One day, a friend and I were discussing the importance of having a time with the Lord each morning. My husband interjected an interesting comment, “God took Heidi to the point that she had to have a quiet time to make it through the day.”
As I thought about his observation, I realized he was correct. The chaos, frustration, exhaustion that comes with being the momma of four had brought me to the point that I had to read the Bible, soak up God’s peace, and rest in His arms each morning to be able to pour into those around me throughout the day. Although I tried, I couldn’t do this out of my own strength.
Looking back I wish that I had established a quality daily quiet time much earlier in my life. I can’t help but wonder how it would have changed my teenage, early-married, and young-parenting years. And because I now know the importance, I want to nurture in our children a love for the Bible, prayer, and listening to God.
No matter what the age of the child, there are ways to cultivate a personal relationship between our children and their Savior.
This post contains affiliate links.
1. Lead by Example
I believe more is caught than taught-that what our children see us do is more powerful than what they hear us say. Because of this, my children are learning more about having a quiet time by watching me than my preaching the need. When I make it a priority and share what God is teaching me during this time, they grasp the importance.
2. Have Family Devotions
Holding daily family devotions sets a firm foundation. In our family, these times consist of Bible reading, singing a Bible song, and prayer. As our children have grown, so have the depth of the Bible stories. We began with The Beginner’s Bible: Timeless Children’s Stories, moved to the My First Hands-On Bible, and now my husband reads from the New International Version of the Bible. Read more about how to choose a children’s Bible. Also, make sure to check out the brand-new Character Quest with Clive & Ian 5 Minute Family Devotionals on Minno!
Now that our children are all reading, we set aside quiet time every evening for individual devotions. They each have age-appropriate Bibles, devotional books, and journals to guide their time.
There are wonderful theme-based Bibles for children such as the Adventure Bible, The Investigator’s Holy Bible, and the FaithGirlz Bible. Some of our favorite devotional materials for kids are the Kay Arthur Discover 4 Yourself Inductive Bible Studies for Kids, My Jesus Journal, and Our Daily Bread for Kids: 365 Meaningful Moments with God.
But it is more than just providing the child with the tools. We should never underestimate the importance of training the child to use each item effectively. I need to take the time to teach my child how to read the Bible for personal application. Explain the importance of using a Bible-based devotional guide. Instruct them to use a journal to track growth, prayers, and blessings.
Even in writing this I realize that I have become lax in some aspects of training. I need to come along side each child for accountability and review with them how to use the tools at their disposal.
4. Pass the Baton
It is my prayer that after taking the time to demonstrate and teach our children the how-to of bible study, they would develop a love of the Word and of spending time with God. As they begin to recognize how much God loves them, He will be their source of wisdom and strength. As I pass the baton, my role evolves into a supporter and sounding board as the children take ownership of their time with Him.
While it may seem like they are going through the motions now, I believe that the “word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
The wonderful thing is that God isn’t asking me to change my children’s hearts or for me to force them to develop a love for His Word. He simply asks me to lead by example, provide the tools the child needs, and then take the time to train my children to use the tools. He will take care of the rest.