I spoke at a MOPS group last week and the theme of MOPS this year is a Fierce Flourishing. I wasn't exactly sure where to go with that but I ended up speaking on two areas where I pray my children are FIERCE and FLOURISH.
I pray that have a fierce love for God and a fierce love for others.
In other words........basically the two greatest commandments:
I thought I would share the 7 things you can do to help your children to have a fierce love for God. I say "help" because all we can do is plant seeds and guide our children but ultimately they have free will to choose.
We have to help our children develop a relationship with Jesus and not just give them a religion to follow.
Teaching our children to pray can begin early in their lives and is the most important thing to teach them. Prayer is our communication with God. Teach your children to pray anything that is on their heart. That they can pray for anything or anyone.
Pray at meal time and pray at bed time but also help them to look for times all during the day to pray. We take every opportunity we can to pray - for good things or things we are worried about or for friends or family.
2. READ THE BIBLE
Just like for mature Christians, reading the Bible is key to our faith. We can only know God as well as we know our Bible. There are so many wonderful children versions of the Bible that we can start with to help our kids get interested in the stories of the Bible. And as they grow - we can read the Bible to them and help it to come alive.
3. MEMORIZE SCRIPTURE
Kids are sponges - help them to soak in God's word. God's word will not return void. Hiding His word in their heart will give them a foundation they will have their entire lives. Pick a verse of the month and go over it in the car or in the mornings. Put them in AWANA where they will learn a TON of verses.
And show them how to bring scripture to life by finding situations to apply verses they know to.
I've been doing "Armor of God" by Priscilla Shirer and I was thinking of how we are always so worried about feeding our kids the best foods and dressing them up cute and preparing them for every social situation but we forget how important it is to help them put their armor on - help them with their belt of truth and breastplate of righteousness and the shield of faith.
4. HELP THEM LOVE CHURCH
Help them to embrace a love for church. Show them it's a priority in your life to not only go but to serve. Show them the community you find there and invite them to worship along side of you.
5. PRAY SCRIPTURE OVER OUR KIDS
We all pray for our kids but to take God's word and insert their names and pray over them is powerful. I can think of hundreds of verses that I want to pray over my kids. Underline them in your Bible, claim the promises and write their names in the margins so one day they will be able to see the words you prayed for them.
6. LISTEN TO CHRISTIAN MUSIC WITH YOUR KIDS
I like pop music and it's fun to dance around to Taylor Swift but I don't want to hear "Bad Blood" coming out of my 5 year old's mouth. My heart soars when I hear them walking around the house singing to themselves "your love never fails, never gives up, never runs out on me". Like hiding God's word in their hearts, putting worships songs in their hearts and heads means that's what runs through their thoughts. And I want God's promises and His love to be a constant reminder in their life.
7. HELP YOUR CHILDREN SEEK OUT GODLY MENTORS
This is mostly for older children but as they get in junior high and up - it is imperative that they have a Godly older person that can disciple them. Especially when they don't want to talk about everything with their parents. And this goes on to adult years. We are never too old or to spiritually mature to not need to be discipled. There is always more we can learn about God.
Of course there are probably 30 other things that could be added to this list but I think these are key steps in raising our kids to know God. And pray.
We just pray a LOT!