So, we have talked about building a habit of reading the Bible with our children. We’ve talked about teaching our children about character. But the one thing that God says is the most important thing that we can give our children is a relationship with Him. In Mark 12:30, Jesus says: “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” Every part of who we are is to love God. This is the most important thing we can teach our children – it’s the basis of discipling another person.
Building a Relationship with God – It is vitally important that we begin to encourage our children to build a relationship with God. It isn’t enough for them to just assume our faith – they need to build a solid foundation of their own faith. If we don’t encourage their own growth in faith – we are setting them up for disappointment in the future, when the basis of their faith is tested. We need to guide them toward building their own relationship with God.
How can we do this? Our children are watching us. They hear what we say, but they also learn from what we do. We need to model our relationship with the Lord in daily Bible reading, praying, and Bible Study. Although many moms choose to spend time with the Lord before their children get up, if they never see you praying or reading your Bible, they won’t know that you are doing it.
Now, this doesn’t mean I think you should stop having a quiet time before the kids get up! But it does mean that you should think about being intentional in praying and reading scripture at times when the kids are up – and not just when you are doing a family devotional. If you have an hour in the afternoon where everyone rests, sit down with a cup of tea and reread the passage you read in the early morning. Spend some time in prayer. And if they happen to “catch” you spending 10 minutes with the Lord, they will know that it is important to you.
We also need to specifically give them a foundation in how to spend time with God. When they are little you can direct this and teach them through modeling. We can pray with them, we can read the Bible with them, and we can discuss how the Scripture changes our hearts and draws us closer to God.
As they grow we can teach them how they can have time with God on their own. Create or find a journal page they can use to guide them in what to do with their time with the Lord. Help them through it the first few times and then release them to fill it out on their own during their quiet time.
Giving them the tools to read the Bible, to interact with the text, and to pray with the goal of building a relationship with the Lord is the foundation of teaching them to love the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind and strength.
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