“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
After we become parents, we quickly realize all our many shortcomings. There’s nothing like raising little people that really kicks the sanctification process into high gear. I have often said, I didn’t have an anger problem until I had children. All kidding aside, they really have a powerful way of pushing all the right buttons, don’t they? Do you ever think, or hear others say, “I really hope I don’t mess up my kids.” One of the best things you and I can do for our children is to just be with them. My daughter still remembers me singing her to sleep when she was just one year old. She also valued our time together reading her many devotional books! She is almost 11 years old and has very fond memories of that as a toddler. Here are three simple ways to have devotions with your toddler:
Make it important to you first.
In order for us to really impact our children with the truth of scripture, it must be living and active in our own life first! Children have an uncanny ability to really see us. They see us at our best and see us at our worst, and really love us no matter what. Be authentic with your children. When God’s Word is living and active in your own life as a parent, the Holy Spirit will use that to impact your children through devotion time with them.
Begin at an early age. The first few years of a child’s life is sponge time. They are just like little sponges and will soak up everything you tell them. My kids always loved flip books! It allowed them to have a part in the reading process, even before they could read. My Lift-the-Flap Bible Stories is a wonderful resource! I was just reading this book with my five-year-old little boy last night. He loved it! You know who was also hovering over, trying to lift the flaps? My ten year old! Even older children (and adults) love to lift flaps in books. What a fun way to engage little budding readers! Do you have a little one in mind that might enjoy this book?
Talk about it throughout the day.
Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repetition is the key to locking truth into our brains, especially our children’s. What you’ve read earlier in the day about Noah’s Ark, incorporate into lunchtime. Ask questions and see what your child remembers and retains. Later at snack time, line up little animal crackers and discuss how amazing it must have been to see God bring all those creatures onto the ark. Although many of us think we fail our children each day, please don’t be discouraged by that. They remember the good times and cherish the moments we spend with them. They are forgiving by nature. Don’t let the enemy allow you to feel like a horrible parent. Move on from the bad moments, and try again. God gave us our children, and God gave our children us!
What are your favorite ways to make faith a part of your day with little ones?