PRACTICAL PARENTING ◽ HOME
Growing up, I heard and memorized all of the bible stories – those ones all the kids learned – like Noah and the ark, Daniel in the lion’s den, the Tower of Babel, and more. And I am so grateful for that memorization of God’s feat and victories over scary situations, and deliverance from storms and danger. Seriously, those stories are awesome. However, I realized recently that those stories ALONE didn’t serve me well, because somehow I missed Jesus. I was left wanting more…
This thought process made me think of how could I possibly have been presented Jesus, the person – the savior – the Friend – and the Lord – in a more tangible and real way. I’d never say throw out the Bible stories, but I will say don’t just stop there.
Give the kiddos more, and here are a few ways how:
Tell them about answered prayers – When you prayed for a job and got it, or money came through at the last minute, tell your children. Let them enter in and pray with you for big things, and not just big things in your eyes. Let them ask boldly for big things that concern them. Don’t be afraid. God can handle their prayers and their little hearts with big dreams.
Let them see you give – Don’t just write a check or give on line to your charity or church. Take them with you to serve, talk together about where you’re giving, read up on the child you’re sponsoring and again – let them be part of the giving process. Let them give a part of their allowance, or earn a few dollars to add to the giving jar.
Talk about why you praise and then worship as a family – Read the Word aloud, the other verses besides the stories, the ones about exalting and praising God because of who He is. Teach your children about the character of their good, good Father and then praise Him together. Kids’ classes with their peers are great, even on line, but family praise and worship is gold…pure gold.
Love and forgive – and then love and forgive again. Your children will anger you, disobey you, drive you to the end of your rope…but keep loving them and forgiving them…and discipline them out of that same love. Show them how love disciplines and guides, direct them to obedience, and then talk about why they disobeyed and offer forgiveness and hugs. Let them see you forgive one another as well, as you interact with others. And ask for forgiveness when you wrong your children.
Speak kindly – Don’t let any form of gossip enter your house and land on the ears of your kids. Take your cares and concerns about others to Him, and ask Him to deal. If your kids see the hurt or the mistreatment from others as well, sit down and roll those cares over on Him together. But don’t slander, talk behind backs, or write off people for good. Love your neighbor as yourself, and be kind. Even when the world is anything but kind.
There are SO MANY ways we can present Jesus to our kids, in addition to the stories in the Old Testament. Those stories are a great foundation for the wonders of God, which are good to know. But that intimacy that comes from walking with Jesus comes from…well…walking with Jesus. Talking, giving, forgiving and loving others…that daily stuff we do that we normally don’t share with our kids.
Go on. Share it. Let them be a part of something more than memorization and facts.