to not just know about God but to know God intimately.
How can we most effectively accomplish this?
As discussed last week, it is so important how we live our life as parents.
- What we model.
- Who we are becoming.
- How the Christian life is a lifestyle and our life isn’t compartmentalised etc.
Thus, the first step in discipling our kids in the Christian faith needs to be us becoming sold out passionate sons and daughters of the Most High God who love Father God, Holy Spirit and Jesus passionately and are becoming renewed in the process.
Thus, it is our way of life.
Our doing. Our thinking. Our believing. Our being. Our identity.
Secondly, there are some practical strategies that we can implement into family life to encourage our children in forming and developing their relationship with Father God, Holy Spirit and Jesus.
It is easy to just focus on the doing and what you do, rather than on the relationship. The ‘doing’ is only to help build the relationship. Thus, as you read through these practical strategies, please keep this is mind.
- Pray with them and for them. Teach them to pray. Keep a journal of prayers and answers along with the dates. This encourages everyone to see that God answers prayer. Have a glass vase/bowl on the dining table with slips of paper and pencils and encourage family members to write answers to prayer on the paper and place in the vase. Every month during family time, empty the vase and read the answers to prayer as an encouragement.
- Reading the Bible. There are so many great versions of the Bible available today to suit almost any age. Find a relevant Bible for your children. Read it daily with them. When my children were small, we used a version of the Bible that had an accompanying craft activity and my daughter loved this. When my son was in Primary School and struggling with reading but loved graphic books, we bought him a graphic/cartoon Bible. The best predictor for your child having a daily Bible reading practice is to see you modelling it. For special celebrations, we have taken our children to Koorong (a Christian bookshop) and let them select a Bible they wanted.
- Memorise Scripture. Make it fun. Place Scripture verses around your home. Have competitions and rewards for memorising Scripture. Practice writing by copying out Bible verses.
- Sing worship songs. Have your child’s favourite worship music in the car. Sing together.
- Listening to God’s voice. We would let the children choose their favourite Christian music and we would play it whilst we all lay or rested quietly or played with lego/coloured in whilst listening to what God wanted to say to each one of us. I use the phrase “What does God what to tell, show or give you?” We then had pencils/crayons and paper/journals for everyone to write or draw what God had shared with them. We would also then do this whilst we listened to what God wanted to say to us about someone else (prophesying).
- Focus on character issues using Bible stories and application to bring the point home.
- Help them keep a journal of their relationship with God – the highs, the lows, the answers, the longings etc.
- Serve together. Have a regular time when you serve others together as a family. Make it fun.
- Give generously, model it and teach your children to give generously. We chat as a family about mission needs and ask everyone’s input on how much they think we should give. We ask them to ask God and the first figure that ‘pops’ into their mind they share. It is so exciting to see how generous my children are as teenagers and how they spot needs that others have and how they go about helping to fulfil those needs.
- Enjoy worshipping God together at church.
- Share about having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and inviting Him into their heart. The most precious things I have ever experienced is the times when I had the opportunity to lead my children in praying this prayer.
- Teach them how to forgive.
- Extend grace in how you treat your children. How your children view Father God can be a direct correlation of how their earthly father has related to them. The same with Holy Spirit and their mother.
If you are like me, I don’t want to just fill the bucket but I want to light a fire within them.
I would love to hear what you are doing with your children to help them become sold out lovers of Jesus who are changing their world. Please feel free to comment below to let me know.