Introducing your children to Jesus

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God lovingly and intricately created your children and loves them more then you can ever imagine. Even more then you do! He is desperate for a close relationship with them and guess what? You are the best placed person, in fact you were placed here by God, to introduce your children to Jesus.

So often we know this, we just don’t always know the best way to go about this, so we leave it up to the Sunday school workers or maybe the schoolteachers to teach our children all about who God is and what God thinks of them. If you are reading this, then you are most likely, at least a little bit, concerned about how to bring your children’s faith to life so I will say it again, YOU are the best person for this job.

I have put together a list of some of the things that we do as a family to encourage our kid’s faith. I hope this helps you in bringing the truth alive for your children too.

1.       Save yourself first.

Firstly, Gods word must be on your heart. It must be something you are passionate about because you experience regularly, the love of your heavenly father. It must be something real to you. Remember you are a daughter of God before you are a mother.

I got told a long time ago, when I was training to be a youth worker that “they won’t do what you say, they will do what you do.” It is even more true for our children than it was for the teenagers I was working with at the time.

So first and most importantly is to build your own faith; to spend time with Jesus, to grow your own prayer life and to respond to Jesus appropriately for all he has done for you.

Think of it like when you are travelling by aeroplane and the advice they stress, in case of an emergency, is to put on your own oxygen mask first. You cannot help save someone else, if you yourself are at risk of dying. So, bring your spiritual life back to full health by committing to spend time with Jesus and regularly reading his word.

2.       Talk about it

Deuteronomy 6:6-7 ESV And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

Secondly, we need to be ready to talk about the things we are learning and experiencing in our walk with Jesus. This helps to bring the bible to life in your home. If your children can see how Gods word has affected you today, if they know about some of the things you are studying this week or if they hear about something Jesus is challenging you on and then they see the transformation that only Jesus can cause, then this is the type of stuff that will not only model to them how to interact with God, but it will also make faith more real to them because it is so obviously real to you.

I encourage you to talk about this stuff naturally as it comes up, but to also set aside time (maybe at the breakfast table) to intentionally steer the conversation towards something God showed you recently.

3.       Morning time is powerful

My husband and I often get up before the kids in order to spend time with Jesus. We study the bible, pray and read other great books that will build our faith. This time is so precious because this is where we are going slow enough to hear Gods voice and can take the time to get our hearts prepared for the day ahead. We make sure we pray for our children often, this is vital.

It also has the added benefit of giving us very real faith experiences to talk to the kids about at the breakfast table. We all sit and eat together and as often as possible use this time to read the bible to the kids and to discuss things we are being taught. Obviously, this time is interrupted constantly with spilt milk, “more toast mum” and “no daaaad, I said chocolate spread” but over time this drip feeding is settling into their hearts. It has been a pleasure to see their understanding of what God has already done for them, and their thoughts on what he has planned for them in the future, is starting to sink in.

4.       worship

My husband is a guitar player so another way we encourage the kids in their walk with Jesus is to often play, sing and dance to some good old worship songs (90’s worship is the BEST!) The girls love a good dance, but it is one of our boys who has a really special relationship with worship music. It seems to move him like not much else does.

If your children love worship music, we have found it can be helpful to calm a situation, to cheer up a situation and just to do the washing up to! Play worship music they enjoy (as well as your favourites) as a way of helping them to own their worship time and to help them learn this is simple yet hugely powerful way to connect with God. One album we come back to time and time again is “Sparkle Pop Rampage” by Rend co. kids. It is honestly such a fun album to dance round the kitchen to!

5. Using scripture

Another powerful way to help your children get to know Jesus is to use scripture in every day life. There are a few ways we do this… We use scripture when we are correcting behaviour. For instance, Hebrews 10 v 24 says “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds”. We use this one with sibling fall outs or when one child wants to “tell on” a brother or sister. Ephesians 6 v 1-3 says Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” We talk about this one a lot!!

We also spend time memorising scripture together. This is exciting as the children start to make their own links between something said in the bible and real-life situations. They slowly start to see how the bible might help them in all sorts of situations that happen around them.

6. Get outside

Lastly, we are big fans of taking the kids outside. There are so many amazing benefits for kids (and adults) being outside; they get some exercise and fresh air; they have more freedom to play big and noisy, Its good for mental health and great for a change of scene if things are getting a little crazy inside! But most of all it is a chance to connect with the God who created our whole world and everything in it.

We are intentional about noticing things, both big and small. We take the time to watch insects or look closely at flowers and seeds, acorns and conkers. We also stop moving for a little while to listen to birds, smell something amazing or just to watch a river flowing over some beautiful rocks and off to sea. I want my kids not just to enjoy the freedom to go crazy outside but to also notice how beautifully everything was designed. Charlotte Mason, an amazing 19th Century educationalist, puts it this way; “Point to some lovely flower or gracious tree, not only as a beautiful work, but a beautiful thought of God.”

So, this is just 6 ways we have found to be helpful in allowing our kids time and space to begin their relationship with God. There are many other ways to encourage young faith, you could even get creative with this, but I think it is important to just start. Start somewhere and allow God more room to move in your family.

I hope and pray that you enjoy time, over the next few weeks and months, experimenting with what works best for your family and your children. I also pray that you would see their faith come to life in front of your eyes.

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