But what’s the right way to do it? How can we navigate them through these early years and give them a strong foundation for adulthood? Here are some simple ideas the Lord has impressed upon my own heart.
They Need To Collect Their Own Stones. In Joshua chapter 4, the Lord tells Joshua to have the people pick up a stone out of the Jordan river as a memorial of what God had done in their life. What were they remembering? How the Lord God cut off the waters before the Ark of the Covenant. It says in verse 5-7:
and Joshua said to them, “Cross over again to the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of the Jordan, and each of you take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Israel, so that this may be a sign among you; when your children ask later, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ then you shall say to them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall become a memorial for Israel forever.
In order for our children to really solidify their beliefs, they are going to need to see God work in a personal and tangible way in their life. They will need to experience for themselves God’s power and answers to prayer. This may mean them walking through a little fire. It may mean seeing them struggle and flounder a bit. As parents, we must be right there ready to help them walk it out. Share with them your own stones of remembrance! Perhaps, you could have a special shelf to display those very stones?
They Need To Know Jesus As Savior. Have your children even made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ yet? If not, they don’t have that solid foundation to stand on. Do you need some help guiding them in this process? I Believe In Jesus is a great resource to start with. In this book, John MacArthur presents the gospel in a simple, easy to understand way, helping you guide your precious children to come to know Jesus. Empower Your Children with Your Words. Have you ever had a person speak life into you? Maybe they told you that they believed in you and knew that you would make the right decision? Just by speaking these words to our own children, we can give them the fresh breath of courage from the Lord that they need. Tell them that God thinks they are pretty special! 1 Timothy 4:12 says:
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.
We can share with our children that God’s Word says they are special and not to be looked down upon because they are young.
Talk About Brave Men and Women Who’ve Gone Before Us. There are numerous stories about the brave martyrs of the faith that stood for what they believed in. Read stories about people like Jim Elliot, or Stephen in the Bible. You could also read about Daniel and Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who all stood boldly for their faith from a young age. Brave Girls is an amazing book for young girls that you might enjoy. My daughter reads this book every day and loves it! Here’s a quick overview of the book:
An exciting new brand and storybook to help girls grow into brave, confident daughters of the King. Young girls will grow in their knowledge of the Bible and in their faith by getting to know our Brave Girls—Hope, Gracie, Glory, Faith, and Honor—five modern-day friends who relate to today’s readers!
They Need To Know That What God Thinks About Them Is Most Important Acts 5:29 says:
Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings!”
Talk about how it’s important to be a leader and not a follower and that it is more important what God thinks about them than what other people think. Without Love, Nothing Else Matters. Without love, none of the above things matter.
1 Corinthians 13 together as a family often. If you have faith to move mountains and don’t love, it means nothing. The Bible says we are just like a clanging cymbal that just makes a lot of noise. As parents, we need to be careful the way we talk about others. What tone are we using? Are we acting like we are better than others or are we showing compassion and selfless love? Many times as our children build friendships and live like Christ, they will be the very best witness to others. When their friends see them trusting Christ in difficult situations, they will see God’s power at work in your children! This is exciting stuff!