I was listening to a pastor explain how he trained his children in the home on the flight down here to Buenos Aires, Argentina and thought that I would like to share some ideas I got from him and then add some of my own. The question was how to teach our children spiritual truths. Here are a few ideas.
1. Betty and I always took our churches to church from the day they came home from the hospital. We communicated excitement to them that we had the opportunity to go to church, We were not negative about the service, the singing, the preaching, the classes or anything because we wanted them to love God and His church. By the way we never missed church over small excuses. It was our custom that we would be in church and if a child was sick enough not to go to church they were too sick for TV, play, etc. They were to stay in bed-amazingly that caused them to prefer to go to church instead of have an excuse for not going to church.
2. We prayed before each meal and soon trained the children to pray and take their time to thank God for the food. We always held hands and prayed and when-they were so young that they couldnâ€™t talk we still held hands and prayed so that they-never knew when they started praying over their meals.
3. Betty and I have read our Bibles and had a prayer time separately every day or nearly every day since we got married now over 35 years ago. The children have seen us read our Bibles every day. They know we love the Bible and would often be found reading theirs even before they could read.
4. We had family devotions at least 4 days a week in the mornings before school and work. Devotions took only 10 to 15 minutes. We would read a chapter together each taking our turn to read. I would read two verses, then Betty, then each child got to read if they were old enough to talk Betty would read a couple of words the children would then repeat the words. They were always excited about their turn to read. If we passed over them they got quite aggravated. I would then take one of the verses and talk about it for a minute or two. Devotions were kept short so that they were enjoyable and not to be dreaded.
5. Often at night I would read the Bible-a chapter and they would color in their coloring books, draw, play quietly with their toys, or do needle stitch , etc.
6. I would also often read a chapter out of a book to them. Usually about a missionary. They heard these things before they could talk. We felt like it was important for them to learn to be quiet and sit still so they would learn to handle church.
7. Betty prayed at their bed side with each child every night.
8. We talked to them after most services asking them what God had taught them during the services.
9. We had preachers in our home often and my children learned to love them and enjoy their stories and personalities.
10. The idea I heard today that we never did was to have them something to listen to each day about Jesus on their own while mom and dad read their Bibles
11. Anything we can do to get them in the Word and to know to take time for God is important.
12. Any time questions came up about life we tried to turn the questions to things of God and how He would answer it.
13. I know that we failed and could have done much better and we were not as consistent as we should have been but these might have been some ideas that you-could use with your children.
Give your comments and let me know what you disagree with and what you think might be helpful. I would love to hear your questions and your comments. God bless each of you
Being parents is one of the most awesome responsibilities that we have ever been given. Lets do it for His honor and glory.
One more thing-since they were small they were taught to stay in the services and not to have to go to the bathroom. We took them to the bathroom before each service and taught them that they were not to come and go from the service but to pay attention. We desperately wanted God to talk to our children.