In the bible, we hear the Lord’s people called sheep. From birth, sheep quickly learn how to stick together and follow the shepherd. For our children, as sheep, this can be good and bad. It means they can be easily influenced by things around them and peer pressure. However, Jesus says we should know His voice and follow Him. How do we as parents teach our children who Jesus is and how to hear His voice?
I believe our main purpose as parents is to lovingly guide our children toward Christ and His voice. We want them to be able to recognize Him. If they recognize Him and His voice, it is easier for them to drown out the world and follow him. For He says “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me” – John 10:27
So, what are 3 practical ways we can teach our children who Jesus is?
Prayer. Prayer. Prayer. If you have been around Simply Clarke for a little while, you have probably heard me mention that prayer is a huge part of our life. I firmly believe in the power of prayer. It has radically changed my life, marriage and my parenting. Let me be really honest and say that I don’t think that you can change your child. You can help mold them and guide them, but only God can change their heart. Only God can save them. As a parent, I believe my job is to fervently pray for them daily. Pray for their heart. Pray for their future. Pray for their strengths, weaknesses, friendships, decisions.. the list goes on.
With this, I also believe in praying with them and praying as a family. You teach your child to pray by showing them how you pray and praying over them. We do this by praying at dinner and praying with our daughter before bedtime. I know that she is only one and has no idea what this means now, however, I want her to always remember and know that we are actively praying for her. Looking back, I remember my parents praying with me before bedtime. This had a huge impact on my life is something I will always remember and be thankful for. They taught me how to pray and helped me memorize the Lord’s prayer at an early age. Through prayer, I learned who Jesus was and that he cared deeply for me.
This is huge. Your children are watching you and modeling your behavior whether you realize it or not. Everyday, we are discipling our children. It is up to us to choose what we are discipling them in – Christ or something else. Be mindful of your words and actions, because they are watching and being shaped. Its important to show them what is good and Christ-like, while it is equally important to be real with them that we all sin and fall short.
I believe in showing this to our children by apologizing to them when we fall short. By teaching them that we are not perfect and must confess and apologize teaches them what Jesus is all about. Grace.
Praying for them and modeling Christ are very important to teaching your child who Jesus is, but so is actually teaching them. You can do this by having a family devotional time or bible study. You can also do this by creating intentional teachable moments throughout the day. By connecting the stories you find in the bible to life today, you can show your children how God’s word is living, active and relevant in their lives today. This will help the bible come to life for them and not just be words on a page.
These are 3 practical ways to teach your child who Jesus is. I want to encourage you that you are equipped to nurture your child’s spiritual walk. All you need to do is start with prayer and intentionally make time for teachable moments in your day. Remember, you can’t give what you don’t have, so be sure to make time for your own spiritual growth.