“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 (NIV)
I remember one time when my oldest son was 3 and we were driving in the dark. We had gotten lost out in the country where there weren't any streetlights. Now, this was before iPhones, and I didn't have a map with me.
I was exasperated because I didn’t know what to do, but my son said, “Mom, we need to pray.” He started praying the most passionate and sincere prayer I've ever heard. He knew and believed as a 3-year-old little boy that God could deliver us from whatever was causing us to be stuck, lost and scared. That is the faith of children.
In Matthew 18, Jesus talks about this idea when He says, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3-4, ESV).
Let me tell you, as I watched my son pray that night, I realized that he really believed that God could change things for us. He believed that God heard his prayers and that there was a God powerful enough to lead us out of the darkness we were in.
So how do we help our kids have this BIG view of God? I think as we get older and more pragmatic, we tend to lose this view ourselves. But as parents, we are uniquely equipped to partner with God to help our kids experience His power and love for them. We can join God, day by day in the little moments, in raising up a generation who believes not only that Jesus is real but also that they can talk to Him, hear from Him, walk with Him and know He's going to take care of them.
Here are three simple ways we can give our kids a BIG view of God:
- Share our mistakes.
We sometimes think parenting needs to be this great exercise in perfection, but perfection steals the need for God. When our kids see we are imperfect, they see us need God just like they need God — so let’s become the best apologizers and confessors our kids have ever known.
- Learn about God with our kids.
We will have sweeter conversations if we study and discover God together. And this is actually a command in Scripture:
“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).
We don’t need to know everything — we just need to trust God, and our kids need to see us do so.
- Have the end goal in mind.
There are a million other things to do, but there's nothing more important than giving our kids God. These years go fast. This can make us feel a lot of pressure, but it can also give us a lot of vision. We don’t have to set aside tons of structured discipleship time. Let’s be intentional in the little moments throughout our days. This will help our kids see God throughout their daily lives as they grow.
My prayer is that we would use these short years with our kids to set the foundation of their understanding of God’s character and spark a friendship with Jesus that they’ll carry the rest of their lives. I want to reassure you that you are not doing this alone — God is working with you and is going to use your shepherding, no matter how imperfect.
God, we submit our kids to You. Draw them to Yourself and help them understand their place in Your story. Help us to live in such a way that our kids will know You love them and You are good. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
OUR FAVORITE THINGS
If you’re looking for tools to help you give your kids a BIG view of God, head to Theolaby to get The Story of God Series and other resources that make discipleship part of your every day.
We want to invite you to have meaningful conversations with your kids TODAY! Head to our site to download a list of questions and conversation topics to get you started.
FOR DEEPER STUDY
Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (ESV)
Is there anything you need to apologize to your kids for or an appropriate confession you need to make to them so they can see God at work in your life? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.
© 2022 by Jennie Allen. All rights reserved.
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