Teaching Your Kids About God, Every Day
by Sarah Savage, Director of Children's Ministry
Parenting requires so much time and energy, it’s easy to miss many of the daily opportunities to teach our children about God. But it’s important to remember that every day, our children are given opportunities to become more like Jesus through the things they learn and the choices they’re given. If we only teach Biblical truth on Sundays and at bedtime, we miss hundreds of other ways to disciple our children. Below are two activities we do in the Savage Family that help us keep a vertical focus.
Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. - Deuteronomy 11:18 & 19
The First Word
Each morning as my children are waking up, we all gather in one of their rooms (on the bed, on the floor with pillows and blankets, in Mom’s lap) for a time of devotion together. It takes 10 minutes. We read a Bible verse and a short devotion, and pray for the day ahead. While this can be a crunch on busy mornings, it helps my children see that this time together with God is a priority.
Prayers can be specific tests, quizzes, projects due that day-or very general-wisdom in making decisions, obedience to those in authority over us, being encouraging to others. It can also be a time to express gratitude to God, asking for grateful hearts as we think about the food we’ll eat throughout the day, time in school, caring for the house we live in, and other material gifts. We can be thankful that God has called us to Him for relationship, thanking God for who He is and sharing some of His different characteristics - the God of Hope, living water, patient Father.
We pray for safety for all of us-Dad who travels, Mom who drives downtown, kids on the playground; and for health. The point is you don’t need to have a pattern or plan too much, just invite your children into a conversation with God to start their day. As the Mom, I always participate in the prayer because it is an opportunity for my children to hear me pray for them, and hear that I rely on the Lord.
Fixing the Words in Your Mind
The idea of memorizing Scripture can sound intimidating at first, but it’s actually a really simple exercise that even smaller children can absorb over time. We keep some Scripture cards handy, with one Bible verse per card. When dinner time is getting too hyper, or conversation lags, we pull out the cards and work on memorizing a verse together. We discuss the meaning, talk about how to apply it and begin to memorize it. We don't do this every night, so it might take several weeks to memorize one verse...which is okay. This isn't about creating another deadline or task, it’s about teaching our children that Scripture is important to our family and that we value “fixing it in our hearts.”
Sarah Savage is the Director of Children’s Ministry at First Pres, and along with her husband, Jim, they disciple four small people. She is passionate about equipping parents to share God with their children in practical, personal ways. firstname.lastname@example.org