It is often said that kids are our future. If so, then the question becomes how to raise kids who know God in a busier than ever world? One of the most important jobs we have as a parent is to raise kids who know God.
Even if your kids spend lots of time in church or at school learning about God, it’s simply not enough. We cannot rely on the church to help our kids build a meaningful relationship with God.
Institute Family Prayer
In a world that is growing busier and busier every day, it can be difficult to find time to raise kids who know God. However, by instituting family prayer, you can help your kids spend more time with Him. Prayer is a key way to connect with God and learn about His will for our lives. It also teaches kids how to communicate with Him and develop a relationship with Him. I wrote a whole post on why I believe family prayer is so vital and how to make it a daily part of your routine.
But trust me, I don’t see prayer as something routine. I know it can feel like a checkbox item. But seriously, how amazing is it we get direct access to the Creator of the universe? Whenever I talk to my kids about prayer, I remind them how busy their dad and I are. We aren’t perfect. We don’t have 24/7 time to give to them (we do sleep and work) but God always has time for them. Always. It is a privilege we get to speak to God as we do. I remind them that while God is familiar, prayer is never to be casual. God deserves our reverence and respect but we can go to Him with anything.
Start making family prayer a part of your time together and you’ll see your kids start praying on their own more often.
Model the Behavior
Model your faith for your kids. Let them see you live it out. Let them see you studying your scriptures. Let them see you praying. Let them see you serve the community. Let them see you serve at Church. Let them see you reading the scriptures. Let kids share in your faith when they are young.
I can tell my kids to make their beds 92 times but if my bed isn’t made, they aren’t going to do it because I’m not modeling the behavior I want them to have. While we won’t always get it right and we’re not perfect (it’s okay to let your kids know you’re human too and need a Savior) we can try and they will remember our effort.
What behavior are you modeling?
It is no secret that kids grow up too quickly these days. They are being exposed to more life experiences, which may have a negative effect on their spiritual development. However, if you want your kids to know God in this busy world, it is important not only to raise kids with the right values but also to teach them how to make time for Him every day. Be mission-minded!
What does it mean to be mission-minded?
It means sharing the gospel with others who are not believers. It means showing up in service. They make disciples. Every encounter is a chance to show someone the love of Christ. It is important that kids learn to live mission-minded lives.
For instance, taking kids out on mission trips can have a lasting impact on them because kids will be able to see how God changes people’s lives. Whether it is planting trees in the neighborhood or helping at your church’s associated ministries, kids need to know that they are active members of the church. They are members of Christ’s church and even at their tender age, they too can be mission-minded for the Kingdom of God.
Have Christian friends
Honestly, this was a priority for my husband and I. When we moved to the part of Georgia we live in now, we made it a point to make friends with our church community. Our kids play football and wrestle with kids at church. Because they have kids to hang out with, they want to go to church even more so.
It’s also important we expose our kids to other adults who are Christ-followers. Our kids need to see other adults modeling the behavior we want to see in them so they know it’s not just Mom and Dad setting these standards.
Obviously, kids need to spend quality time with us and we need to be involved with them, but kids also need exposure to other believers. Having a mentor or spiritual guide is an important part of growing up. I am so thankful for the adults who have taken my kids under their wing and mentored them in many aspects of life. It’s a lot easier to raise kids who know and love God when they’re surrounded by other adults who feel the same way and pour into them constantly.
Child-led learning is one way to help kids spend more time with God and learn about Him at their own pace. It’s natural for kids to be curious about things around them. Child-led learning opens up the door for kids to explore topics that interest them without it being so formal.
Prime example, my kids the other day were hovering over my shoulder and saw me open Instagram. On my feed was a Dancing with the Stars pro in a bikini. Probably on vacation. Both boys were immediately taken aback and weren’t sure why they had such a visceral reaction. It prompted a conversation about modesty and they understood why they felt the way in which they did.
Allowing the conversations to happen naturally, we can address topics that kids are curious about.
I’ve learned kids are not miniature adults. Our kids need us to walk through their feelings with our kids before handing over all of the information. For example, kids might be curious about dying and heaven. It would be irresponsible to tell them that there’s nothing to fear and then leave it at that because kids feel the weight of that reality and we need to address it with them.
It is more important than ever for kids to spend time with God. When we raise kids that love God, we set them up for success as much the world is hell-bent on teaching them the opposite. As parents, we need to be intentional about setting aside time each day for prayer and Bible reading. We also need to model the behavior we want our kids to emulate. Being mission-minded and having Christian friends are two other important ways to help kids know God in a busier than ever world. Lastly, let’s not forget that kids learn best when they’re allowed to explore on their own. We can encourage this by giving them opportunities to ask questions and talk about their experiences with God.
The Daily Grace Co. offers some great resources for parents. I personally have snagged some of the conversation cards to help prompt interesting and spirit-led conversations with my kids. *They almost always have a sale so be sure to check them out* It definitely makes it easier to raise kids who love God when the materials are beautiful and something they want to use.
Just remember, you don’t have to go at it alone. Come join me on Instagram with other mamas trying to raise little disciples too.
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