Proverbs 22:6 says,
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
Parenting in general is a huge responsibility to take on, but training our children to serve the Lord with all their hearts is probably the biggest, and most important task that we will ever take on in our parenting journeys. Knowing that our children’s spiritual futures could potentially rest in our hands is a lot of pressure to take on, but raising children who love God does not have to be a difficult task.
Show Don’t Tell.
Studies have shown that children, especially young children, learn best through observation. For this reason, it is extremely important that we are mindful of the examples that we are setting for them, as children are much more likely to repeat what they see us doing than to simply do as they are instructed to do. Allow your children to see you reading your Bible and applying it to every day life. Let them hear you when you pray. Do the best that you can to live your life in a manor that is glorifying to God, and most importantly don’t do or say anything in front of your children that you wouldn’t want them to do. As your children observe your life they are silently taking notes so be watchful of the lessons that you are teaching.
Form Good Habits.
When raising children of God, our goal should be for practicing their faith to become such a regular part of their every day life that it becomes second nature to them. This is best accomplished by helping them to form good habits. Make praying first thing in the morning and again at night before bed a part of your every day routine. Say grace with your children before eating meals together. Teach them the importance of serving others by taking part in local charity work a few times a month. Teach them about selflessness by going through their old toys and clothes as they’re cleaning their rooms and have them select a few items to donate. It is the small things that your children do every day that will make the biggest impact on the people they grow up to be.
Make it fun.
As a homeschool mom I am fortunate enough to have the ability to be with my children all throughout the day. One aspect that we frequently incorporate into our homeschool day that can also be used by non-homeschool families is circle time. Circle time is most frequently used in preschools and kindergartens to teach young children valuable skills through stories and songs. It is effective because when young children sing and read fascinating stories, the content of those books and songs makes its way into their long-term memory banks. In traditional school settings, this time is used to learn things like number counting and phonics sounds, but at home, circle time can easily be used as a time to focus on God. Select two or three praise and worship songs to sing with your children followed by reading a story from a children’s Bible book and discussing what they learned. In addition to being a great way to set time aside for your children to focus on God, circle time can serve as a great reminder that serving God can be fun.