How to Guide Our Children to God’s Word
Things are changing at my place. Precious baby blankets that until now have been a fixture of tearless bedtimes, are staying neatly folded on closet shelves. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are being made and sliced in a perfect diagonal without a lick of help from me, and, I’m almost shy to speak it… I am no longer the only girl in my house who shaves her legs. Independence is pretty much swallowing up the needy little people I once knew and wiped the noses of so often. This transition can be terrifying. Some moms (ahem) might even feel a bit nudged out in the process. Really, though, it’s quite thrilling. When the capabilities of our children expand, its like a giant high five to being a mom, affirming all the training and instruction we pour into their hearts each day.
One of the biggest changes I’m seeing in the hearts of my children is the way they engage God’s Word. We still read the Bible aloud at meals, we still talk through the wonder of the connections we make between the Old and New Testaments, and we still chew on the parables of Jesus and their meaning together; but now, their time in God’s Word is becoming their very own. Like making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, they want to take all the ingredients we have given, put them together independently, and create something delicious.
Letting go of my control in this area of their lives has been harder than I thought. I realized somewhere along the way that I was really comfortable guiding their movements through God’s Word. I really liked carrying them. Lately, we’re walking together, but now we are walking side by side.
I still relish in my role as their guide and take it very seriously. There is constant watchfulness, discussion, and clarification as we walk together…but there are also some directions I’m leaving just for them to see how they get along. Here are a few that maybe, you too, can leave on the path to independence for your own children:
1. We copy Hebrews 4:12 and display it beautifully for them, in a notecard or on a bookmark so that they understand the value of God’s Word in their own lives.
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” Hebrews 4:12
2. We pray for them and encourage them to pray for themselves before they begin their Bible reading: that God would give them HIS eyes to see and understand and grant wisdom and humility to be trained by His Word.
3. We pose three main questions to our kids before they dive in to reading the Bible.
We find this helps to give them some focus about how to organize what they read and draw application from it.
What does God want me to know? What is happening in this passage that you need to remember? This is the who, the what, when, where and why of the story…the juicy plot, if you will!
What does God want me to do? Now that I know this, what does God want me to do about it? Is there a behavior I am convicted of? A friend I need to share this with? A belief I need to ask God to transform? This is all about the action…what will our response be to what God has revealed to us?
What does God want me to be? This is about What God is doing to transform us through His word at our very core. Changing our identity, transforming our hearts, empowering us by his Holy Spirit as we surrender and draw our hearts into His. How are you being transformed by the Word of God today? Not in your strength, but by the power of Jesus in you? This is all about faith.
And we continue to pray, fervently, that as God’s word is planted in their hearts, it will take root, and produce lasting fruit. That by faith, our children will be transformed.
Praying for your crew as well,
Thank you for this post. Can you share when yourchildren read their bibles? And what do they read? Thank you!
Mostly we encourage the kids to have some Bible reading time in the morning when my husband and I are often doing the same. We homeschool so our puzzle might look different, but I think this could be incorporated at any time in the day that there is a lull. Although we have it built into our family routine, I think the most significant times that this happens for all of my kids is when it is self-initiated, so we don’t push too hard. We will often have a passage written on our chalk board, or a psalm we open up that they are looking at. They are a part of a kids’ Bible Study that has some areas of scripture built in for them to study each week, and we also incorporate the daily office into our reading plan at home (a different Bible reading each day, as well as some psalms and proverbs), or we will read through and meditate together on the scripture from Church on Sunday. We are kind of all over the place!
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