Helping Children’s Faith Thrive
by Sheri Rose Shepherd
“We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about his power and his mighty wonders.” Psalm 78:4
My son, Jake, is now married and has his own little girl, Olive True—our first grandbaby, and Crosby, our grandson.
When I was raising my son, I wanted him to have real faith, but I feared I would not be able to pass that faith on to him. I realize now that faith is not something that can be given away; it is something that we demonstrate to our children as we live through real-life situations, showing them how the Messiah is with us in the middle of our messes and that’s why He came.
I used to feel guilty for all that I was not as a mother; now I realize that God trusts us with children and will cover us when we cannot cover ourselves. He will be faithful to our children even when we fail them. Don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself; instead, pray and ask God to give your children a heart for Him.
I always told Jake the truth: I would let him down, but God never would. I was imperfect, but God was perfect. I would not always be there, but God always would be there for him. Today my son knows and loves the Lord in a very real way, not because of my perfection but because of my honesty.
Below I give you three creative ideas that I pray will take the pressure off you and give you joy as you begin to share the love of God with your children.
1. Read a Bible story at the table after the meal.
“Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.” Deuteronomy 6:7
Food and faith talk are about as good as it gets when it comes to satisfying both our body and soul at mealtime. God talk around the table builds memories and keeps stress levels down. Keep Bible storybooks in a kitchen cabinet so kids can reach them. Depending on how many children you have, rotate who picks the story to read each night. Once you have read it, sit for a moment and let your kids share what they learned from the story.
2. Clean up and worship in the kitchen.
“Praise the Lord with melodies on the lyre; make music for him on the ten-stringed harp.” Psalm 33:2
The Lord wants us to serve one another, yet getting our children to be joyful about cleaning up often becomes more of a chore than the cleaning itself. Still, you can set the tone and make cleanup more fun. Once you’re done with dinner and story time, turn on some upbeat kids’ worship songs and turn cleaning into a time of worship. It’s hard to complain when worship is being played, so turn up the music and watch what happens in your home and in your kids’ hearts.
3. Let your children pray.
“But Jesus said, ‘Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.’” Matthew 19:14
Since Jesus wants little children to come to Him, let’s teach our precious ones to talk to their heavenly Father in prayer. If they are toddlers, say a prayer one line at a time and let them repeat it after you. Encourage them to talk with God about everything. When prayers they prayed are answered, talk with them about that so they can celebrate God’s goodness with you.
Power Up with Prayer
“You are always the same; you will live forever. The children of your people will live in security. Their children’s children will thrive in your presence.” Psalm 102:27-28
I lift my children up before You, and I pray that they would crave You more than anything else. Help me teach them about You and Your love. Help me not to waste the teachable moments You give me to share real faith. I dedicate our mealtimes to nourishing my family’s bodies and souls while we sit and eat together. Help me begin creative conversations that will draw my children closer to You and give them hearts to hear who You are. Amen
Sheri Rose Shepherd is an award-winning author, Bible life coach and humorist with over one million books sold. Her life experiences help her identify with almost any woman’s battle. She grew up in a broken home and was severely overweight as a teen; she also experienced depression, dyslexia and an eating disorder. Through God’s strength, Sheri Rose has become a bestselling author and popular speaker at events nationwide, including Women of Joy and Extraordinary Women. Her weekly video devotions are featured on Bible Gateway. Visit her online at hisprincess.com.
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