I have spoken with many of you out there and one of the things I hear moms feeling guilty about is actually having the time to disciple your children. Sometimes our schedules can be so busy or certain life circumstances occur where we are not able to give a lot of time in this area.
I want to encourage you in the fact that while we definitely need to be active teaching our children the Word - this is so important that I cannot emphasize it enough, but I am a realist and know that sometimes life happens and that is just not feasible. Illness can strike, life circumstances can change, and they are all out of our control.
With this said I want you to remember that verse in Deuteronomy:
"You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers to give them, as long as the heavens are above the earth."
While this is a verse to the Israelites, we can clearly see God's heart for how he wanted children to be taught about Him. Discipling our children is so important, but don't just think that if you didn't sit down for an hour long Bible study everyday that it is all for naught. We need to remember this can be done many ways and not just through a sit-down Bible study. When we are going through a major life change like a new baby or moving and it does not afford us the luxury we once had with time.
So I want to look at a few ways we can encourage our children and plant important seeds into them even if we aren't able to give all our time to them like we once had.
1.Their own personal devotional prayer time - in our home we started doing this around when they start looking at picture books on their own. We would tell me to get their Bibles out for "Bible time" and say a prayer when they are done. This helps them at a young age to start good habits of "reading" their Bible and gives them a chance to read about it on their own. As they grow older they read on their own as devotionals and I knew even if I wasn't right next to them they were still actively getting the Word into them. Don't forget the blessings of older children reading to younger children too! (Some of the best stories are when they share they're knowledge or read to little siblings!)
2. Listen to His Word - playing Christian music helps them to hear stories about or Lord and be ministered to by others. Sometimes I would wonder if they were listening and always find out they were when I hear them singing along at church having memorized the words or when a son breaks out crooning "Amazing Grace" while he is making pancakes for the family. It blesses my heart to hear them singing worship songs to our King.
3. Be taught by someone wiser than you - Sometimes it helps to have your children listen to sermons at home whether it be on the laptop, ipod, phone, or tablet. It gives them a chance to get a different perspective and be blessed by a pastor or preacher that really knows his stuff. With the internet today, we have some of the world's best preachers at our finger tips!
4. Adorn your home with scripture - We try to put Bible verses around the house. One example of where I put a verse up at is on a board in our dining room. It is the verse for the week that they need to memorize and recite with out looking along with chapter and verse. Once they all do that then we change it to another. But I love how those verses are right in front of them while they are eating their meals. I see them looking up and reading and know that it is precious seed that is being planted.
5. Living by example - Did you every hear the saying that more is "caught" than "taught"? Your example of servanthood, sacrifice, perserverance, humility, and so on is not over looked. Your children will remember what you have done, even in their old age. Do you ever find yourself acting like your own mother? I do--these are the things our children will also pick up from us--both good and bad so let's work on being a godly example for them to follow. Even when we fail, we can be an example of someone who looks to Christ for redemption and forgiveness.
6. Current Events - Often times our family loves to sit around the dinner table and discuss current events. This is a wonderful time to share a Biblical perspective and Christian worldview. The more they understand how to practically apply the Word of God in the everyday and how God's view on it all the better off they will be. This can be done anywhere and anytime, when you are watching a movie, driving in the car, etc.
7. Christian Books and Movies: Isn't it funny sometimes how a movie can speak volumes to our children? Sometimes we will rent or buy movies from the Family Christian Store and have a family discussion about it--just being to watch something these days with good values or talks about the Lord is such a great encouragement.! Good Christian books and biographies also do the same.
My prayer is that we would be diligent to plant many seeds into our children's lives in our everyday lives so that they will grow into a harvest of fruit one day to bring Him glory. Remember that you might not see the results right now (it might even take a long time) but just be diligent to keep on planting those seeds today!
What are some "out of the box" ways you disciple your children?