- Read my Bible and pray because I know that I can’t lead my family to love Jesus if I don’t love him myself.
- My wife Kate or I split reading the Bible and praying with our three year old daughter Emma. If Kate reads the Bible and prays with Emma I usually put her to bed and in that time we usually sing a Colin Buchanan song and I ask her who loves her and she goes through almost our whole family before I ask “Who loves you most of all?” and she says Jesus! In the time before bed we are trying to reaffirm the Christian worldview that we are trying to give her and help her see for herself who God is, what he has done and how much he loves her. When we read the Bible to her we use The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally LLoyd-Jones it is quite simply outstanding both in the storytelling but also it’s theology.
- When we pray with Emma we usually pray for just one thing to be thankful for, one thing to say sorry for and thank Jesus for what he has done for us. This usually takes a minute if that.
- Once a week Emma and I hang out together for an extended period of time and we do something fun together. It is in this time I ask her questions like: “What have you been reading in the Bible?” or “What are a few things we can thank God for in the past week?” Or other similar questions. Do we have an in depth theological discussion? Of course not. But that’s not the point. The point is to help her come to know Jesus better and to also have her Christian worldview strengthened. Some of you may be asking when I started having these conversations? The answer is as soon as she was able to talk. Now obviously we didn’t have a conversation about thing because all she could say was Dada, Mummy and more so why did I have these conversations? It was for me. I need to train myself to have these conversations with my children so I started having them with my first child as soon as I could . Now when we have these conversations it doesn’t feel forced it feels natural. After I have a conversation like this we always pray. Once again it is a quick prayer but I want to model praying to my children and I want to teach them to pray.
- The last way we spiritually care for our kids is we talk about God all the time. Now I must admit that Kate is far better at this than I am but I still try to do it. If we are walking on a footpath and Emma stops to annoy a bunch of ants on the ground I may say something like “Isn’t it cool that God made ants and so we can enjoy them running around being crazy like that?” Do we then have an in depth discussion of what the Bible says about ants or creation? No we usually then talk about something else. So what is the point of these little asides during the day? The point is for Emma to see the all encompassing nature of the Christian worldview and for her to see how great and awesome God is that he created everything (even ants) for us to enjoy.
A final word, some of you are thinking that this sounds like hard work or that that if you did these things (especially the ants thing) you will sound like a crazy religious person. I must admit that this kind of stuff is hard work and that sometimes I do think I sound a little crazy when we talk about how God made ants or how God doesn’t like it when you disobey your parents and you try to bear hug your 3 month old brother for the third time that hour. But I know that the Christian worldview is under assault in our society, it always has been and it always will be. Therefore my job, as a Christian parent, is to do my best to bring my children up with the Christian worldview so that they may follow joyfully Jesus off their own bat. If I don’t intentionally and joyfully educate my children in a Christian worldview they will have a higher probability of adopting a secular worldview and walking away from Jesus. How you and I disciple or don’t disciple our children has eternal consequences.
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