Yesterday I had the wonderful privilege of watching my oldest son be baptized. I can think of no greater JOY than knowing my child(ren) want to walk with the Lord. Oh tears of happiness and joy were shed. It was such a blessing watching him take his first communion in front of the church and then stand at the back for others to greet him and congratulate him was such a treat.
But, what did I do to ensure he would get baptized? NOTHING. Not a bless-ed thing. In fact, he was probably baptized in spite of my parenting abilities. I fail…a LOT. I lose my temper. I don’t always handle stress well. So, I’m quite sure it was nothing that I did, but the power of prayer and the Holy Spirit at work on his heart that made all the difference.
So how can you guarantee your children will love the Lord and enjoy studying His Word?
First, there are no guarantees in life. Parents can raise their children in church, do all the “right things” and once those children have a say in their choices, it’s up to them. All we can do is pray that God will prick their heart and make Himself known to them in a very real way, so they experience His power. But, I do think there are some steps we can take to help Foster a Love of God’s Word in our children.
- Prayer – I know that may be a given, but praying is a MUST. Pray specifically for each child and that God would give you the wisdom to make His Word real to them. Pray for your parenting and ask God to give you not only patience, but the knowledge to parent each child according to their needs.
- Model the behavior – I know it’s nice to get up early and get your Bible reading done before anyone gets up, but I also think it’s important for your kids to see you make that time a priority. Teach them that while you’re reading the Bible, they may sit with you quietly or go in another room to play quietly. This may not be an every day thing, but at least let them see you reading God’s Word.
- Daily Reading – From the time my kids were old enough to listen (basically since they were in my belly) I have read to them. We not only read books, but God’s Word. We started out with Children’s Bibles and then as they got a little older, we have transitioned to reading directly from the Bible.
- Let them ask Questions – Don’t quench their love of learning by making them be quiet and listen. Although I am guilty of this at times, I do really try to let them ask questions as they think of them, even while we’re reading. That way they know I think their questions are important and that I really am listening to them.
- Encourage them to read God’s Word daily – Although some days I am met with resistance, most days our oldest does his Bible reading without complaint. We have given him the task of reading 2 OT chapters and 1 NT chapter a day and then we can discuss it. Sometimes I encourage him to take notes or write things down he doesn’t understand or wants to talk about. But, the most important part is reading God’s Word.
- Use God’s Word gently – I have often heard of parents who “use God’s Word in discipline,” but I want to caution you on that – do so gently. Yelling at your children “Well do you KNOW what God’s Word says about…” isn’t the best approach. Instead sit them down and gently talk to them about what God wants from their behavior. Most often when I take the time to really talk to them calmly and explain how God doesn’t like their behavior, they listen and understand more clearly what is expected of them in the future.
How have you fostered a love of God’s Word in your children?
It’s not easy, but with perseverance and prayer – it can be done! Stay with Moms and Dads – you’re doing a great job!
Remember – don’t forget to visit the series page where you will find each days posts!!
This post is also part of the Marriage & Motherhood Mondays. Click the image below to read more in this series!