Helping Your Child Know God's Love
A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about Little Girl Essentials, but I left out a category because I wanted to spend more time on it here. I wanted to talk about ways to grow a child’s love for God and the things that we do ::
It’s no secret that this beautiful book is a wonderful tool for kids (and adults!) to understand the grand story of the Bible and God’s love for them. We read a chapter every night and because you can get through it in about a month, we can see Valentine’s understanding grow each time we re-read a story. (Before she was old enough for this book we really loved The Big Picture Story Bible.)
In the foreword to this book, Tim Keller says ::
It is all too easy to concentrate on data-transmission to our children. Of course, laying down a foundation of biblical truths, Bible memorization, and doctrinal basics is very important. Somehow, however, the experiential side of a relationship with God is often neglected, so that by the time children are teens, they are woefully lopsided—long on information, but short on experience of God’s presence.
This book of short devotional thoughts for children is a great way to help them feel a love for God. I read one page each morning while Valentine eats breakfast (it takes less than two minutes) and the other day, after reading from it, Valentine looked at me with shining eyes and said, “I’m God’s treasure???”
We pray simple prayers together at night. Before she could even talk, we would just try to mention all the things she might have liked about the day and thank God for them (ie. “Thank you God for books. Thank you for Mabel. Thank you for applesauce.”) Now we follow a more traditional process of praise, thanks, confession and petition. We ask her questions like, “What do you like about God?” and then use her answer to help her praise God. We sometimes lead her to confess to God things that she’s done wrong and to ask for forgiveness. And then we always ask God to fill her heart with “wisdom, humility and love.” That’s our own special thing we ask for, but I know other parents have lots of good ideas. For example, my brother-in-law recites the meaning to his children’s names and then asks God to help them fulfill those callings.
It’s such a joyful responsibility to show our children the love of God! It’s a true pleasure to see Valentine begin to sincerely love God back. But I’m really interested to hear about your own devotional practices with your kids. What do you like to do together? Any good books or resources? How do you pray with your kids? Please share!
(Photo via Calivintage)