After a recent post about my children reminding me they do listen to me when I talk (phew, that’s nice to know), I had a reader suggest that I write about how to introduce your kids to God. This suggestion struck me funny, only because I never thought about it before…
You see, I grew up in church. Seriously; my mom went into labor with me while sitting in a church service, and I’ve been going to church nearly every Sunday (morning and night) and every Wednesday night since I was born. It’s been the same with my kids- church has always been a part of their life. We homeschool using a Christian curriculum which involves Biblical teachings on a daily basis; We read the Bible every day, and everything we learn about is based on Biblical things. For instance, this year we started in Genesis and have been reading through the Old Testament. As we read about Noah, we learned about the area he and his family settled in after the flood, the first written language, how people (the sons of Noah) migrated and established cities in what is now Africa and the Middle East. As we read about Joseph, we studied Egypt and the pyramids and the pharaohs and the way of life in ancient Egypt. As we read about Moses we further studied Egypt, the pharaohs thought to be in power during that time in history, the Red Sea and surrounding areas. My kids can tell you where the Fertile Crescent was, the names of the rivers, gulfs, and seas in what is today Israel, Egypt and the Middle East. God is a part of our every day life.
So back to the original topic; Introducing your children to God/Jesus. As I was saying, this is foreign to me because it IS my life, but it was cause for much thought. If I can, in any way, help someone who is interested in sharing God with their children, it would be a blessing to me. So I did some thinking in hopes to have a few easy suggestions.
First, I suppose I would say that if you haven’t already, start praying with your kids. We say prayers often throughout the day, but always before bed. When my first son, Logan, was a baby- even brand new- I prayed with him every night before I would put him in bed. On the nights my husband Gary was home from work or school at bed time, we’d say prayers as a family. After our prayers I would sing ‘Jesus Loves Me’ to him, then place him in bed. That routine changed as we had more babies and kids to care for, but we still always say prayers with the kids before they go to bed. We pray over every meal, and even when our kids were babies I prayed with them over their baby food or cereal before I would feed it to them. Now, when we get a text or call from someone telling us of a need, (sickness, car accident, job interview), we stop what we are doing and each offer a prayer. Even Connor, my 2 year old, will pray with us, and often begs to be the one to pray over our food at every meal. There is nothing sweeter than hearing your children pray, and I can only imagine how much sweeter it is to God! Best of all, when they are able to see God’s working in their lives through prayer, it is a huge excitement to them. When they pray for someone who is sick and that person gets better, they’re thrilled to know that God heard their prayer and answered them.
Second, make God, the Bible and Book of Mormon, part of daily learning and fun. Start with books! When I read my children books, it’s not just the fun Dr Seuss books, it’s Bible and Book of Mormon stories. What is more exciting than hearing about a young shepherd boy who had such faith in God that he was willing to fight a giant when the rest of the army was afraid to, and merely using a sling and a few stones was able to defeat that giant and his entire army with the help of God (1 Samuel 17)?
Or reading about 3 young men who, though they knew it could mean their life, refused to bow down and worship a statue of a king, and when thrown into a fiery furnace didn’t die or have even a hair burned, or even smell of smoke when they walked out (Daniel 3)? Or 2,000 young soldiers who were taught to have a great faith in God by their mothers as they grew, and went to war against great armies with God on their side and fought bravely, and all without losing one single life (Alma 56 )? Not only are these exciting stories, but they show your children that God can work with people of all ages, even children like themselves.
Lastly, by most importantly, I would encourage you to lead by example. Where and how does God play a part in your own life? Have you read the scriptures, prayed about your life and how He can be active in it? Have you asked Him to lead you to a church, to the truth of the gospel?
I want you to know that your life will never be the same once you allow God in and make Him an active part of your life, and it will be the same for your children. You’ll never know happiness- true joy- until He is a part of your life. Please know if I can be of any help to you, I’m an email away.
I can’t wait to hear about your experiences with your children! Please please come back and share! <3