As Christian parents, we want our kids to love Jesus just like we do.
And there are very practical ways to grow that in our children.
In this second part of our 4-part series, we’re looking at some very simple, down to earth ways we can cultivate in our kids a heart after God.
In part one, we talked about 5 ways to do that. Here are 4 more ways to grow your family’s relationship with Jesus.
6 – Don’t be perfect.
The truth is you won’t be.
As much as we are called to a life of holiness, God knows we will make many mistakes along the way. In our pursuit of God, we need to keep a life a grace. Grace for our kids AND grace for ourselves.
Our kids are not perfect, and let’s face it, their parents aren’t either. Live a grace-filled life. A big part of this is being able to say sorry to them when we make a mistake.
We need model what an imperfect life with the perfect God looks like: one of confession, forgiveness, and grace.
7 – Don’t be normal.
This is an interesting one.
We once had a friend over for supper. As she watched us around the table, she told us that what she saw was not normal. We were all there, sitting together, sharing our day and our lives together.
In our society, what’s normal is not always beneficial.
Eat supper together.
Turn off the TV.
Get rid of music that is not God-honoring.
Have a device free time at the restaurant.
I say this knowing that each family has its own set of circumstances. In fact, I grew up in a trucking family where both my parents were on the road a lot, so the idea of the family dinner was not one I grew up with, but it is one that we have implemented in our home.
What are ways you could be abnormal to our culture in your home?
8 – Get involved in a good church.
Maybe you already are attending a good church. Great! But I didn’t say “attend,” I said “get involved.” There is a big difference.
The Church is God’s hands and feet to the world. Be a part of it as a family.
Join a small group.
Find ways to volunteer as a family.
Join the children’s ministry.
Move chairs for events.
Maybe there is a place in the church’s kitchen for you.
Whatever it is, serve. Teach your kids that serving in the church is a vital piece of experiencing a life with Jesus.
9 – Love them for who they are.
How many times have I told my kids to stop growing up, only to turn around and expect them to be older and more mature than they are ready to be?
As a parent, we need to walk the line of urging them forward (I Thess. 2:12) and yet not exasperating them (Eph. 6:4).
Love them for who they are, their interests, their silliness. So many times my experience as a parent has grown when I have let them be them.
They grow up too fast as it is. I don’t need to help the process by pushing them out the door.
Our kids need us. As the adults, we set the tone in our home. Knowing that we don’t get it right all the time, do our kids know that they can still rely on us to lead them in the right direction? Changing the atmosphere in our homes can seem overwhelming, but as we apologize, make some small changes in our habits and routines, get involved in our church, and just love them, that atmosphere will begin to shift.
Brad Klassen is a writer, story teller, and public speaker. His passion is to bring the Bible to life for all ages and help others grow in their walk with Jesus. He and his wife Jen, have 4 kids and live in Steinbach, Manitoba, Canada.
For more from Brad visit AdventuresOfJuniorBear.weebly.com and sign up to receive his free guide 17 Practical Ways to Grow Your Child’s Love for Jesus.