This is a guest-post from a fun like-minded blogger I have been following for a long time (and link to like every other day), Jenae from I Can Teach My Child:
My boys love the Bible. They love reading the Bible. They love reenacting Bible stories. They love singing Bible songs. Not an hour goes by that the Bible is not involved in our lives somehow. It is my heart’s greatest desire that they NEVER lose this childlike zeal for the inspired word of God.
Even though I hope my children learn to love and serve God in spite of their mother’s shortcomings and struggles, I will say that this is probably one of my most intentional areas of parenting. It is by the pure grace and will of God that my children will grow to love their Lord. We certainly don’t have it all together over yonder at our house, but here are just a few things we do that have helped to instill a love for the Bible (and God) in our children.
- Praying for our children: From the time that our children were in the womb, I prayed that they would grow to love and serve God faithfully. I prayed that their hearts would be open to embracing Christ’s love. My husband and I prayed together that they would grow to be men of faith. We both are painfully aware that, in the whole scheme of things, we have very little control in our children’s lives (after the first 6-7 years especially), so we must be fervently praying on behalf of our children…that they will choose a relationship with God for themselves. This is one area that I can continually do better…there’s no such thing as praying too much!
- Praying with our children: It’s important not only to pray for our children, but to pray with them as well. Children need to see and hear their parents pray. Likewise, they need opportunities to learn how to pray. Making it a habit at mealtimes and bedtime is the most successful way we’ve implemented praying with our children. We also will pray aloud (or encourage them to pray) when there are fears, injuries, or hurt feelings.
- Reading the Bible everyday: Our bedtime routine consists of reading at least one Bible Story each night. The Jesus Storybook Bible is by far our favorite for our 3.5-year old, but the Baby Bible Storybook is our favorite for the tiny ones (birth-age 2).
- Reenacting Bible stories: Bible stories make for some of the best dramatic play in our house. We’ve reenacted David and Goliath, Walls of Jericho, Samson, Daniel and the Lions Den, among many others! Take a look at a very common scene at our house. If you have only daughters, you might be thanking your lucky stars after watching this:
- Recording Bible Stories. This has been a new favorite pastime of ours since my husband and I became iPhone owners using the “memo” feature. We read some very short Bible stories and then our 3-year old repeats the story, page by page, while we record and pause. The end result is a precious recording of your child reciting his/her favorite Bible stories. Take a listen to my favorite – the story of Jesus’ resurrection. I’m planning to make a CD of all of these Bible stories we’ve recorded and letting my oldest listen to them during his rest time.
- Serving others. This is probably THE most important one because it is living out our faith, not just talking about it. But it is also the one that I struggle with the most. It’s easy to get into a routine being busy with our own lives, but it’s when the routine is interrupted to meet another person’s need that will be the lasting example to our children.
- Talking about God throughout the day. As we go throughout our day, we try to talk about God whenever we can. Talking about how God made the trees, flowers, and even us provides an opportunity for young children to marvel at God’s creation. Talking about how God wants us to treat others and obey in a moment of discipline can diffuse the situation and turn it into a learning opportunity.
These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. -Deuteronomy 6:7 (NLT)