It’s important to help children listen to God. This is especially true when it comes to making decisions such as choosing friends. Our kids become like who they hang out with.
If kids hang out with peers who love the Lord, they will love the Lord. The reverse is also true.
Parents have told me, “I decide who my kids’ friends are.” But you really can’t do this, at least not forever.
At some point, children begin to make their own choices about friends. You won’t always be there to decide for them. That’s why we need to help children listen to God when choosing friends.
Wisdom dictates that we need to help children listen to God concerning their friendship choices. Does God speak to kids about who their friends are? “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God.” —Romans 8:16
Anyone who is born again has the Holy Spirit inside them. Children don’t receive a junior Holy Spirit. The Apostle Paul says the Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit. I believe this is the most frequent way that God speaks to all of us.
The Inward Witness: Help Children Listen to God
The inward witness is kind of like an impression. It’s a red light or a green light inside you.
Below is my strategy for helping children listen to God.
Help Children Listen to God: An Object Lesson
Find an image of a traffic light to use as a PowerPoint slide. Show the image on a screen as you talk about it.
Read aloud Romans 8:16. “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God.”
Say: What is the inward witness? It’s kind of like a traffic light on the inside of you.
Let’s pretend you meet a new kid at school. You’re hanging out with him and he begins to tell some dirty jokes.
Whenever you’re hanging with this kid, you get a yucky feeling on the inside.
What is that? That’s the inward witness. It’s kind of like a red light telling you “no.” Don’t hang out with this kid. You aren’t mean to him or afraid of him, but he’s not one of your best friends.
Or maybe you’re at soccer practice and meet a new friend. When you hang with her, you get a good feeling. It’s what Anne of Green Gables would call a “kindred spirit.”
What is that? That’s the inward witness, a green light telling you “yes.” This is a good friend. You don’t have to wait until you grow up to get the inward witness. If you believe in Jesus, the Holy Spirit is inside you. He helps you decide who your friends should be.
Other than the decision to believe in Christ, the choices our kids make about friends are arguably the most important decisions they will make.
Kids have no control over who their parents or siblings are. But they do decide who their friends are. When you help children listen to God, you set them up to make wise friendship choices.
What object lessons do you recommend to help children listen to God?
This article originally appeared here.