Raising Jesus loving kids - 5 tips for getting started
If you believe what you believe pass it on, without doubt!
“Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.” Proverbs 22:6
It is my hope that all children would be raised in a Jesus loving home. Not just a church going home but a place where God and Heaven are very real. In every area of my mothering I try desperately to seek God’s will. Raising your children in a Christian home is no small challenge and should not be taken lightly. Teaching them love, understanding and forgiveness is the most important lessons in life. Ask God to help you, He always will.
“To be a Christian is not to be perfect, not to be better than anyone else… It is simply to be forgiven and to Love God with all your heart.”
If you are without a church family, get one. We were not made to walk this out alone. A church family can be a great addition to your own family. This is a place to turn in a time of need. This is a place to connect with others who believe like you and who will be looking out for your kids just like you would hope. Look for a loving, bible believing church in your area, pray about it, God loves you and He will help you! Connecting to a local church is a valuable part of family life.
Talk about the bible and the stories in the bible in your home. Use these historic stories as a guide to help your own kids deal with challenging situations. Repeat them [bible stories] 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 6:7) Making Bible conversations a part of your typical family conversations strengthens both their faith and yours.
Children have a natural love for God, if you nurture it, they will grow in Him and stay strong in faith and wisdom. Just taking them to church on Sunday and praying before meals, however, is not going to cut it. Believing in Jesus is not a once a week deal. It is a decision that should and will change your life. If you grab hold and really believe then it will, in fact, be something that is practiced in your home regularly and will affect everything you do. From discipline to family values, your actions and your reactions are all examples your children watch and learn from.
Be true to yourself and your values. When you are talking to your children, either to correct them or encourage them, use biblical principles to back up what you are saying. Your children will understand, if you teach them, that lying is not bad “just because”. But that it is wrong because it makes Jesus sad. This can grow to be a constant source for your children throughout their lives, as you instruct them to really think – What Would Jesus Do? I often think - "What would Mary say?" After all she was raising Jesus!
There are so many different denominations; it can be difficult to know just what to believe. But don’t give up. And don't get hung up on the small stuff. There are going to be things you disagree with. No one is perfect and no church is perfect. Make room in your heart for grace, for imperfections. Look for what is most important to you. There is a church family for you out there. Try and try again. This is important, not just for your kids, but also for your whole family and even for yourself. God is a constant source of strength for me and as a mother, like you, I need a source of strength. Have faith, and seek God.
Raising kids is tough sometimes. But in our ever-changing society it is getting even more difficult to know what to teach them. Everyone seems to be emphasizing tolerance. But I say teach them love & understanding and God’s truths. The rest will fall into place.
Tips for the Christian home:
1. Have family devotion time before bed.
Read the bible together, or a fun kids devotional – there are hundreds to choose from. If you don’t know what to choose ask your pastor or child’s Sunday school teacher.
2. Pray together as a family.
Not just at dinner and the sweet nighttime prayers but when things are heavy and prayer is needed. Sometimes when I am just stressed or feeling blue I ask my kids to pray with me. There is nothing like the warm feeling that comes over you as you hear your children speaking to God on your behalf.
3. Talk about it.
If you raise your children to know that you believe in and love God, talk about Him in your home. They will grow up knowing that God is real and that it is okay to talk about Him and to seek Him in all that they do.
4. Bible based shows.
Have at least a few DVD choices for your children. Be mindful of what you are allowing to be put in their minds and hearts. Watch their shows with them and talk about the story. Make sure they understand that unlike their other cartoons, Jesus is real and that is a true story. There are some wonderful DVDs out there and the movie industry is growing with more Christian and faith inspired films all the time. Of course Veggie Tales are classic for children and What’s in the Bible is another great resource for young children. If you are paying for Netflix you should be paying for Purflix too. This is a GREAT resource.
5. Make it fun.
God wants us to be happy and have full lives. It is not just a list of don’ts but a list of dos as well. Loving God is important and fulfilling. It is not about what you can’t do. Christianity is about having purpose and loving God. Share the joy of the Lord with your children. Emphasis on joy.
**If you are going to raise your children on Biblical beliefs that is wonderful! Be true to them and to yourself. Be strong in your love for God and show them the way. That is the greatest gift you will ever give to your kids.
From God come my strength, my joy and my ability to share these things with you. I pray for you and your family, that you will be touched by this book and that your family will be blessed.