Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Intentional spiritual training

Christian parents, as a whole, have dropped the ball.

(oh, great Lori, it's going to be one of *those* posts....)

No, no, really. While that obviously is a broad generalization, I believe it holds true for many Christian parents. We are super busy, with our own lives, with our children's lives, with the church duties we have, with work, with hobbies, with sports, with school, with whatever....that the spiritual training of our children has fallen by the wayside.

We tend to think if they make it to Sunday School on Sundays, big church service perhaps (if we are good family-integrated parents), maybe a mid-week service, hey, we're going a good job. If we remember to pray before meals and before bedtime - even better. But I still say that's not enough. It needs to be ALL day, EVERY day. Yes - ALL day.

"Religion" and "church" and "God" should never be set apart from the other parts of our lives. If we are running errands, talk about the Lord - work it into your regular ol' conversation. If it feels weird - too bad, do it anyway. Then go back and ask yourself why you are uncomfortable talking about Jesus?? And is your uncomfortableness worth the spiritual lives of your children???

ANYWAYS......the whole point of the above was really something simply and easy.

This book, Devotions for Preschoolers, is what we use every morning at the breakfast table. As everyone is finishing up, I flip to today's date and read a short story to the kids. It is aimed at 3-6 year olds, so it works great for my bunch! We then go over a short verse and a cute prayer (in rhyme, no less).

At lunch, we pull out the same book, turn to the same page, and reiterate what we talked about at breakfast (today it was "Honor Your Parents" - Exodus 20:12). We go over the verse again, with motions we have made up and pray again. This gives us a nice topic to be discussing throughout the day. [Honor your parents??? Yup, we had LOTS of discussion with that one!!]

It gets us in God's Word, every day, as a family. It focuses my own brain, reminding me of why I am folding laundry, making sandwiches, wiping bottoms, teaching, training, and loving - day in and day out. It teaches my children the importance of having daily devotions. It gives us a specific topic to talk about at quiet times throughout the day (yes, we have quiet times around here......okay, well, quietER times anyway).

So instead of merely *hoping* your children are learning about God - be INTENTIONAL. Make the extra effort, make the time, make it your priority. If you don't, time will slip by, you will get busy and forget, and before you know it, your children won't be so little anymore and their hearts will no longer be yours - or the Lord's.

God Bless you as you parent these beautiful blessings~
*Michigan Momma*

p.s. in looking for a pic of this book ~ I ran across this website: Christian Children's Book Review. I havent' looked beyond this particular page, but I'm always up for checking out something that has "Christian" and "book" in the title.

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