In our family, teaching our kids about God is a big deal. We want them to have a relationship with Jesus. We also know that since our kids are still quite young, there is a lot they won’t understand yet. Heck, I’m in my 30s and there’s a lot I don’t understand! But we want to set the foundation right now, today, so that they know from a very young age that God loves them.
Anyway, we try to focus on making Jesus a part of our day so that even though they are young, they know that Jesus is important in our lives. Our kids are 4 and 1, so we are able to have actual conversations with our 4 year old while with our 1 year old we are mainly modeling behavior.
Here’s some ways we’ve made sure Jesus is in our home each and every day.
Since Harlyn was little, we have always made sure to pray as a family together at dinner time. We could definitely do a better job at this, because with other meals we don’t often sit down at the same time. Therefore, Brandon and I will do a quick, silent prayer and not really think to have Harlyn pray when she eats at a different time than we do. Hopefully just writing this blog post will be a reminder to ME to work on praying “continually” with our kids. But what prayers? We have some favorites in our house for sure! Harlyn over the years of daycare and preschool has brought home some fun song prayers. She also has some other non-song ones she likes to do. She is our dinner time prayer leader. Sometimes she has someone else pick, and other times it’s a group decision, but she always starts us off. We generally are asked to choose between God We Thank You, Johnny Appleseed, Superhero Prayer, or Morning Prayer. Maverick LOVES praying and likes to smile and “sing” along with the rest of us. I’m pretty sure he’s said “Amen” a few times!
About a year ago, Mimi and Papa got Harlyn a Veggie Tales devotional. We were much better about doing this daily while Harlyn was still napping, because then she wasn’t so exhausted by bedtime. We definitely need to find a way to re-introduce this to bedtime routine, but a kids devotional can be a great way to learn lessons, start conversations, and make sure a prayer is said at bedtime (since in my experience, devotionals have prayers at the end!).
3. CHILDREN’S BIBLE.
This is a great way to introduce Bible stories to our kids. Even Maverick has his own Bible. We actually have about 4 different versions of kids’ Bibles in our house, and I like them all! We have one very simple, short one that is the perfect length for kids who are not quite ready to sit and read.
Whether we ask Alexa to play the worship music mix we made, or Harlyn sings us a song she learned from preschool, we often listen to some Jesus Jams in our house! Harlyn actually comes home with a lot of fun songs from music class, or from kids church on Sundays, so we are still learning new songs all the time. And every once in a while, my childhood will come rushing back and I’ll YouTube a song for the fam that I remember from MY younger years! The best thing about music is that it’s perfect for Maverick too. He LOVES listening, dancing, and singing to the songs. In the car, both kids love listening to this year’s VBS CD. Mav will even try to copy the motions that Harlyn does (side note: Harlyn calls the motions “emotions” which I think is just soooo precious!).
5. MODEL GOOD HABITS.
In our house, my kids will often find me in the bedroom on weekday mornings doing my devotionals, reading my Bible, or praying. I tend to do this after my shower, so sometimes the kids are already up by the time I’m starting. But that is actually okay, because then they get to see that their parents prioritize time with God. Some days, Harlyn will walk in the room, see me with my Bible, and go back down the hall telling Brandon “Mommy is spending time with God right now.” And rather than interrupting that, she will present her requests to her dad. I really love that she’s old enough to understand what I’m doing, know that it’s important, and decide to let me continue instead of asking me to go get her some juice/toast/a toy, etc.
Of course, we have a long way to go—I’d like to start doing more with Maverick now that he’s a little better about reading. I’d love to start doing a family prayer before Mav goes to bed. It doesn’t have to be long, but just one more moment where the four of us say thank you to God for the day we’ve just finished. I’d like to get back to nightly Bible stories with my favorite girl. I’d like to make sure that when we’re eating staggered breakfasts or fast food, we’re still praying before we eat. I want to be sure to talk every single Sunday about what Harlyn learned at church.
I can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store for our children. I pray that He will use them in amazing ways, both now and in the future.
What are some ways you invite Jesus into your home? What have you found to be helpful for teaching your kids about God? Do you have any great resources I need to check out?