As parents we all want the best for our children. We want to see them grow and blossom into the person they are meant to be. Often times though we neglect the most important area.
We send them to school, have them in sports and dance classes. Every extra curricular activity that they ask for we try to allow them to do. No parent wants their child to feel deprived or to miss out on anything life has to offer. But what about what God has to offer?
Soccer and dance won't teach a child how to deal with the hard times in life. Not that they aren't valuable or good ways to build character, it's just that they aren't the most important.
What is important is faith. Faith that is unshakable and ready for action! How often as an adult have we had to live out our faith, but been terrified? It's not an easy thing. But the stronger a foundation we build for our children the better off they will be. We need to be investing in their spiritual growth just as much, if not more, as their physical, and emotional growth.
This is the most vital part of our parenting and it can't be done just once a week at church. It needs to be a large part of the relationship that we have with our children. If you're anything like me though, your thinking ok, but how do I do that? Since I can't tell you this is so important and then leave you empty handed I'm going to share with you some of my all time favorite ways for teaching faith and spirituality to my children.
1. Pray with them- I don't have a set time that I pray with my children. But if you are a scheduler then a good time is right before bed. I pray with them about what ever their needs are. For my 4 year old I'm just a silent partner as she petitions the Lord. With my 2 year old I mostly pray for things she knows she needs, like healing if she's sick, or help potty training. Then I also pray scripture over them. As I was reading one day the Lord gave me a verse that was my prayer anyway for them, so using the scripture gives words the the prayer of my heart.
2. Talk about God and the Bible- Pretty much every conversation around here points back to God. If we see a bird fly by and one of our girls says something, no matter what she says, the conversation turns to how God made that bird. This can be done with anything not just nature. When we see a character on tv do something bad, we point it out as sin and discuss if God would like it. If it's something good we talk about how it was the right thing to do and how God would feel about it.
3. Let them see, and hear, you pray- One night I was driving home with the girls and we were almost out of gas. Between where we were and home there were NO gas stations. So I started praying. Then we got lost! So I prayed some more. Once we got home my 4 year old said "Momma God helped us get home!" Then she started singing "Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelujah praise ye the Lord!" I was so shocked and decided from then on I would let my children see, and hear, me pray.
4. Let your them see, and hear, you praise- If I didn't allow my girls to hear me praise the Lord they wouldn't know that they should, or even how to. So I make it a point to let them see that, even if it's small like getting something in the mail unexpectedly.
5. Read the Bible to them- Ok, I have to confess I don't do this one that much. My hubby usually does. He leads our family Bible time and He also reads to them at night before bed. But this is an important step and whether you do it, or your spouse does, it should get done.
6. Let them know you read your Bible- In this season of life I'm not able to get up with the sun and have quiet time before my kids are up. I mostly get up with them. So what I do is get them breakfast and then go have quiet time in my room, or I'll stay near them. But either way they KNOW I'm reading my Bible. If they know that I do this it will help them to see that it's important enough for me to do it and hopefully encourage them to the same. As my children get older (and can read) they will be required to have a quiet time. So if your children are able to read, you might want to set aside a specific time during the day when they do their Bible reading. But make sure they know that you do it too. If they can't see you, then share with them something you gout out of your reading that day.
As you can see there is a common trait with all of these tips. It's YOU! In order to effectively teach out kids faith and spirituality we have to show them by example. Be that example for your kids and give them the right foundation.
"Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life." -1 Timothy 6:19
Tewauna is a stay at home wife and mother to two little girls. She has a passion for the Lord and a desire to see her children "walking in truth". She blogs at Hereinislove-glorifyhim.blogspot.com