What do you want your kids to learn? Math? Science? Ballet? Gymnastics? How to hit a baseball? How to throw a football? All of these things are great. But I’ve decided that I want my kids to learn about God. More than anything else, I want to teach them what it means to know Jesus, to love Jesus, and to serve Jesus.
Honestly, it’s easier to teach them to throw a football or to hit a baseball than it is to teach them to love Jesus. But teaching them about Jesus is so much more important. I desperately want my kids to follow Jesus faithfully. So, I need to teach them to do just that. But how? Here are a few steps that might help.
1. Be intentional. Nothing important happens unless you plan for it. It’s not likely that your kids will grow up loving Jesus unless you plan for it. You have to be intentional. They need to see it everyday – every moment of the day. For my family, that means we pray for them and with them each day. We get together for Family Worship at the end of each evening (that’s not a corporate worship night). We sing songs, pray together, and read Bible stories. We try to take simple moments like riding in the car, going to bed at night, or walking around the neighborhood and teach them songs, stories, and lessons about Jesus. These things don’t just happen. You must be intentional.
2. Be faithful. Most of the time we have the best of intentions – we really do want to teach our kids about Jesus. Far too often those intentions never become reality. We start…then stop. Then start again…then stop again. If you want to teach your children to be faithful you must model genuine faithfulness. When I knew that I wanted to start a regular time of Family Worship, the first thing I did was tell my 5 year-old and my 3 year-old. That brought instant accountability. In fact, I asked them to keep me accountable. Faithfulness is key in teaching your kids to love Jesus.
3. Be resourceful. If I’ve learned anything as a dad, I’ve learned to be resourceful. Just being a parent can be exhausting. And when you decide to be intentional in teaching your kids about Jesus, it can get overwhelming. Especially if you try to do It all on your own. That’s why it’s so important that you don’t try to reinvent the wheel. And don’t try to do it all on your own. There are some incredible people who have gone before you on this journey. Learn from them – their victories, their mistakes, their lessons, and their experience. Here are a few resources I would recommend. (This is just a start…and it is not a wholesale endorsement of everything an author teaches or believes.)
- Shepherding a Child’s Heart – Tripp
- Don’t Make Me Count to Three – Plowman
- Family-Driven Faith – Baucham
- The Jesus Storybook Bible – Lloyd Jones
- Seeds Family Worship – This is just Scripture set to music
- Adventures in Odyssey – From Focus on the Family
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