Growing up God wasn’t a big part of my life. I didn’t grow up in a Christian family, I grew up in quite the opposite actually. God wasn’t talked about much and He just wasn’t a part of our life. I didn’t really get to experience who Christ was until I was almost out of the house, and even then some of the views presented were skewed. God seemed to present a bunch of rules and the desire to control my life, and I just couldn’t figure out who would want to live life like that.
It wasn’t until college that God really intervened and began to show me who He really was. I finally saw glimpses of who He was and His desire for my life. I saw that God was good and what He wanted for me was good too. I began to see His hand in my life and how His plan for me was far better than any I could have ever planned for myself.
Bringing kids into this world I knew I wanted them to see that God too. I wanted them to see the God who loved them and desired relationship with Him. I didn’t want them to see a God who wanted to control them or a God who didn’t really care unless they followed a list of rules. I wanted them to see God for who He was and the His character entirely. I felt this pressure to let them see His love more than the rules so that they wouldn’t miss out on who He really was. I busied myself with trying to figure out how to accomplish this, what I needed to teach them, what I needed them to stay away from or be a part of to choose Christ in their lives. But then I realized that isn’t who God is. God can’t be confined down to a list of things to be taught or experienced. Truly experiencing Christ is done in every aspect of our life. Raising children that love Him and choose to follow Him is done by teaching my kids how God is present in everything we do and how His love for us can be seen in everything around us.
Incorporating God in our daily life really doesn’t have to be hard. He is already there. We just have to look for the opportunities to present Him to our children and take advantage of those moments of teaching. Here are five simple ways to incorporate God into the life of your children:
Worship. Fill the atmosphere of your home with worship. This can be as simple as playing music that points back to Him throughout the day. The kids love when I play Hillsong Kids or Bethel Kids on YouTube while I am cleaning the house. They dance around to the music videos, sing the songs, and play. Little do they know those words are filling their hearts with the character of God and reminding their spirits of who He is. I am intentionally setting their mind on the things of Christ and building His truth into their little hearts.
Bible Stories/Devotions. Family devotions can be a bit crazy with young children. Most of our family devotions look a little chaotic. We try not to set unreasonable expectations and look for devotions to capture the attention of our younger children. Right now, we use the Kids Bible App because it’s interactive and keeps our kids sitting still. We also love the Jesus Story Book Bible and Jesus Calling for Kids. Jesus Calling for Kids is great for older children, it doesn’t have much pictures, so our kid’s attention wasn’t held very long. But taking time to instill the word in their hearts, to teach them the promises of Christ is very important.
Memorizing Scripture. Hiding God’s word in the heart of your children is one of the most important things you can do as a parent. Those truths will be in your child’s heart and they can draw from that when they face hard times. Kids face pretty tough stuff and they need to know where they can lean and depend on when things get tough. Teaching them God’s promises is a great way to do that. Check out this post for some toddler friendly memory verses that we have been teaching Jase.
Talking about Him. This is a big one to me. God isn’t just someone we pray to, or someone we read stories about, He is our best friend. God wants us to talk to Him like a best friend. I talk to my best friend throughout the day constantly, this is what God wants from us! He wants us to have Him apart of our entire day, and we have to invite Him in it. It can be as simple as thanking God for keeping us safe when we go out driving, thanking God for the sunshine, thanking Him for His peace when we are afraid, for His comfort when we are sad, and His strength when we are having a hard day. Let your children know that God is real and He is accessible no matter where we are or what we are doing. He wants to live life with us because He loves being in relationship with us. He’s more than someone we read stories about, He’s real right here, right now!
Living it. The best way to bring God into the life of your children is to live a life that speaks of Him. Your children are watching everything you do. This doesn’t mean you have to be perfect, in fact, they probably need to see you fail. They need to know that mom and dad don’t have it together, but there is someone who does. And that someone is who you depend on when you need the extra help. They need to see how you worship God in your daily life, how you spend time with Him, and how you serve Him. They are watching for you to point Him out. They also watching for you to show them His love. It’s you who offer the best example of the character of Christ.
God is already in every part of our lives as we raise our kids, we just have to be looking for opportunities to reveal Him to our children.
How do you incorporate God into the daily life of your children?