"And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up."
- Deuteronomy 6:6-7
In the scripture above, the Lord was speaking to the Israelites as they were preparing to enter the Promised Land. The nations surrounding the Israelites were wicked and perverse. God wanted his people to wholeheartedly follow His commands. He admonished the adults to repetitively instill the commandments into the children day and night. I believe He wanted to establish in their hearts what was right and what was wrong so they would not participate in the wickedness that surrounded them. If they obeyed the Lord, they would enjoy a long life. We the people of God should take note and incorporate this practice into our daily lives as well.
As a parent, grandparent or guardian, you have the awesome responsibility of introducing your children to God and teaching them Gods ways; from the bible. We are living in a world where greed, rebellion, hatred, perverse living and so much more are quickly becoming the norm and have influenced the lives of many people we know and love. As our country continues to remove anything that has to do with God from it, we are experiencing the presence of wickedness like never before and it's greatly affecting our children.
My children are eight and ten years of age. When they were in my womb, and when they were born, prophetic words about their purpose were spoken to my husband and I. I'm sure many of you can identify and have experienced the same thing or something similar regarding your own children. Satan's job is to quickly rob you and your children of purpose and trust me, he WONT BE NICE while trying. The enemy wants to stop every believers' (Christians) purpose in the earth so he (satan) can have his wicked way in the world without interruption. When we move in our purpose, we disrupt the plans of the enemy. Our children have purpose NOW in their own generation to show other children (who may be lost, hurting, etc.) that there is a real God they can call on even in their young age.
The World We Live In
Children are innocent and their minds are pure. They don’t know ANYTHING about life until you teach them. If you want your child to be a loving God-fearing person who lives righteously – teach them Gods word. It will help them understand right from wrong and prepare them for the realities of this crummy world that they live in. Over the summer, while in camp my children were exposed to inappropriate discussions and acts from other children. Such is life, right? I've been teaching my children the word of God since they were very young and now they're seeing and hearing what the world is talking about. I'm actually glad they had that experience because that is the world we live in. So, as a family we sat down and openly discussed different topics and went to the bible to explain what God says about those different topics. We discussed what's appropriate and what's not. No question is off limits in my home. My kids are far from perfect but my husband and I try our best to teach them the ways of God. Remember, if you don’t teach your kids God’s commands the people of the world will waste no time teaching them theirs.
Be Their Example
Be Their Example
As guardians we have to live what we preach and teach our children. Do as I say not as I do, doesn't work! We are the example they are looking at. If you are consistently inconsistent they will doubt what you're teaching them. No parent is perfect but when you mess up, try not to make the same mistake over and over again. Children are easily influenced by the things they see and hear. My husband and I monitor and limit what our kids watch on TV. We monitor and limit the kinds of video games they play. We monitor the sites they visit on the computer, and they are not allowed to watch YouTube videos unless they ask so we can screen it first. YouTube is filled with wonderful videos as well as disturbing videos. One disturbing video leads to another and before you know it, you're child has just been introduced to something that could become very damaging to their life.
I'm not saying to keep your child in a bubble so that they never experience the real world. As a guardian your job is to protect your children from the snares of the enemy. My kids are far from perfect, they're children and from time to time they say and do things that disappoint me. Because they have purpose they've been spiritually attacked which caused me to pray and fast on their behalf. But my husband who is rarely moved by circumstances reminds me we are to teach, pray and correct and God will do the rest. The bible says, “Train up a child in the way he should go and when they're old they won't depart from it.” This doesn’t mean having your child in “church” 24:7 is going to teach them God’s ways. YOU have to teach them from the word of God and be their example.
Feed Them God's Word
Feed Them God's Word
Teach them the Ten Commandments. Read the bible to them and explain the stories you read. The bible says, "The word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires" (Hebrews 4:12). The word of God is alive! When you read it, speak it and believe it, it changes your life and the way you think. It will do the same for your children. When those seeds of truth are constantly being planted in your child's heart and mind, they will be begin to take root and grow and cause your child to make right choices according to the word of God.
Often tell your children you love them, hug them, kiss them, and give them your undivided attention. Brag on them, encourage them when they're down, speak life into them and spend quality time with them. It makes such a difference in their little lives. Create a healthy balance of spirituality, education, after school activities and family fun time in their life. As guardians we want to develop well rounded leaders and warriors who can walk amongst the wickedness in the world and not be affected by it. Our children must walk in the purpose for which they were created.
Tools and Resources
Tools and Resources
Here are some of the resources and teaching tools I’ve found helpful on this journey to teaching my children God’s ways (click on picture):
The Preschooler's Bible age 3-5: Perfect for introducing children to the biblical characters.
Children's Picture Bible age 5-9: I absolutely love this bible. I highly recommend it.
NIV Adventure Bible age 9-12: This bible is just OK. The print is to small and does not have the red letter print.
Keys for Kids online devotions and more, all ages: My kids and I read and listen to devotion every morning as I drive them to school. Keys for kids also has a children's game site with fun activities and bible trivia. It's really cute. www.Itoadu.com