When I sat down to think through and plan out our learning goals for home this year, my main focus was on instilling Biblical truths in my children’s hearts. I have been feeling the sense of urgency as I realized how quickly my children are growing up.
My son will be entering kindergarten next fall. We are still on the fence about our schooling options, but regardless what we choose, the reality is that if we want him to know and love the Lord with all his heart it has to start at home. Same with my daughter, although she’s only 3, and the baby, all three of my children need to see God’s love modeled at home, taught and lived out.
It’s almost overwhelming, really, the responsibility we have as Christian parents to teach and train our children. The world we currently live in isn’t a friendly place for truth. There are so many messages that go against God’s Word, all competing for our children’s attention. It’s easy to live in fear and want to keep them in a bubble, but that isn’t realistic nor is it Biblical.
We are called to be lights in the midst of darkness (Ephesians 5:8), to go and preach the good news (Mark 15:16) to stand strong in our faith and convictions against oppression (1 Corinthians 16:13), but it has to start at home first. Home is the first place our children have the opportunity to taste and see that God is good (Psalm 34:8).
Some day they might be called out to go and serve in any number of places, but today we are home building the foundation of their faith.
Where do you even begin?
I know for me it’s so easy to get caught up in my own version of what a “perfect” plan would look like. Gathering all the children around to read and study the Bible while I have all the right words to say and my children sit there perfectly behaved soaking it all in.
I don’t know what it looks like in your home but that is probably the opposite of what our daily Bible reading looks like – more like organized chaos! Usually the baby starts to get fussy, my three year old would rather flip through all the pages of her Bible storybook and my son constantly interrupts to tell me about whatever has come to his mind.
Some mornings we don’t even make it to the Bible reading time together. I know it will get easier with time and the more we consistently sit down and read God’s Word together, it will become a daily discipline that we all treasure together as a family.
Despite our chaotic attempt at a daily Bible reading time together, there are a few simple things we do in our home every single day that are pointing our children to the cross and planting those little seeds of faith.
I pray over my children and with my children several times a day. Apart from my own private “un-quiet” time (as I like to call it) where I spend time in prayer praying over my family and day, I spend time throughout the day modeling prayer to my children.
We pray together before every meal, before nap and bedtime. My kids see me pray out loud when I get so frustrated and need a mommy time-out. Perhaps the most influential time of prayer currently in my children’s life is the preschool drop-off prayer.
Two mornings a week my oldest two go to preschool at a nearby church in our neighborhood. The first few weeks are always the hardest as they are anxious about their new teachers and being away from home for a few hours (although now they have come to love this time). To help calm their anxious hearts, I pray over them in the car ride to school.
In fact we have a small ritual that they ask for every morning. First they want me to pray then they want to listen to their “favorite” song which is currently “Overcomer” by Mandesa.
Here’s the cool thing, my kids (again only 4 and 3) know all the words to this song and sing it at the top of their lungs, which brings me to my next point…
Possibly the easiest way to share God’s love is having praise and worship music playing throughout the day. Just like the song I mentioned above, there are several songs my kids have memorized and will sing periodically throughout the day. They might not realize it yet (or they very well could, it’s amazing how in tune to God’s love our children are) they are boldly proclaiming God’s love and goodness.
Every morning I turn our radio in the kitchen on to K-Love or my favorite Pandora station so quietly in the background. As we go about our daily routine, inspirational music is playing. It’s fun to watch my kids’ faces light up when a song they enjoy comes on.
We also keep several children’s Bible music CDs on hand, many of which I found at the dollar store (which is good since they tend to scratch and break CDs rather quickly). A few I keep out of reach to protect them but always pull them down when they ask to play them.
There are also two special hymns I love to sing over my kids. The first Sunday I went to church with my newborn son I was completely overcome with emotion as I held my new baby singing praises to God. That Sunday morning we sang two songs, the classic hymn “Take My Life” and the modern praise song, “You Are So Good to Me.” Both are songs my children know because of how often I have sung them while rocking them.