Teaching Your Child About Christ, Part 2
May 20, 2020
Last week we shared one mom’s experience of teaching her child about Christ. We recommend reading that and then continuing with Part 2.
Foster a love for God’s Word
Life offers plenty of opportunities for teaching a Christian worldview. When your child is hurt or angry, teach about forgiveness. When they play sports and other kids on the team use bad language, talk about what living for Christ means. If you blow it as a parent, ask them to forgive you and use it as an opportunity to explain that God is the only One who is perfect and never fails. As you teach life principles, show your child what scripture says about the situations they are in, and lay it as the foundation for their life.
As parents, our goal is to get scripture into the hearts and minds of our kids in every way we can. For young children, keeping it short and age appropriate are important. Along with reading to them from a children’s Bible, it’s also fun to tell and/or act out the stories. And reading books about missionaries, athletes, and others who were faithful Christ followers is also a great way to build your child’s faith. YWAM Publishing is a good resource for kids’ Bibles, studies, books, and DVDs at https://tinyurl.com/yb3rlr6y.
AWANA is a great church program that focuses on Bible memorization. Taylor memorized dozens of verses through it. After he had memorized a long list, I challenged him: he would earn a dollar for each verse he could recite three days in a row (it’s easy to say the verse one time, but three days in a row means it’s really sticking). He did it! His motivation was to earn money, but I didn’t care. The important thing was that more than 30 verses from God’s Word got into His heart and mind.
In later elementary school, our son still wasn’t motivated to read the Bible on his own. So I created a Bible study for us to do together right before bed each night and we enjoyed reading scripture together. In junior high, Jay led a Bible study with kids Taylor’s age at our church. And in high school he got involved with Bible studies with peers after school. But at no point while growing up did we see Taylor really love reading the Bible. He did it because we wanted him to. However, when he went to college, some older students took him under their wing, and he began getting up early to read the Bible every day. He credits this for launching his spiritual growth.
Sometimes you have to plant a lot of seeds to see fruit. God is faithful, so don’t give up. Taylor explained it this way:
“Picture it like a savings account. Those things didn’t seem super valuable to me at the time, but now that I’m ready to be a kingdom worker they are paying dividends. I have the scripture written on my heart. It’s an investment.”
When our kids were young, we listened to scripture songs. We watched lots of “Veggie Tales” and other shows that had music in them. And we listened to contemporary Christian music in the car and at home.
As Taylor got older it became obvious that he was a musician. He loved jazz and, much to my dismay, didn’t like modern Christian music. So I learned a lot about jazz and became a fan. I had no idea that there are some incredible jazz musicians who are Christians. God has followers everywhere! This was one of many times the Lord used my son to teach me to relax and trust Him.
As other kids at our church began to help lead worship, Taylor didn’t. They seemed to be growing leaps and bounds spiritually, and we just kept praying for signs of spiritual life. And when Taylor went off to college, again in God’s timing, he found believers he felt comfortable with and began to lead worship. God is so faithful.
Keep doing the right thing … and keep praying
Parenting is a long road, requiring determination, resilience, and never, ever, giving up.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9)
This is a great promise for parents. Some people sow into their kids for their entire lives and years down the road they see the harvest. Some faithful parents never see it, but their child comes to Christ after they die.
We had many moments of worry about our son, but we kept praying. I am extremely thankful that Taylor responded as a young adult to the Lord. When I talked with him about this, he said:
“You and Dad did all the right things; I just didn’t wake up until I was 19 years old. And now the seeds that you and Dad sowed in me are being harvested.”
Just like the seeds we sowed in our son have born a harvest, you can count on the Lord to bring a harvest in your children.
Written by Elizabeth Griffin, Senior Writer for CRISTA Ministries
Photo by Samantha Sophia on Unsplash