Friday, June 6

9 Ways to Encourage Your Children in their Walk with Christ

Sunset last night. Mom's Support Group, as we jokingly call ourselves (but it is really oh-so-true) met tonight and one of the things we talked about was encouraging our children to develop their own walk with Christ.  The ideas shared, which I jotted down, were too good to keep to myself so here they are in note form.

1)When your child is scared, hurt, or sick - remind them that God is bigger than this
Pray together, thanking Him for being bigger than the fear, strong enough to heal the hurt, powerful enough to heal.

2) Remind your children of God's promise to always be with them, never forget about them, and His promise to be a ready help whenever we need Him. 
For a child that struggles with fear or rejection this is huge.

3) Allow the Holy Spirit to work in the hearts of your children.
You can't force good moods on your kids. 
Just as we need the Holy Spirit to deal with our hearts, so do our kids.  Telling them to "just stop it" isn't going to work.  Would that work for you when you're hurting or having a rotten day?
Each of my kids is different in how they heal/recover from a bad attitude.  It may take some cuddling with one child or quiet time in their bedroom with some toys for an introverted child. A reminder and prayer that God wants to fill our hearts with peace and His love for each other and then giving the child alone time to calm down and process has worked for each us moms.

4) Don't make yourself our to be, or take on the responsibility, of being your child's savior. 
Let them own their own relationship with Christ.  If you solve all their problems (or try to) you are doing them a disservice Instead, ask them, "Have you prayed about this?" when they come complaining to you or tattling over an offense with a sibling or friend. Offer to pray with them if they'd like but do remind them that God knows the situation better than you do and He is willing and ready to help.

5) As soon as they are able to read, buy them their own Bible or storybook Bible.
Several of us have used and love The Jesus Storybook Bible.  If you have a daily quiet time in your home, offer them their Bibles first to read. The Word of God is living and active!  One of the mamas in our group shared how her small son is already drawing his own parallels in life to things he's been reading in his little Bible.

6) Point out God's goodness and graces in everyday life - in the good and bad situations your children encounter.

7) Always remind them that whatever happened/happens in life - God was there with them every single moment of that and it was He who brought you out of it.
There are quite a few adoptive families represented in our group and this is a particularly sweet and powerful reminder for the kids who have spent time in foster care or orphanages. Even in my naturally-born child who came to earth with kidney problems, I always remind him that it is Christ who has preserved his life and given him a life to live on purpose.

8) Perhaps a natural habit for homeschooling mamas, but be purposeful about pointing out God being revealed in the natural world. 
You don't have to be a botanist to notice the array of colors this time of year and marvel out loud at God's creativity and you can thank him in the car when you notice a beautiful sunset to point out to your kids.

9) Do let your kids know that they are responsible for their own relationship with Jesus.
I've told my kiddos that my responsibility as a parent is to teach them about the Lord's ways, His love and sacrifice for them but that is all I can do (and pray!) and someday that is what I'll be held accountable for. What they do with the example I give them and lessons I teach is their responsibility.

Any ideas to add to ours?  Leave them in the comments; we'd love to hear them.


Julianne said...

Thank you for sharing those......good reminders for us as adults/parents too in our own walk with Christ.:)

Tonya said...

Thank you for this list! So encouraging. I have nothing to add, some of these things I already have in motion, and a few others have given me new inspiration. Blessings to you!