I have been challenged these past few weeks about what I am doing as a mum to help Connie grow in her relationship with God, now she may only be 3, but it is important that she knows and loves God. So what can we do as a family to help our children?
1. Pray often
1 John 5:14: “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”
What routines do you have at home for praying? Connie prays before she sleeps so that means at midday and at 8pm, we pray together. I don’t think Connie knows what ‘praying’ is yet, but she does know how to speak to Jesus - and she loves it. We are now in a routine of repeating after me, followed by us repeating after her. Her prayers 90% of the time consist solely of “thank you for mummy and daddy, Amen” however there are days where others get a mention...family, Hamish, Rachel, the plants, her toys etc. What is she doing though? She is thinking about her day and then talking to Jesus about it. She wants Jesus to hear her. I encourage you to find a time to pray with your children, but encourage them to pray on their own too, fan that desire in them to want to speak to God.
2. Give thanks
Psalm 107:1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.
I remember when I was pregnant with Connie and going along to the Mums’ community group - we were discussing thankfulness and Hannah said that she just thanks God all the time so the boys hear it and know to thank God - she gave some funny examples and we ate cake but it has stuck with me. I try to thank God out loud as much as possible with Connie, as I want her to know that we have what we have because of Him. So we thank God for the flowers we are growing, for the rain and sun that they need to grow. We thank God for our food, for her toys, for the bugs in the garden, for healing her ‘booboos’ (thank you American YouTube videos)...
How else can you thank God as a whole family? Could you create something - a piece of art or music? Maybe you can show your thanks in action - could you DO something for other people?
3. Fill with praise
Psalm 34:1 I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.
I love praise time in Kidzone and Kidz Klub because it is truly wonderful to watch children unashamedly dancing and singing in the name of Jesus. However, this doesn’t need to stop on a Friday/Sunday. Playing worship songs in the house/car is a great way for the whole family to praise God. It doesn’t have to be ‘kids’ worship songs but I would challenge you that the words in kids songs make it real and understandable for children - He is their superhero, best friend, great big God. It doesn’t just have to be music - how can we just be speaking praise in the house? Creative ways to praise God.
4. Share Truth
Romans 10:17 “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”
Read the bible, tell bible stories and share testimonies of how amazing God is. This can be through reading a story, orally re-telling/acting it out or through online videos but make it a priority that they know the bible, even from a young age. Connie knows that God kept three men safe from a fire, that he created the world, that Jesus did amazing things and that he looks after people - she already knows of God's truth. She loves a book called God Knows All About Me - it is teaching her bible truth - no matter what she is doing or how she is feeling, God knows all about her. I want her to know that truth.
To grow in their faith, our children need you. They need you to pray with them, thank God with them, praise God with them and share the truth with them.
A lot of you reading have a lot more experience of helping building faith at home so please add in the comments with any tips that could help others.
(For families looking for resources, there are videos, resources and devotionals that you can use at home on the Kidzone page on the church website - this gets updated weekly).