrusted in the hands of the Savior, wholly and fully, your kids will see that. When our children have a front row seat to our passion for Christ and see authenticity lived out, they will catch that. They will want that. The Holy Spirit will begin a work and you get to celebrate being a small part of the journey! If anything at all, get close to Jesus today, momma. He will direct your steps. Promise.
Jenna Martin is a momma to three littles, pastor’s wife and avid coffee drinker by day, while moonlighting as a freelance writer and social media manager. She has a passion for drawing in an audience with creative hooks and soul searching composition. Her prayer is that all she puts her hands to draws others toward the real, awesome and transforming heart of Christ.
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