Being a parent is hard! Being a parent that wants to shepherd your children in the Christian faith can seem completely impossible in the world we live in today. We face practical challenges, like keeping a roof over their heads and food on the table, as well as getting them off to soccer practice… but as believers, we know there’s more to parenting than feeding and chauffeuring. We know our greatest challenge is helping our children grow in their walk with Jesus. Some may say, “That’s why I take my kids to church!” But is that enough? Merely walking them through the doors and handing them off to a youth worker– will that, in and of itself, fortify them in their faith?
According to Deuteronomy 6, parents play an essential role in their children’s spiritual development. God’s Word should be in our children’s minds, and they should be reminded of His truth as they come and as they go. It is our job as parents to create that environment. But how can we do that when faced with the crazy, busy life of a parent in today’s world? Let me share the tool that we use to accomplish this in our home.
Word of Life has developed age-appropriate quiet time devotionals for every member of the family. They are filled with questions and activities that are targeted at specific age groups and their individual learning abilities. These activities reinforce the lessons being taught in the daily scripture reading.
Here’s the best thing- no matter what ages our children are or what quiet time journal they are using, our whole family is on the same portion of scripture.This allows for a couple of things to take place that are critically important for you as a parent desiring to be a part of your child’s spiritual growth journey.
- It allows you to dialogue with your children about what they’re learning while knowing the context of the passage they are in. There have been several times when my children have randomly asked me about something they read in their quiet time from that morning, and I was able to understand and respond knowingly, because I, myself, had spent time in the same passage that day.
- It is a great platform for family devotions. We have used one single thought from what they were learning that day and reinforced it during our family worship time at night. This can be as simple as an object lesson, or a question that arises from the content.
Using these devotional tools in our family allows our children to develop a personal time with Jesus, but also creates an awesome platform for us to connect as a family around the scriptures. Yes, being a parent who desires to shepherd their children’s hearts is hard, but we have found this tool to be an essential part in making this a reality for our family.
Brent is a youth ministry missionary serving with his wife and 4 children in Birmingham, Alabama. They are involved in training ministry leaders by helping them implement strategic discipleship efforts within their local churches. They also have the privilege of leading a team of missionaries serving alongside local churches throughout the southeast region of the United States. Over the past 15 years of serving churches, they have had the opportunity to minister to thousands of students and leaders, both here in the U.S. and abroad. Through their ministry, they endeavor to challenge young people to become wholly devoted followers of Christ. Their family’s aspiration is to see this generation rise up and lead a movement that will strengthen the church and change the world as we know it.