Giving Your Kids Jesus Part IV: Be Intentional
We have talked about the importance of redefining what success looks like in our homes. We talked about how we can’t give what we don’t have — the journey of giving our kids Jesus begins with us! And, we’ve talked about the importance of bringing them along with us.
The next couple of posts will be super practical! When and how do we do this?
Deuteronomy 6:5-9 (I know what you’re thinking, “Wait, I thought you said ‘practical’?!” It will be, I promise! Hang in there.)
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.”
Deuteronomy is clear about when we should be teaching our children about the Lord, and when we should impress the truth of His Word on their hearts.
- When you sit at home.
- When you walk along the road.
- When you lie down.
- When you get up.
See, I told you it gets practical! We are going to look at each of these a little more closely, but first I want to offer a simple encouragement.
Don’t give up.
As it says in Zechariah, “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin…”
You might sit down for family devotional one night and have grand plans to discuss the theology of spiritual warfare, but instead your kid asks what’s for breakfast tomorrow or why do some grapes not have seeds? How do I know this might happen? Because it’s happened in our home.
Just when you think you’re having a great spiritual discussion, your kid responds with the most off-the-wall, random come back! You’re left wondering if anything got through, or are you just wasting your breath?
Any time spent sowing the Word, speaking truth, worshipping, and praying together is NEVER a waste. It will bear fruit. Patience, dear parents. Hang in there. Keep plowing, and keep planting.
When you sit at home.
-Meal times are such an important time! Whether you’re sitting at home or at Salsaritas, (we love Salsaritas) this is a time to connect with the heart of your children. In our family, we like to share “Best part, Worst Part.” Everyone takes a turn sharing the highs and lows about their day. We also sometimes ask, “How did you see God at work today?” or “What’s something you did super great day?” and “What’s something you could have done better today?”
We have some friends who do “Rose, Thorn, Bud.” They share something great about their day (rose), something hard about their day (thorn), and something they are looking forward to about the next day (bud).
The point isn’t that you use these exact questions, the point is that you make the most of your time around the table together and start some dialogue with your children.
Meal times are about more than scarfing down food. They are about nourishing our family – body and soul.
– Did you have a family movie night? Spend some time afterwards discussing the message of the movie. Use it as an opportunity to dig deeper. Ask questions: What challenge did the main character overcome? Do you ever feel like you face similar challenges? What character traits did you see that we should emulate? What attitudes or behaviors did you see that bothered you?
Again, it’s not about these specific questions, it’s about getting the conversation going. We have had so many great discussions and lessons based on movies we have seen.
— Attitude issues throughout the day? We will have multiple opportunities throughout a day to teach our children truth, whether we take them or not is up to us. Pick a struggle or challenge your child is facing and come up with some creative ways to help them grow through it.
When you walk along the road.
– It’s more like driving down the road these days! Car time equals talk time! Take the opportunity to have conversations.
Car time is great for worship time too! Take turns picking what songs you’re listening to. Ask your child why they chose that song and what God is doing in their hearts when they listen to it?
– Taking actual walks is also a great time to connect with your children! Going for a walk
with your child is a wonderful opportunity to let them share with you. Sure, it may be random and silly, but sometimes, if we will just be quiet long enough, eventually something deep and precious will come from their heart to ours.
When you lie down.
– We like to do a family devotional before bed. Don’t over complicate this. There are so many great devotional books available. Pick one and start going through it each night. Or, just pick scriptures that focus on concepts you’re working on in your family. If you’re dealing with attitudes of dishonor, pick several scriptures about honor and study those for a few weeks. Read them, talk about them, and apply them.
– Pray over your children as you tuck them into bed. They need to hear you talking to Jesus about them. Pray over their hearts. How beautiful to fall asleep with those words in
When you get up.
– Keep a Bible near the table so you can start your day together in the Word. While the kids are having breakfast, read a Psalm or Proverb to them. It’s such a great way to start the day! Feed the body; feed the soul. Or if you have littles, grab a picture Bible and read a story from it while they have breakfast!
– I know mornings can be hurried and crazy, and everyone’s schedule and days look different; but if it’s at all possible for you to carve out quiet time in the mornings, I recommend it. Help your children create this habit in their own lives.
– If you’re a homeschool family there’s a little more flexibility in the morning schedule. After breakfast, our girls start their day with their own Jesus Time. The first thing we do in school is have share time. They share what they were reading, something they journaled, a scripture God gave them, or a picture they drew. It’s a great way to start the school day!
Sometimes we just need to think creatively and intentionally! It’s the simple things and the quiet moments that will have lasting impact in our children’s lives.
We have to be intentional with this! We have to look for the opportunities. Once we start looking for them, we’re going to find them everywhere!