To Our Homes: Kids Edition

Start off a child in the way they should go and even when they are old they will not turn from it. – Proverbs 22:6

Jesus’ call to all believers is to make disciples and I think a solid case can be made that that job starts at home. If it’s our desire for our kids to grow in Christ likeness, to love and serve him, and to love and serve others, it’s our responsibility as parents to model those behaviors and passions for our kids.

I think a great many parents feel ill equipped to disciple their kids because they feel discouraged by their own spiritual lives. Yes, it’s true that it starts with us and the best thing we can do for our children is to first pursue Christ ourselves. But, there’s no special spiritual status required before you can intentionally invest into the spiritual lives of your children. I’d like to suggest a few practices you can implement fairly easily. None of these is a spiritual silver bullet, but they're a good place to start. 

  • Let them see you reading the Bible and praying. Every night before bed, my parents would sit and read their Bibles. Just me seeing that on a regular basis instilled in me the belief that regular time in the Word is important. Even better is to share with your kids what you're reading in the Bible, what you're getting out of it, and even the questions you have. 
  • Pray and read the Bible (and/or devotionals) with your children. With small children, they may only be able to handle 5 minutes, but, if you are consistent, at the very least you’ll be helping them create a routine. As they get older, they’ll be increasingly able to engage in understanding and discussing what you do together. Try reading a Bible story or devotional and then praying at bedtime every night (or whatever time you can do so consistently). Even if you can’t do this every day, maybe once or twice a week can be a devotional time for your whole family. See my picks below for some recommended resources.
  • Engage your kids in Christian community. One of the biggest shaping factors in my life has been the deep friendships that I formed at church. Some of the kids I was with in Sunday School are still my best friends today. But, those relationships have to extend beyond church functions. Befriend families from church; have dinner or watch sports together and let your kids hangout too; join a life group together and have your kids hangout together at one of your homes (split a sitter if needed!). As kids get older, it’s way easier to convince them of the value of youth group when they friends they know will be there too. For more on our kids and youth ministries at Grace, check out these links: Grace Kids and PlusOne Youth.
  • Communicate. While you don't want to be a Christian interrogator, you can build a culture in your home of communication. Talk about school, friends, work, family and whatever else is going on in life. This models for your kids that communication is important and safe. 
  • Serve together. Whether it’s at church or outside the walls in the community, serving alongside your kids is a great way to model for them Christ’s love for lost and needy people.
  • Don’t parent alone!  One of the things that’s often lacking in our individualistic culture is the wisdom you can inherit from older believers. Your own parents may or may not be a great source of wisdom, but I can guarantee there are empty-nesters (or parents further along the journey than you) in our church that would be thrilled to share their stories and lessons learned along the way.

Sean's Picks

Okay, these are going to be geared toward younger kids (sorry! that’s the life stage I’m in), but these are things we engage with on a regular basis that have been great for us and our kids.
Kids Music that is biblical and not super annoying. You should be able to find these on your favorite music platform:
  • Slugs & Bugs (this one is my personal favorite)
  • VeggieTales
  • Cedarmont Kids
  • Steve Green: Hide 'Em In Your Heart - This is a great one for memorizing scripture! 
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