So far in this series, we’ve emphasized the importance of praying for our children, how to teach our kids about God, how to encourage them to pray and tips to teach them God’s Word. Today, we’re concluding this series with one of the most important ways we can lead our children to Jesus – by living lives that are a testimony of God’s grace.
“In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
We can pray all day for our children and diligently teach them the Bible, but all that won’t make a difference, if our kids don’t see us practicing what we teach them. We can teach them that God’s given us everything we need, but if they see us being discontent and grumbling about what little we have, what are they taking away from it?
Even as babies, our kids imitate us – they smile, wave their hands and learn to clap, after seeing us do the same. Toddlers learn new words and mannerisms by observing us. If they see us reading the Bible and praying on a regular basis, won’t they want to do the same?
Your children will become who you are; so be who you want them to be. ~ Anonymous
If I want my kids to grow up to be men who’ll follow God’s will in their lives and have a steadily growing relationship with Him, then I need to do the same. My kids need to see God working in me. They need to see the evidence of God’s grace in my daily life.
There was no better teacher on this earth than Jesus Himself. He preached the truth and it was evident in His own life. We too should strive to live in obedience to God’s Word because our lives will impress our kids. It’s up to us to to model faith that will either draw our kids closer to God or drag them away from Him.
Your hunger for God can create an appetite in your children. ~ The Love & Respect Experience
Do our kids see us hunger and thirst for God? Do we place an importance on God in our daily lives? Or do we relegate Him to Sundays in church? Do our kids see us consistent in our prayer lives, or do they see us flipping through the Bible in a hurry just once or twice a week?
A few ways we can build up an appetite for God in our kids’ lives:
- Read your Bible regularly – with your kids, to them or in front of them.
- Pray with them as often as you can. I pray with the kids in the morning, and we have a family prayer at night. Include meal times and sickness, and you’ve got quite a few opportunities to pray with your kids.
- Share prayer requests with your kids. We tell the kids when someone is ill and they need prayer. They often surprise us with a spontaneous prayer (filled with child-like faith) that really tugs at our heart strings.
- Worship with your children. I guess all children love music. Use every opportunity you can to play a worship DVD, a YouTube video or gospel music in your car and let the children worship God with you.
- Share with them your weaknesses and boast of God’s strength. We all have days when we snap at the kids… use that opportunity to apologize to them and share how you too need God’s grace to control your anger.
- Practice thanksgiving. Thank God for little things everyday, encourage your kids to do the same and soon they’ll realize that every good gift is from God.
- Give generously. I learnt the importance of giving my tithe, supporting missionaries and helping the poor only because I saw my mother doing the same.
- Involve the kids in your ministry if possible. Whether you’re praying for a friend, leading a Bible study or singing in the choir, let the kids see you ministering to others.
- Remain rooted in your faith. Our kids need to know that we’ll continue to trust God no matter what. Let them know that even in the most difficult circumstances, your faith in God remains firm.
- Live a life of integrity. Nothing throws older children off more than a christian parent who doesn’t practice the principles outlined in the Bible.
- Model Christ. This is a biggie. No human on earth can be just like Jesus, but we can try. Start with the fruit of the Spirit and strive to be a role model for your kids.
One important aspect I haven’t covered in this series is teaching our kids about salvation. My husband and I are still in the process of teaching our sons about the concept of sin and their need for redemption; and we’ve got a long way to go. I request you to read this post by a fellow blogger who used to be a children’s pastor. She’s written an entire series on salvation for kids – be sure to check it out here.
This series was aimed to share with you, things that worked for our family. This is not a to-do list, but merely suggestions. Our ultimate guide is the Bible, and our mentor is God Himself. I pray that you’ll let God teach you how to lead your children to Him. And lastly, I admit that in spite of all my good intentions, I fail everyday in leading my children to Christ. I can only pray that God will work in our children’s hearts and our meager efforts will one day bear fruit for His glory.
Other posts in this series:
- Let The Children Come: Introduction
- Let The Children Come: Pray for them
- Let The Children Come: Teach them about God
- Let The Children Come: Encourage them to pray
- Let The Children Come: Teach them God’s Word
- Let The Children Come: Be an example