Tuesday, February 7, 2012

How to Lead Your Child To Jesus- Part 1

In keeping with my theme for the week of sharing our faith, I thought I would share a few ideas for how to share your faith with your child.

For a Christian parent, one of our most important roles in all of life is to lay of strong foundation of faith for our children...teaching them about who God is, what Jesus did for us, and how we fit into that story. Most parents deeply desire for their kids to have a strong relationship with God, but many don't know where to start. The task seems too big and overwhelming, so it gets outsourced to the church. But God's intentions have always been that the family would be the petri dish for faith to grow and flourish.

So, where do we get started? I'm going to break it down into steps for clarity sake, but of course you know that life never breaks down into neat little steps. It's more like a bowl of spaghetti.

Step 1: Establish a good understanding of the Character of God

Our kids have to know WHO GOD IS before they can decide for themselves if they will love Him, trust Him, and obey Him.

How do you do this? Layer by layer.

There are probably a zillion creative ideas out there, but let me just give you a couple simple ones. Get a few age-appropriate children's Bibles and devotional books. I really like this Bible, but there are tons of options out there. It's nice to have a variety. There are also devotional books specifically for boys or girls and focused on certain ages. This is a good website to browse.

Each night before bed, snuggle up together for a few minutes to read a story from one of these books. We may read any variety of books throughout the day, but our kids know that bedtime stories are always going to be from the Bible.

Another very important way our children learn about the Character of God is though our conversations with them. As you are training them, include lessons about God. For example, if your kids are being mean to each other you could explain to them how God wants us to treat others with kindness because He is kind to us. At Christmas we give gifts because God is a generous God who gave us the most special gift of all through Jesus. When we're outside, we can thank God for his beautiful creation because He is the Creator. When your kids are playing make-believe or building something, we can praise their imaginations saying that God is a creative and imaginative God, too!

These two techniques (reading the Bible together & talking about the character of God in everyday life) can be used with ANY AGE! It is very easy to adjust the content to be age appropriate.

The other day, Andy asked our two boys (ages 5 & 3), "What do you think God is like?"

  • Caedmon said, "I think He's nice." (the kindness of God) 
  • Sammy said, "God loves me!" (the love of God)
  • Caedmon added, "And He's really strong, too, Dad." (the power of God)
At BayKids, Sammy learned a song about Jesus being his best friend. All week he walked around singing, "Best friend, best friend, Jesus is my best friend!" Recently Sammy and I were talking about Caedmon and I said, "Do you love Caedmon?" Sammy- "Yeah." Me- "Is Caedmon your best friend?" Sammy- "No! Jesus is my best friend!"

That child can't count to five, doesn't know the color blue from orange, and has only been exposed to English for 18 months. But he knows two things: God loves him, and Jesus is his best friend. I'll take that over numbers and colors any day!

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